Forest Hill Park lake project finished ahead of schedule

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you decide to get out and about this Halloween weekend, you might want to check out Forest Hill Park on Richmond's Southside.  After five months of hard work, the lake has been restored and is now ready to enjoy once again.

Decades of silt accumulation from the Reedy Creek had made this lake unusable, overgrown and rundown, but thanks to a cleanup that started this summer, visitors no longer have to keep their distance.

The sights and sounds of transformation.  Just five months ago, Forest Hill Lake looked like this, and now, the progress and view is clear

Bob Moffett lives near Forest Hill Park and visits often with his dog Summer. He's excited to see this restoration.

"There are lot of young people and young mothers like to bring their children down here and retired folks like me like to walk our dogs over here, so it is a nice place," Moffett said.

City Council President Kathy Graziano has lived in Richmond for more than 30 years.  She remembers when this was a lake back in the 70s, then it became what she described as a disaster.  She's worked closely to revitalize not only the lake, but the park as a whole.

"It's so exciting to see us go back to this park system that we have, particularly with the move for new urbanism," Graziano said. "People moving back into the city.  If you go to that neighborhood that surrounds that park, it is full of families with children, and that to me is just so exciting, and now they have a park they can use."

Willie Jefferson lives in Henrico but likes to come to this park in Richmond. He's looking forward to taking a trip down to the lake next week.

"I'm very excited about it, I'm excited about going down to see what it looks like now. I haven't been down in a couple of months now," Jefferson said.

Work continues at Forest Hill lake. The project was finished under budget, so more new things are on the way including benches and lighting.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.