Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Our Success Story

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Our Success Story

Article excerpt

Recently chosen for the Best New Facility Award from the Virginia Recreation and Parks Service, Hopewell's Crystal Lake Park is worth its weight in gold. The park has successfully addressed the need for an outdoors-recreational facility in the City of Hopewell. In the 1950's and 1960's, Crystal Lake was the place where everyone went for fun, a place where citizens had family reunions, picnics and parties. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time there. The children splashed and swam, while teenagers went to hang out.

However, all that changed when the property was sold, the lake was closed and the passage of time took its toll on the abandoned property. Overgrowth and the remains of brick bathhouses and pavilions lay crumbled on the ground, while ruins of the old pier and diving board stood in murky waters of a once white sand beach swimming hole. In the fall of 1995, The City of Hopewell purchased Crystal Lake, which is adjacent to Mathis Park. Mathis Park is a city youth sports complex containing four ball fields, basketball courts, restrooms, concessions, play equipment and two parking lots.

The purchase of Crystal Lake presented a unique opportunity to expand the city's parks and open space plan while making a strong commitment toward improving the quality of life for the citizens of Hopewell. The city council acquired the site to turn it into something the community would enjoy.

In order for the council to realize their vision, they appointed the Crystal Lake Development Committee. …

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