Riverfront Park Project




Riverfront Park to be Fredericksburg’s first “Smart Park”


(Fredericksburg, VA) November 20, 2020 – The City of Fredericksburg is proud to announce a partnership with the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) for a “smart” Riverfront Park. This new park located along Sophia Street in Historic Downtown will be a significant new public space in the downtown area. It is currently under construction and, when complete, will feature Rappahannock River views with open space, event space, and a play area.

“In 2018, City Council directed staff in their Priority #8 to build Riverfront Park after more than a decade of work. To deliver other Council Priorities at the same time, we have been very focused on embedding “Smart Communities” thinking within our design and construction – with success,” stated City Manager Tim Baroody.  (See Council’s most recent update on Priorities.)    

Thanks to the City’s new partnership and a $75,000 grant from CIT, more expansive plans for Riverfront Park are coming together. The City has been working to position itself for Smart Community efforts and recognizes that broadband infrastructure is the key to many smart community projects. CIT is leading the statewide strategic initiative to pilot “smart” technologies throughout the Commonwealth under the newly established Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA). For the City, CIT has helped from the beginning to design and implement the infrastructure to help make this project come to life with smart technology implemented in phases. The first phase provides public Wi-Fi in the park and park security cameras as well. The infrastructure, designed for growth, could later include a digital information kiosk, a public performance stage, environmental sensors for air quality and river flooding, and possibly sensors for parking availability or crowd counts. Read the full news release.  

Riverfront Park is Under Construction

The construction of the Riverfront Park began in late February, 2020.  City Council awarded a contract for construction of the park to Athena Construction of Triangle, Virginia. The start of construction requires the entire park property to be fenced, thus closing the public parking lot in the 700 block of Sophia Street as well as the parking area accessed across Sophia Street from Charlotte Street. Read the news release: Construction of Riverfront Park to Begin; Sophia Street Parking Areas to Close February 23  

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2020 0124 lllustrative Plan with Labels


The City of Fredericksburg has initiated efforts to design and construct the new Riverfront Park, which will be a significant new public space in downtown Fredericksburg. In 2011, the City acquired the former Masonic Lodge riverfront property at 609 Sophia Street. This acquisition increased the amount of contiguous City-owned land along the riverfront.

The planned park will have many attractive features, including children’s play areas, an interactive water feature, and a stage and events lawn for concerts and other events. It will also be a place to sit and enjoy the beautiful outdoor amenities and view of the Rappahannock River.

The City established a Riverfront Task Force to guide the design process from an initial park vision to preliminary design options to final concept design.

For a detailed history of the project see this page PROJECT DOCUMENTS

City of Fredericksburg Project Leaders

Doug Fawcett
Assistant City Manager

Jane Shelhorse
Director, Parks, Recreation & Events

Riverfront Task Force

George Solley - Chair
Kerry Devine - Council Representative
Matt Kelly - Council Representative

Consultant Team

Lead Consultant / Landscape Architect
Rhodeside & Harwell