Harbor Drive Park Will Transform Asphalt to Activity Center
Prince William County and Kaiser Permanente have broken ground on Harbor Drive Wellness Park, a project that will transform an empty parking lot into a hub of outdoor activity. Opening in Fall 2021, this will be the first dedicated wellness park in the county’s Occoquan District, complete with universal fitness equipment accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities, including the county’s first fully-accessible playground.
“We worked with our recreation center staff to design a set of adult fitness equipment that will serve patrons of all ages and abilities,” Robert Boyd, the project manager for the park. “The playground will be completely accessible with a safe rubberized surface and all ground level features, which will allow children in wheelchairs to interact with their friends throughout the playground area.”
Additionally, the 2.5 acre park will include meadows, a pollinator garden with interpretive signage, programming and a one-mile paved trail that will connect pedestrians and cyclists to Kaiser’s new medical campus off Caton Hill. Many of these planned features reflect community input gathered during an 18-month collaborative public design process funded by Kaiser.
“With a walking trail, plenty of open space, and outdoor fitness equipment, this new park will provide great fitness and recreational opportunities to Prince William residents,” said Occoquan District Supervisor Kenny Boddye. “We appreciate Kaiser Permanente’s support in bringing this new park to fruition, and to the members of County staff who have been working tirelessly on this project through these challenging times, which have also underscored how parks can bring us together and enrich our lives.”
“Parks provide a place for residents to connect with nature and make cherished memories with family and friends,” said Seth Hendler-Voss, director of Parks & Recreation, Prince William County. “This park will be a welcome addition to a robust portfolio of outdoor spaces accessible to residents.”
During the groundbreaking, Boddye also noted that through innovative public-private partnerships such as the one behind Harbor Drive Wellness Park, “anything is possible.” Kaiser Permanente provided a total of $200,000 of direct private investment in the $1.2M project, and has taken an active role in the planning process.
“Having a safe place to exercise outdoors is central to total health, one of Kaiser Permanente’s fundamental priorities,” said Celeste James, executive director for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente.