You asked: When will Blackwater Park open?

Published 8:42 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2023

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Community members have been wondering when Franklin’s Blackwater Park will be open to the public, and City Manager Amanda C. Jarratt said the city hopes to have it open at some point in March.

The ribbon cutting ceremony with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin was held Dec. 13, and Jarratt explained the next day that the city was waiting on a gate installation before the park could be open to the public, and she said city staff anticipated receiving the gate in the next few weeks.

Receipt of the gate did not end up happening in that time frame, and as of Friday, March 3, the city was still awaiting its delivery.

“With all these supply chain issues, it’s taken us forever to get the gate,” Jarratt said during a March 3 interview.

However, during the same interview, she shared new information that allowed her to apply a new tentative timetable for the park’s opening.

“The gate is supposed to be delivered first of next week, so I would say that we hope to open (the park) to the public in March,” she said.

The new 203-acre park is located at 1716 N. High St.

“It’s an honor to be here, it’s an honor to be with you to cut a ribbon at what will be open to the public — Blackwater Park,” Youngkin said at the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

He echoed some of then-Mayor Frank Rabil’s expressions of gratitude, including thanking Jamie Craig, of Beechtree Group LLC, for his tireless efforts, vision and commitment to the park.

Youngkin described the park as “the result of this collaboration of state resources, federal resources, local and private resources, nonprofit entities, and together, you all raised $1.6 million. You volunteered countless hours and, with the support of the Franklin Parks Foundation, made what once was a dream a reality today.”

That reality may be experienced by the public within weeks, and as Jarratt noted in December, once open, the park will have the hours of dawn to dusk, in accordance with city policy for all its parks.