Two new parks in Albemarle County
If everything goes according to plan, there will be two new public parks open by this time next year, thanks to a County Board of Supervisors vote to create the Patricia Ann Byrom Forest Preserve Park and the Preddy Creek Park. The Board established the parks unanimously at their meeting on July 2, 2008, as part of their consent agenda.
The land to be used for Byrom Park (right) was donated in 2004 by Robert Byrom, in honor of his wife. The county purchased the Preddy Creek
land (below) in 1969, intending to use it as an additional water source for the region. However, further study in the 1970’s indicated that the water output would not be significant enough to warrant its development, and the site has been vacant ever since. Both parks will be used for biking and hiking trails, and other recreational purposes. According to Pat Mullaney, County Parks and Recreation Director, the department hopes to open the new parks to the public by July of 2009.
Approximately $500,000 has been set aside in the Parks and Recreation budget to close existing unsafe trails, establish park accesses, and otherwise prepare the parks for public use. Mullaney expects the parks, once open, to be able to run on a “shoestring” budget, because jobs such as trash collection and gate monitoring will be done primarily by volunteers as well as local prison inmates who qualify.