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Posted on: March 30, 2021

Parks and Recreation Department Celebrates 50 years

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Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation

March 30, 2021

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — On April 14, 2021, Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation will be celebrating 50 years of providing quality parks, facilities and activities to Chesterfield residents and visitors. Events and activities are being planned throughout the year around the theme: Celebrating 50 years of Far Out Fun!

To kick-off the festivities, residents are invited to a drive-thru event at select parks and recreation center locations on April 14 to pick-up a grab bag with department information, special handouts, and a 50th anniversary promotional item. More details about this event and the last 50 years can be found at www.chesterfield.gov/parks50th.

“It is an honor to serve as the director of a department that has provided open space, trails, and enriching activities to the citizens of Chesterfield for the past half century,” said Parks and Recreation Director Bob Smet. “We appreciate the support of the Board of Supervisors, county administration, and the region over the years to help us grow and meet the needs of our citizens.  Please help us celebrate this milestone by making time to enjoy your park system or participating in one of our many programs. We’re looking forward to next 50 years.”

Do you have a favorite memory at a Chesterfield County park or a favorite activity you participated in over the years? Parks and Recreation wants to hear from you! Citizens who grew up in Chesterfield in the 1970’s are encouraged to celebrate this special occasion by sharing their involvement in parks and recreation activities, including sports, special events, camps and more. Submit your memory, photo, or story to parksrec@chesterfield.gov

The department was formed on April 14, 1971, when the first Parks and Recreation director was named by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. At that time, the county’s population was less than 80,000, and the Parks and Recreation Department consisted of the director, a part-time secretary, and some maintenance assistance from other county departments. Ballfields were available for play, but there were no county parks until the development of Rockwood Park in 1975.

Since then, the department has grown significantly increasing the number of parks, the number of programs offered, and the number of staff employed. Today, Parks and Recreation currently maintains over 5,100 acres of parkland, 41 miles of trails, and 59 parks which welcome over 6 million visitors each year.

In addition to parks, the department organizes events and programs throughout the year for residents and visitors of all ages and interests. Annually, more than 310,000 citizens take part in athletic programs, special events, outdoor adventure and nature programs, therapeutic recreation programs, historical interpretations, youth programs and camps, and activities for older adults.

More information about Parks and Recreation’s 50th anniversary, including other important milestones can be found at www.chesterfield.gov/parks50th.  

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