Hopewell City Park Nature-Based Play Area Grand Opening: Saturday, October 7 at 10 a.m.

Park improvements made possible by $150,000 American Water Charitable Foundation grant

Hopewell, Va. (October 4, 2017)The City of Hopewell will celebrate the grand opening of a new nature-inspired play space at City Park on Saturday, October 7. The public is invited to participate in this special occasion at City Park, 205 Appomattox Street, Hopewell.

A brief ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. with Hopewell city officials and representatives from American Water and the National Recreation and Park Association highlighting the importance of the project. Information and free giveaways will be provided throughout the day. 

The City Park Improvement Project was made possible by a $150,000 Building Better Communities grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation, and administered by the National Recreation and Park Association. The City of Hopewell used the grant to improve the play space at City Park by incorporating nature and by highlighting the Appomattox River, which is the source of Hopewell’s water supply. Hopewell was one of two communities in 2016 to receive a Building Better Communities grant. 

“The American Water Charitable Foundation is proud to help the City of Hopewell create this public project,” said Laura Martin, president, American Water Charitable Foundation. “The improved City Park encourages greater interaction with, and appreciation for, the Appomattox River—the source of Hopewell’s drinking water supply— and also our nation's water resources.”

The new play space is a key component of the City Park Improvement Project. It features equipment manufactured with recycled plastic, steel and fiberglass-reinforced concrete. Much of the equipment mimics items that can be found in nature, including hollowed logs, tree stumps and boulders. In addition to the manufactured equipment, natural materials have been incorporated into the play space with more than 20 tons of boulders and natural stones. 

The project also includes the installation of more than 350 plants, shrubs and trees to enhance the natural environment and to help filter storm water before entering the Appomattox River. Virginia American Water’s Hopewell District employees spent a day landscaping the grounds. Other park improvements include new signage, trail surfacing, additional parking and a new footbridge. 

“Virginia American Water has a long-standing history with the City of Hopewell,” said Barry Suits, president, Virginia American Water. “We have operated as Virginia American Water in this community since 1972—and since that time, our team has continued to become more engaged in creating a better Hopewell.”

“We are very proud of this project,” said Aaron Reidmiller, director of Hopewell Recreation and Parks. “Our park services team, along with assistance from Hopewell Public Works and the Hopewell Fire Department, performed almost all of the site work necessary for the project. It was a true team effort that the entire city can take pride in.” 

The new play space will eventually serve as the trail head to the proposed Hopewell Riverwalk, slated to be constructed in 2018. The park space serves as a vital link between Hopewell’s waterfront and its redeveloping historic downtown. 

“NRPA is proud to partner with the American Water Charitable Foundation to help provide this unique play space to the residents of Hopewell,” said Lori Robertson, NRPA director of conservation. “This enhanced space will increase opportunities for physical activity and connect children, and families to the wonders of nature through their local park.”

About Hopewell Recreation and Parks
Hopewell Recreation and Parks offers a variety of recreational opportunities designed to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the community.  Through dedicated services and resource management, the department provides a healthy, friendly, and safe environment for the citizens of Hopewell. Hopewell Recreation and Parks oversees more than 20 recreational sites across the city including parks, playgrounds, and athletic complexes, as well as the Hopewell City Marina and the Hopewell Community Center.

About the American Water Charitable Foundation
Established in 2010 with a founding contribution from American Water, the American Water Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a formal way to demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor, citizen and contributor to the communities where American Water and its employees live, work and operate. The Foundation helps support American Water employee-identified nonprofit endeavors. More information can be found online at amwater.com/corp/serving-our-customers/charitable-foundation.

About Virginia American Water
Virginia American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 320,000 people. 

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

About The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

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