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William Byrd Park

Published on August 5, 2011

A historic park rivaling any in the country.

William Byrd Park, popularly known as Byrd Park, is centrally located in the City of Richmond, Virginia.  The park is well known for its landmarks including

the city reservoir, the Carillon and Dogwood Dell.  In addition, Barker Field dog park, the tennis courts, the Vita Course, and the paddle boats are among the many other attractions that entice visitors from the City and the surrounding counties.

The first acquisition of land for the park was made in 1874.  Since that time the park has grown in
size and has undergone tremendous change.  The history of the park is fascinating and provides an insight into both the public’s recreational pursuits and the City’s own evolution.
The Friends of William Byrd Park began meeting in 2005 and continues today to help support and promote the park.  In concert with members of the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks, the Friends have frequent Prune & Groom events to tidy up sections of the park and also have a Tree The Track project that has planted 50 trees in the Vita Course area over the past two years. 

For several years, the Friends have been engaged in developing an application to acquire historic designation for William Byrd Park.  The research for the application has produced a detailed history of the park from 1874 to 1950, including the topographical development and the contributing structures.  The historical narrative has been documented and crafted by well-known local planner and author, Tyler Potterfield.  The Friends plan to have the application ready for submission this fall.

To learn more about the Friends of William Byrd Park or to get involved with this group, you are invited to call Turk Sties at 399-5273.  You may also learn more by visiting the Friends website at