I drove past Monroe Park for the first time in a couple of days yesterday not realizing that the ribbon cutting for the 8-acre greenspace had taken place earlier in the day. It looked beautiful, even in the waning sunlight, and I’m excited to go spend some time walking around and soaking it in more fully.
The improvements to the park were not insignificant: 132 new trees and 130,000 (but who’s really counting?) bushes and plants. The new pathways feature LED lighting, and the Checkers House will soon feature a coffee and sandwich cafe. There’s also a police substation that the Richmond and VCU police departments will use. All of this (and more) cost $6.3 million and took 22 months to complete.
According to an article by Mark Robinson in today’s Times-Dispatch, “Richmond City Council agreed to lease the park to the nonprofit [Monroe Park] Conservancy for $1 a year in 2014. The Conservancy raised about half of the money for the renovations, and the city fronted the other half.”
If you have reason to head to the Fan or downtown in the near future, go check out the reimagined Monroe Park. From what I saw yesterday, Richmond’s most central greenspace has returned to it’s former glory.