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Harrisonburg Park Project Moves Forward

Harrisonburg City Council Tuesday evening voted to accept the Plan Our Park Conceptual Master Plan, allowing the next steps for the downtown park project to move forward. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

The plan calls for developing a park in downtown Harrisonburg that would include a new children’s play area, a large promenade and an expanded farmers market. All pieces emphasize an increase in green space.

The full master plan, designed by renowned landscape architect Ken Smith in partnership with the Plan Our Park committee was presented for the first time in its entirety to City Council Tuesday night.

The council voted to accept the Plan, to authorize city administrators to work with the Plan Our Park committee to determine the next steps for moving forward and to request city staff to consider including the plan in the 2016/2017 Harrisonburg Capital Improvement Program.

While community support for the project has been strong, no money has been raised for actually building the park and a potential start date for construction may be several years in the future. Josie Showalter is the manager of the Harrisonburg farmer’s market.

JOSIE SHOWALTER: We certainly have a vested interest in the park happening and all the ways it will impact the community and the farmers market – we are really excited about that.

Kara Lofton is a photojournalist based in Harrisonburg, VA. She is a 2014 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University and has been published by EMU, Sojourners Magazine, and The Mennonite. Her reporting for WMRA is her radio debut.