Gypsy Hill Park entrance to be restored, enhanced
From Staunton’s July 4th Celebration & Fireworks to the Holiday Lights and from the African American Festival to the Art in the Park, Gypsy Hill Park continues to serve the Staunton and Augusta County communities.
Now, a project that has been on the city’s wish list for years could finally be coming true. Chris Tuttle, Director of the Staunton Parks and Recreation Department said that he had been trying to restore some historic entry features since he became director in the early 1990s but that limited budgets delayed the projects. Now a group of local citizens has formed a committee to assist in private fundraising to aid the effort.
The Gypsy Hill Park Gateway Restoration Committee has announced a series of projects to improve the park entry experience. These improvements include the installation of a major new gateway sign announcing the park with its founding date of 1889; restoration of the existing gates and brick piers designed by local architect, T. J. Collins; reconstruction of the wood shingled, peaked roofs of three of the historic spring boxes, installation of historically-styled street lights, repairs and repainting of the Garden Center and installation of interpretive signs about the city’s historic water system.
Bill Frazier, co-chair of the committee stated, “We were happy to learn that the parts of the missing original historic light fixture at the gateway have been carefully preserved by the City and will be reinstalled as a part of the project. Also a new gateway sign will identify the park better. ”
The budget for all of the projects is $150,000; the City of Staunton has committed $20,000 while Historic Staunton Foundation has donated $10,000. The Community Foundation of the Central Bridge has transferred $10,000 left over from the Sears Hill Bridge restoration project to help with this project.
Throughout the park’s history, local civic groups and individuals have generously contributed funding to a wide variety of projects. The Gypsy Hill Express train, little league baseball, the pool renovation, the concession stands, the bandstand, the athletic facility, tree plantings and the existing signs are just some of the projects that have been financially supported by private sources.
“The community’s positive response to this entrance beautification project has been overwhelming and we are grateful for the generosity of those donors who have already offered assistance of time and funds,” says Frazier.
The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge is the fiscal sponsor of the project, and donations to it for this project are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. If you’d like to learn more about how to contribute, please contact the Community Foundation at www.cfcbr.org/gypsyhill/