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LOCAL Announcement :: Urban Development

Plans for Monroe Park to be presented

Anyone interested in seeing what Monroe Park might look like in the future is invited to attend a public presentation at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in Council Chambers on the second floor at City Hall. At that time, several teams of Virginia Tech Landscape/Architecture Design students are
scheduled to present their visions for Monroe Park.
The students were recruited to work on plans for Monroe Park by the Monroe Park Advisory Council, organized under the leadership of 2nd District Councilman William J. Pantele to provide the city with recommendations for the revitalization of the historic park. Their work is being done as a "real world" assignment for the third-year students in Professor Wendy Jacobson's design studio class.

The students visited Richmond in September to see the park and meet with members of the Advisory Council, representatives of the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and VCU, park neighbors, and civic groups. They also had a mid-semester videoconference review of their preliminary plans. The presentations will mark the culmination of their semester-long assignment, and the Advisory Council will take into considerations their suggestions.

Pat Daniels, who chairs the Monroe Park Advisory Council, is happy to have the students involved in the planning for Monroe Park's future. "We see it as free consulting work for the city," she said. "When done by a professional landscape designer, this can be very expensive, so this is an affordable way to help us obtain some ideas that we might be able to use, and the students also gain some real world experience."

The Advisory Council has worked closely with the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and VCU on the revitalization of the park. Earlier in the year, VCU renamed its western campus the Monroe Park Campus, and the department has already implemented several of the Council's recommendations, including pruning trees, clearing underbrush, restoring the park's historic fountain, and most recently, implementing wireless internet access in the park.

"Monroe Park is the city's oldest park. It's a landmark in the city - part of the city's history and identity - and we are extremely pleased to have the Advisory Council's leadership in its revitalization, as well as the fresh ideas and talents of these students," said Ray Chavis, interim director for Richmond's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.

You can view the students' plans and learn more about the Virginia Tech project on the park's website at www.monroepark.com

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