Groundbreaking held for Timberneck state park

Peter J. Teagle - Posted on Mar 20, 2019 - 01:21 PM

Photo: Representatives from local government, state conservation groups, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, business sector, and native tribes stood shoulder to shoulder in damp, overcast conditions on March 8 to turn the first shovels of dirt in Phase One of the buildout of the state park at Timberneck. Phase One is set to be completed by fall of 2019 assuming there are no weather delays. Photo by Peter J. Teagle

Representatives from local government, state conservation groups, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, business sector, and native tribes stood shoulder to shoulder in damp, overcast conditions on March 8 to turn the first shovels of dirt in Phase One of the buildout of the state park at Timberneck. Phase One is set to be completed by fall of 2019 assuming there are no weather delays. Photo by Peter J. Teagle

Gloucester recently took another step towards the opening of a state park, as ground was officially broken in a March 8 ceremony at the historic Timberneck property.

Representatives from local government, state conservation groups, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, business sector, and native tribes were all on hand to turn the first of many shovels of dirt.

In addition to the fact that the park will protect historic resources and provide the public with places to exercise and enjoy the outdoors, the positive economic impact of the park is something the Virginia DCR has been touting since the project began. In total, it estimates that parks have a $276 million economic impact in Virginia, and that figure was once again highlighted during Friday’s ceremony.

DCR Director Clyde Cristman stated that, from concept to completion, a state park buildout generally takes around 13 years to complete; however, the completion of the Timberneck property is expected to occur inside of two years.

Native tribes, including the Chickahominy, have been involved in the decision-making process as it relates to historic interpretation. “This is a great opportunity to tell the stories of tribal peoples,” said 1st Assistant Chief Wayne Adkins. “So often we didn’t have a voice and when we did people ignored it, so it’s important to have native peoples on the ground floor of this.”