Petersburg residents excited as local parks to receive million-dollar upgrades: 'I think it's great'

Posted at 5:11 PM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 09:09:06-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- The city of Petersburg has often been cast as void of things for young people to do.

Now, that narrative will be changing, and in a big way.

Several of Petersburg's parks, including Farmer Street Park, are receiving new upgrades with some coming in regards to the hottest new sport that is sweeping the nation.

"What we did have is tennis courts and basketball courts but we know pickleball is one of the most popular sports, so we anted to add pickleball courts," said Director of Petersburg Recreation, Marquis Allen.

For many, that is a reason to celebrate.

"I think it’s great because right now the only pickleball that’s available in Petersburg is at the Y, so to make it more accessible to everybody and free is great," Petersburg resident Royal Wise said.

Poster image - 2024-05-09T164659.958.jpg
Royal Wise

The park's projects are a part of a million dollar project extending to many parks across the city.

“So we looked at Anderson Street Park, the city has invested in that along with Berkley Manor so they now have a walking track," Allen said.

Albert Jones Park is also one of those parks, as it will receive a new scoreboard and state of the art lights, all which will help out a local football team.

“So during the fall, the youth football program really don’t have anywhere to practice at night, so one of the things we wanted to do was to continue to find a way where they would be able to practice during the fall season when we get to daylight saving time," Allen said.

Poster image - 2024-05-09T164630.521.jpg
Marquis Allen

Money for the park renovations is coming from multiple sources, including federal grants, city funds and businesses.

“I think it’s great what the city is doing for the youth and the community.  The youth definitely need a safe place to go to play to stay out of trouble and everything, so I think it’s great," Wise said.

The Petersburg Sports Complex, home to Petersburg High School, Richard Bland College and Life Christian Academy sports teams, will receive four new scoreboards, landscaping, and beautification projects.

Poster image - 2024-05-09T164820.710.jpg

And the new renovations won't go unseen.

"Each weekend about 1,500 to 2,000 people enter into the Petersburg Sports Complex," said Recreation Program Coordinator Quinell Henderson. "Sports tourism around is very imporant and we want to bring in the tax dollars to help out our small businesses, the big businesses."

The sports complex is booked in 2024 for over two dozen softball tournaments, events that will most likely attract players and spectators from all over Virginia.

Petersburg has already put in for another grant through CDBG, in hopes to continue several more park-related projects in 2025.

A renovation of the sports complex parking lot, as well as the surface of the Farmer Street pool are on the agenda.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

SHARE on social media to SPREAD the WORD!

EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.