Chip Johnson: Long Forgotten Richmond Park Getting a Makeover

Radio Free Richmond


For more than 20 years, long-forgotten Santa Fe Union Park at Second and Maine streets in south Richmond was an abandoned lot overgrown with weeds, cracking asphalt and a place where all manner of un-park like activities took place.

But those days are ending. On July 18, scores of Richmond residents, city officials and volunteers who are joining to rebuild the park will celebrate its re-birth. The park renovation is the brainchild of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Council, a revitalized community group that took the reins in the design, make-up and look of the park project.

The work is a collaboration of neighbors, city officials, community groups and trade unions that are volunteering time, money and sweat, said Kyra Worthy, executive director of For Richmond, the non-profit community group that coordinated the volunteer effort.

“Community members chose the (play) structures, designed the space and interviewed the vendors,” said Worthy. “It was empowering.”

The cost of refurbishing the city park is around $100,000, which helps pay for building materials and a new basketball courts. A picnic area for community gatherings and a futsal-soccer area is also being added.

“We didn’t just want to build a new park, we wanted the community to own it,” Worthy said.

Reposted from

Photo: Santa Fe Union Park redesign, courtesy of

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  • Don Gosney
    commented 2015-07-10 14:45:27 -0700
    Stay tuned next week for stories and photos telling the truth about this new park.
  • Don Gosney
    commented 2015-07-10 14:44:19 -0700
    I don’t know who fed Mr. Johnson his information but he kind of glossed over the hundreds of man hours volunteered by the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 342 and the other Building Trades members giving back to their community. He also kissed the generous contributions from Global Construction and Creative Fencing.

    Right now there are more than twenty volunteers working on the site right now welding and painting the benches, installing the playground equipment, installing the Bball backboards and painting the court surfaces.
    As much as we all appreciate the collective effort of everyone who helped, if praise is being heaped, how about heaping some praise on the people who gave so much of their time and effort.

    These volunteers aren’t there for the pats on the back but when Mr. Johnson ignores the people who did so much it kind of ticks them off.

    An apology is in order—an apology that willbeverbe offered.
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