The rich history of Fountain Park dates back to the mid-1890's. It was a delightful park with a public fountain that offered a cool respite to the summer heat. It was the first landscaped public park in Norfolk County. Residents of Port Norfolk could stroll by and visit with their neighbors. Many a story have been told about excursions to Virginia Beach via the Coast Line Railroad, which had a passenger station one block south of the park.
In 1918, the area was annexed by the city of Portsmouth and the park became known as the Broad Street Playground. The city removed the fountain and introduced a permanent ball field for corporate softball and neighborhood little league teams.
An outline of the fountain can still be seen today in the right-center field. Over the years the playground fell on neglected times and the warm ambiance which was present at the turn of the century was lost.
Progressive reformers joined many working-class neighbors in advocating the introduction of facilities for active recreation. In June of 1995, the Port Norfolk Civic League took action to reestablish and restore the park. Many volunteers joined in reworking the park and playground area. The effort installed a new brick planting bed, fountain, landscaped beds, walkways and park sign. By June, 1996, one year later, the park was formally dedicated with the unveiling the Fountain Park sign.
The Port Norfolk Civic League is continuing efforts to improve the park. Upon request, the city has installed lighting and there are plans to improve drainage of the low-lying areas. The Park Committee established by the League is actively pursuing programs to improve the landscaping, maintenance and recreational equipment in the park.
One such program for improving the park is the Adopt-A-Spot program, where neighbors help maintain park landscaping and flowerbeds. Another improvement was the Asphalt Painting Project, which turned the old blacktop court into a wonderful work of art!
Another goal the Park Committee has realized is the improvement of the playground equipment. Through the effort of community volunteers, Kaboom and Home Depot, the League was able to purchase a large play structure for the 5-12 age group. The playground was erected with volunteer labor from Port Norfolk neighbors, Home Depot and Kaboom.
With the goal of new play equipment triumphantly achieved, the Park Committee is tirelessly pressing on with further improvements. If you would like to help, please consider a donation of either time or funds
• Do you have a suggestion or idea about how to improve Fountain Park to make it better for our community?
• Is there something you would like to see?
• Do you have a concern to report?
Please send your comments or questions to Paul Mcgrath at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your thoughts and input are greatly appreciated!