Lawrence Lewis Jr Park
Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park, located in Charles City County, VA on the banks of the James River and along the John Smith Trail, has been identified as an important waterway access point for years, including in the 1998 and 2009 Comprehensive Land Use Plans for Charles City County and in the 2007 Virginia Outdoors Plan. The County acquired this 24-acre property in the late 1980’s, however, the County was unable to acquire the funds necessary for the project until now.
After almost 30 years, the vision of a park boat ramp will become a reality, thanks to a unique public-private partnership. The Chesapeake Conservancy, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and Charles City County, with support from the Dominion Foundation, has raised the funds necessary to build the boat ramp. Local and state government, non-profits, and businesses have all supported this project, and such a diverse partnership will surely act as a model for future park development and conservation. Not only will this boat ramp be an asset to the local community, it also will provide a crucial public access point along a 36-mile gap in access to the James and the Capt. John Smith Trail.
In addition to the boat ramp, other organizations are engaged in efforts to make Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park the place in Charles City County to go to enjoy the James River. In July 2012, a group of high school students, as part of the Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps, constructed a new trail through the Park to the waterfront. This provides yet another way for people to take advantage of the site and enjoy the water. The trail and boat ramp will add to the picnic area, fishing pier, wetlands observation boardwalk, wooded trail, two birding observation platforms, and six historical exhibits already at the Park.