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Share your thoughts on the future of Brown’s Island

What would you add to the manmade island?

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Around 1 million people a year visit Brown’s Island for events and recreation.

The city is partnering with Venture Richmond to provide up to $30 million in improvements for Brown’s Island.

Suggestions in the plan include:

  • Adding play areas for kids
  • Installing more trees
  • Building bathrooms
  • Constructing seating, lighting, and an elevated platform for events
  • Widening the entrance of the T. Pott Bridge
  • Improving river access

The official designs are undetermined. We want to know what you think — what would you add to Brown’s Island?

We want to hear everything, from your practical suggestions to your out-of-the-box ideas for Richmond’s riverfront.

Share your thoughts.

What readers are saying

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Richmond or Paris? One reader recommended a fountain like the Grand Bassin Rond in the Jardin des Tuileries.

Photo by Bastiaan

Here are some ideas we heard from you on social media and in response to our poll.

There was a resounding endorsement for adding bathrooms. Other common suggestions included water fountains, benches, and parking.

Areas specifically designed for children, including water play features and playgrounds, got a number of mentions.

  • “I think it should have a few water features maybe like a little water park play area for kids — for hot summer days. Plus adults could also cool off.” – @kiwi_chikie
  • “Permanent restrooms, a small playground near the Tredegar end of the island and a permanent stage area.” – Judith M.

We heard a lot of love for the idea of embracing the natural elements of the space.

  • “Maybe a flowering garden with native pollinators, benches and covered walkways — a lush, quiet spot.” – @hollandwilliamsart
  • “Flowers on the island in general would be nice. Even if it’s wildflowers. We have green space in RVA but not so many flowering spaces.” – @desi9ner

There were a bunch of ideas for increased activities on the island, from zip lines, ferris wheels, and a projection screen to an outdoor gym or a walk-up bar.

  • “Bring back the bicycle path!!!” – @____e__r____
  • “Community garden 🌱 or an outdoor gym.” – @mavi_taylor
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Many food trucks set up shop on Brown’s Island for special events.

Photo by Boka Tako RVA

Food and drink recommendations, especially food trucks, were common.

  • “Restaurants and cafes so people can hang out.” – Phil S.
  • “A coffee shop/ice cream shop/bar where you can sit and people watch and enjoy the view.” – @nelemarston

Several readers also mentioned other cities when making their suggestions, shouting out the San Antonio River Walk, the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, and even the Grand Bassin Rond in Paris.

Have any of these ideas sparked your imagination? Feel free to let us know your thoughts on the future of Brown’s Island. We’ll be sure to keep readers informed on the development as it continues.