Land transfers make way for Harbour-8 Park expansion

Land transfers make way for Harbour-8 Park expansion
Photos of Harbour-8 Park and adjacent lot courtesy of Pogo Park.

The pathway to a major expansion and enhancement of Harbour-8 Park on the Richmond Greenway has been cleared after land adjacent to the park was transferred this week to the City of Richmond and Pogo Park.

The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit, acquired the property in 2016 with a loan from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and held the site until funding was available from a Prop 68 parks grant awarded earlier this year. In two simultaneous transactions this week, The Conservation Fund completed the land transfers.

The $8.5 million park enhancement project will employ about 150 residents and fund construction of a community center, children’s play area, two entry gateways, two ziplines, a bbq/picnic area, public art, security cameras, lighting and a restroom, according to Pogo Park.

“The addition of a small but important adjacent lot will expand the linear park by 50 percent and enable the development of commercial activities and the creation of a vibrant, green, public square in the heart of the Iron Triangle Neighborhood,” according to a statement by The Conservation Fund.

The existing Harbour-8 park, built in 2014, is located on two formerly abandoned blocks on the Greenway situated within two blocks of five schools. The park currently features children’s play areas, community gardens and spaces, public art and a mini-turf play field.

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said the next phase of expansion at the park “significantly advances a decades-long goal of transforming the former BNSF right of way now known as the Richmond Greenway into a community-focused gathering space.”

“We are thrilled to see our seven-year dream come true,” said Toody Maher, executive director of Pogo Park. “We are expanding the size of Harbour-8 Park, designing and building an imaginative, forward-thinking children’s play space; and then we are acquiring land around the park, and developing it in ways that benefit of the community.”

Added Chris Kelly, project director for The Conservation Fund, “We share Pogo Park’s commitment to revitalizing disadvantaged neighborhoods with parks and open spaces in a way that directly engages and sustains, rather than displaces, the residents that make it happen.”