October 10, 2022

Patriots Park in Historic Kempsville to be Dedicated Oct. 22

The Historic Kempsville Citizen Advisory Committee (HK-CAC) and the City of Virginia Beach will be hosting a dedication ceremony for Patriots Park on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m. The brief event will include remarks from City officials and an overview of Kempsville's history by Dr. Stephen Mansfield. Three interpretive signs about Historic Kempsville will be unveiled during the event. A light refreshment will be provided after the event by Circa 1734, a bakery located in the nearby historic Carraway House. The public is welcome to attend.

The park is located in a commercial area of Kempsville at 403 S Witchduck Road. Patriots Park is a small park ideal for passive recreational activities and learning about the history of Kempsville. It includes a short, landscaped brick walkway, benches for enjoying a leisurely visit, and a grassy area for games and picnics. Three interpretive signs along the walkway narrate some of the histories of the Kempsville port and crossroads village.

Patriots Park was created as part of the Historic Kempsville Master Plan that is being implemented to reimagine one of the busiest intersections in Virginia Beach. The intersection realignment was completed in 2015, while the accompanying mixed-use development has been slower to materialize. Some projects have been completed, such as the Kempes Landing Park and the rehabilitation and renovation of the 1941 Kempsville High School building into the 525 Historic Kempsville Luxury Apartments. Additional redevelopment is underway.

The HK-CAC was created to envision a historic quadrant commemorating Kempsville's history. The original committee was created for guiding development and the accompanying aesthetic. The committee also strives to ensure that the history of Kempsville can be discovered throughout the historic area. The HK-CAC's History Committee worked with Dr. Mansfield and City staff on the development and production of the park's interpretive signs. They are hopeful that additional historical features can be implemented as the Historic Kempsville plan comes to fruition.

Virginia Beach is home to nearly 300 parks and park facilities, encompassing over 7,000 acres, including neighborhood and community parks, metro parks, signature parks, natural areas, waterway accesses, trail linkages, open space preservation areas, and park athletic facilities. Each park is unique and offers something for everyone, from wide open spaces to playgrounds, picnic shelters, and ballfields. A kayak launch facility is also being planned for Historic Kempsville.

For additional information about the Patriots Park dedication ceremony, please contact Historic Preservation Planner Mark Reed at mreed@vbgov.com or 757-385-8573.

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