DANVILLE, Va. — The Friends of Westmoreland Park, a workgroup consisting of members of the Westmoreland Neighborhood Organization (WNO) and several community partners, have reached their first fundraising goal, bringing them one step closer to redeveloping Westmoreland Park.
Having reached this milestone, the group can now break ground on the project this winter or early spring.
The redevelopment of Westmoreland Park has long been a dream of WNO. As the center of the neighborhood and the site of the former Westmoreland School, the space holds both historic and emotional significance for many residents who want to see it used to its full potential. As the result of a community planning process in 2017, residents developed a Master Plan to guide redevelopment of the park in a way that would increase opportunities for safe recreation, arts, and events while also enhancing social connections and daily community life.
In 2020, WNO convened Friends of Westmoreland Park to develop a strategic process for fundraising and implementation of the three-phase master park plan. Today, the group celebrates its first major milestone having raised enough funds to cover phase one of the project. This initial phase includes construction of an entranceway, a large shelter, a new playground, and several plantings and beautification elements. Funding for Phase One was made possible through the City’s Community Development Block Grant fund and grants from the Danville Regional Foundation, the Womack Foundation, Optima Health and Litehouse Foods.
Phases two and three of the project will include new basketball courts, amphitheater seating, a walking trail, seating nooks, a community garden, drinking fountains and additional beautification elements. Though these major elements have already been identified as priorities within the master plan, there will be many opportunities for local residents to influence the design and other uses for the park.
Future plans for Friends of Westmoreland Park include a series of community events and additional fundraising efforts. The group is also seeking community partners who may be interested in supporting the park project and the Westmoreland Neighborhood in other ways both during construction and after the project is complete.
Community members are encouraged to visit wnopark.com as well as the Westmoreland Park Facebook page to learn more about the project and to donate if possible. Those who would like receive updates on events and progress, can stay in touch by completing a contact form at http://bit.ly/WNOcontact.