Sandston park will feature skate park, pump track, nature and water play areas, memorial garden and events lawn
Site work is expected to start in late February on Taylor Farm Park in Sandston – the first large community park to be built in the Varina District since Dorey Park opened in 1982.
Taylor Farm Park will encompass 99 acres at 200 Whiteside Road, off East Williamsburg Road. Under a master plan developed with the community, the park will be designed to blend with the property’s wooded areas and natural landscaping.
Amenities will include a skate park, pump track, trail system, water play area, lawn for special events and a memorial to public safety workers and military service members.
“This will be a one-of-a-kind park – like nothing we’ve seen in our park system,” Division of Recreation & Parks Director John Zannino told the Board of Supervisors at its Feb. 14 meeting.
Following the presentation, the Board awarded a $20.1 million contract to Loughridge & Company LLC for the first phase of development.
“Clearly, it’s going to be a pretty cool park,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Tyrone E. Nelson, who represents the Varina District. “I can’t wait to get it started.”
Several of the park’s planned features, including a neighborhood playground, an interpretative farm and some trails, will be added in a second phase after initial bids exceeded available funding by $4 million. Nelson asked staff to continue to monitor costs so the park can be completed as envisioned.
Taylor Farm Park is being funded primarily through Henrico’s voter-approved 2016 bond referendum. It will be the county’s first new park since Glover Park – then-called Greenwood Park – opened in the Brookland District in 2018.
In its initial phase, Taylor Farm Park will include an active sports area, with a 17,000-square-foot skate park and a 12,000-square-foot pump track that may make it the largest public “all-wheel” recreational facility in the United States, said Zannino, who was promoted to director of Recreation & Parks in January.
The active sports area will accommodate all skill levels on bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, roller blades and scooters.
Also planned is a nature-based play area, with rope net climbers, slides, treehouses, towers and other features that will be integrated into the natural landscape.
“We’re really embodying the natural aesthetics of the park, so you’ll see … that the nature is the theme,” Zannino said, also noting plans for native plantings in key areas. “This will be kind of in nature, surrounded by all the trees. The play equipment … will be coming in and out of the tree canopy.”
The area also will include a fully accessible splash park with “mist mounds” for water play and an interactive play stream, with steppingstones, shallow pools and mini-water falls.
Taylor Farm Park will feature two 1,000-square-foot restroom buildings as well as shelters for parties and other gatherings. A memorial garden honoring public safety workers and military service members also is planned along with a lawn for special events and community programs.
The park will have two vehicular entrances on Whiteside and three pedestrian access points with neighborhoods on its western and northern sides. The park is expected to open in June 2024.