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Elizabeth River Park Fun Facts
About the Park:
Elizabeth River Park, located along Scuffletown Creek, a tributary to the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, is centrally located to Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Improvements were completed on May 30, 2015 for the 12.6 acre park as part of the $4.3M renovation project that began on April 14, 2014.
Click on any link below to read more information on the subject:
- Snack Shack and Ship Shop and Boat Ramp
- Fishing/Crabbing Pier
- Park Theme
- Environmental and Educational Features
- Extra Bridge Segment
- Dog Park
- Additional Amenities and Interesting Tidbits
- Phase 2
- Contact Us
Snack Shack and Ship Shop/Boat Ramp (Phone Number 757-494-1202):
- Hours for the Snack Shack and Ship Shop until late June will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. For the summer, operational hours will expand to 7 days a week with a combination of early morning openings and late openings. Example 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Hours will be posted on building and here on the website. Hours will continually adjust seasonally.
- Boat ramp is open 24 hours a day but the park itself is open sunrise to sunset. Bathrooms close at sunset when the park closes but there is a portable toilet next to the boat ramp for boaters.
- Bathrooms are on the opposite end of the Snack Shack and also on the other side of the park. Men's and Women's restrooms have baby changing stations. If you ever see any cleaning or plumbing problems in the restrooms, please call our main office at 757-382-6411.
- In addition to snacks and bait, the Snack Shack sells park t-shirts, chilled slushies, and souvenir cups. Check it out!
- The store will sell frozen bait as well as chicken necks, sinkers, nets, basic fishing tackle, and ICE ($2.00 bag).
- If you are a boater, please be cautious of our creek neighbors, especially the tugboats. There will be a lot of tugboat and barge traffic so please stay alert and safe.
- A fish cleaning station with water service is scheduled to be built on the dock to the left of the boat ramp later this summer.
- The end of the boat dock and to the right of the boat ramp has a gate that can be opened at the discretion of the City. During normal operating hours, this gate will stay locked and off limits. Mooring, up to 24 hours, will only be permitted on the end closest to the ramp.
- Notice the lights on the docks for safety during night boating.
- The beautiful covered pavilion that is attached to the Ship Shop is a great place to have lunch and/or enjoy views of the river.
- Shelters will be made available for renting (2 of which have grills) beginning July 1. Rentals can be done at the Ship Shop or at our main office on Progressive Drive. Rental fees will be consistent with the fees charged for shelters of similar size at City Park.
- No crabbing or fishing off of the pier and docks adjacent to the boat ramp. Crabbing and fishing (with a license) are permitted on the pier that goes out into the river and runs parallel to the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge.
- A license may be necessary to crab or fish from the fishing/crabbing pier. Information about VA Fishing Licenses and Requirements
- Parks, Recreation and Tourism will be re-decking the crabbing and fishing pier (compliments of a matching grant with the Virginia Port Authority) and that is scheduled for completion this fall. The pier will be closed during this renovation.
- Additional charter boat opportunities, including dinner cruises, are being planned and developed for 2016.
This scenic overlook is the end of the old Jordan Bridge. Historical signage and artifacts from the old bridge will be installed at and around this location and running to the new bridge segment. This area will provide some history of the old bridge and park prior to all of the recent renovations and construction of the new South Norfolk Jordan Bridge.
Colors of the park were intentional to give a nautical feel and help to create a fun and welcoming environment. Benches placed throughout the park are two sided along the water to allow guests to relax while looking out over the Elizabeth River or at the park.
Environmental and Educational Features:
- Great care has been done to turn this piece of industrial waterfront not only into a beautiful park, but one that is environmentally responsible. There is a bioretention area for parking lot drainage. Storm Water runoff for the parking lot is captured underground, cleaned and dispersed into the Elizabeth River. There is a riparian barrier along the east side of the property to assist in cleaning rainwater sheet-flow and help stabilize the ground.
- The Learning Barge (a 32' x 120' barge that has been transformed into a living waterway classroom) is scheduled to be docked at Elizabeth River Park in the spring of 2016. Over 7,000 school children from around the region will come to Elizabeth River Park for science field trips. The Elizabeth River Project received a grant to cover the cost for all Chesapeake Public Schools 4th graders to go on this field trip.
- The City received a grant to install educational interpretive signage throughout the park to educate guests on the river, the park and how we can all do our part to help the waterway. Part of this grant will also support the installation of an Osprey tower with a camera. These features will be installed over the next few months.
Extra Bridge Segment:
The extra segment that you see in the park was donated to the City by South Norfolk Jordan Bridge and Figg Engineering Group. The City is planning on incorporating the underside of the segment beginning in 2016 to potentially display artifacts and signage from the old Jordan Bridge and also to utilize the top as an additional stage or viewing area during events.
The existing playground will be removed and replaced by a new Pirate ship themed play area later this summer. In keeping with the park theme, this play area will be mostly blue and white!
This park will have something for everyone in the way of fitness. The over ½ mile walkway throughout the park is great for a walk or run. In June, a new large fitness area with outdoor equipment will be placed near the end of the dog park parking lot, overlooking the river. Come work out while viewing the river with a nice breeze and great shade. Additionally, the entire South Norfolk Jordan Bridge has an easily accessible pedestrian walkway that is open sunrise to sunset. Access the bridge walkway right outside our park entrance. If you desire, you can then develop a fitness program that includes the bridge along with our new fitness area and walkways. Short term plans also include the offering of outdoor fitness programs and classes, too.
- Dog park memberships are required and can be purchased at any City community center, our Administrative Office and will be available for purchase in the Ship Shop.
- The large section of the dog park is 13,500 square feet (180' x 75') and the small section is 4,500 square feet (75' x 60') with easy and assessable parking.
- Water service is available in each dog park section.
Additional Amenities and Interesting Tidbits:
- 42 picnic tables, 34 trash cans
- 2 shelters with grills
- 5 pavilions, 5 benches along the trail and overlook area of the Old Jordan Bridge
- 11 additional benches scattered around the park, playground and dog park
- The Snack Shack and Ship Shop is 2,500 square feet and has a 2,000 square foot attached pavilion with seating
- Two sets of bathrooms are available, one set at the Snack Shack and one free standing restroom building close to the dog park and playground. Men's and Women's restrooms have baby changing stations. Bathrooms are open only during park hours (sunrise to sunset).
(If you ever see any cleaning or plumbing problems in the restrooms, please call our main office at 757-382-6411.)
- A portable toilet is available near the boat ramp 24 hours a day for boaters.
- Enhanced and renovated boat ramp and pier. The pier was extended by 100 feet and the entire pier completely re-decked. Pier lighting was added for increased boater safety.
- There is a lighted entertainment pavilion that is cooled with fans and faces the scenic lawn.
- There are 79 paved parking spaces in the park, including 8 handicapped, 10 pull-through boat and trailer spaces, with lighted parking adjacent to the boat ramp.
- Electrical and water service at various locations, scattered throughout the park.
At this time, there are no plans to install an ADA accessible Kayak launch at this park but you are allowed to launch kayaks and canoes from the boat ramp. Please be aware of the tug traffic in the creek!
There is a security system for the entire park that includes cameras and motion detectors throughout. Staff have a large screen in the concession area for viewing all areas of the park as well as another monitor for the Park Rangers in the office. Cameras can be viewed from remote City locations.
This park will be very actively programmed to provide guests with a variety ways to enjoy the park, including many by community groups and organizations. Concerts, reunions, fishing tournaments, outdoor movies, family events, fitness programs, educational programs and charter boat tours are just some of the ideas in the works.
Planning for phase two of the park is in the early stages and is not yet funded. These plans could include the addition of several major features, including fuel pumps and sewage pump-out stations at the boat ramp. Please be aware of the tug traffic in the creek!
If you need further information or have some other ideas for staff to explore please contact our main office at 757-382-6411 or email us at email@example.com. If you need to contact the Snack Shack/Ship Shop, please call 757-494-1202 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.