P & R Times
Destination Recreation Brochure

Spring/Summer 2017
Activity Brochure Available

Parks & Recreation is your one-stop shop for summer fun! The spring/summer Destination Recreation Activity Brochure is now available and highlights our offerings through September. We’ve got hundreds of camps, programs and activities for children, for adults, for YOU!  Also get outside and rediscover your community, more than 20 exciting special events are planned plus a host of outdoor adventures are within your reach! You can download the brochure or pick up copies at the James City County Recreation Center, the Abram Frink Jr. Community Center, Satellite Services in Toano, the Freedom Park Interpretive Center, County park offices, public County government offices and at the James City County and Williamsburg libraries.

Veterans Park

Master Plan Update 2017

Thanks to each one of you who took time to participate in the Master Plan update process – your letters, calls and your attendance at more than 10 community and focus group meetings in November helped us to move forward in planning for our future. Please take time to review the progress we’ve made, and the plan to provide the programs, services and facilities that you’ve requested over the next five years and beyond. The Master Plan was approved by the Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission in February, presented to the Planning Commission in March and goes before the Board of Supervisors in April. For the latest version of the plan and as well as ongoing updates, please visit our homepage.

Annual Report

Parks & Recreation play a vital role in our country and within our communities. James City County Parks & Recreation is uniquely positioned to help maintain and enhance our quality community – but we don’t do it alone. Thank you to the countless individuals and the many groups, organizations and businesses who support us in meeting our mission. Check out our FY16 Annual Report for our community accomplishments as we strive to make James City County the best community in which to live, work and visit.

Outdoor Pools Open

Park News 

Unless otherwise noted, please call 757-259-5360 or visit our Parks and Trails page for more information.

Outdoor Pools open May 27!

The County’s two outdoor pools open Memorial Day weekend! The pools are located at Chickahominy Riverfront Park (CRP, 1350 John Tyler Highway) and Upper County Park (UCP, 180 Leisure Road in Toano).

Pool Operating Hours
Weekends only:

May 27-June 18, noon- 6 p.m.

Daily, June 19 - Aug. 6: 

Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.

Aug. 7 - Sept. 4:

The CRP pool is open Aug. 7-Sept. 4, noon – 6 p.m. daily.

The UCP pool is open Aug. 7-17, noon – 6 p.m. daily. Beginning Aug.18-Sept. 4, the pool is open weekends only, Friday-Sunday, noon – 6 p.m.

Early Bird Discount - purchase your 2017 season pass before May 1 and receive $5 off individual passes and $10 off family passes!

  • Season passes can be used at both pools.
  • Family season passes are only for immediate family living in the same household.
  • Passes can be purchased online, at the James City County Recreation
  • Center, Abram Frink Jr. Community Center, Satellite Services in Toano or the  Chickahominy Riverfront Park office.

Passes can be purchased at the UCP or CRP pool offices beginning May 27.
For pool fees, park amenities and after hour rentals, please call us at 757-259-5360 or visit online in mid-April.  

Jamestown Beach Event Park

Jamestown Beach Event Park, Nonresident Parking Fees Return Memorial Day Weekend

Reminder, parking fees for nonresidents are charged at Jamestown Beach Event Park Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily. There is no parking fee for James City County and Williamsburg residents (must physically reside in County or City) who provide onsite proof of residency. Decals for free parking will be available for residents beginning May 1. Parking decals are not required; however, without a parking decal residents must prove residency each visit. Residents are encouraged to pick up a free parking decal to avoid delay or charge at the park entrance. Note: parking decals issued for the 2016 season are still valid. There is a $5 replacement fee. For more information on picking up the free decals, cost for nonresidents and payment locations, please visit online or call 757-259-5360.  

Living Forest Trail

Living Forest Interpretive Trail

Come check out the new Living Forest Interpretive Trail at Freedom Park! Built with the generous assistance of GoApe!, the Historic Rivers Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists and other park volunteers, the quarter-mile trail features educational signs and varying landscape for outdoor discovery! The trail starts at the Freedom Park playground and winds through the forest to a wetland/ravine area. Enjoy it on your own, or join us on guided walks held the first Saturday of each month. Nature explorer backpacks featuring field guides and activities for kids are also available for checkout at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center during operating hours.

Veterans Park

Veterans Park 

Following an extensive public input process, the James City County Board of Supervisors approved the renaming of Mid County Park to Veterans Park to honor our local residents who gave their lives in the Vietnam War. The park features a memorial monument donated by local resident David Hooker in 1993. Over the next six months, Parks & Recreation will be updating its publications and signs to reflect the change. The 19-acre park is widely known as home to Kidsburg, the 30,000 square-foot lighted playground, a half-mile paved ADA accessible multiuse trail, sand volleyball courts, lighted basketball courts and tennis/pickleball courts, Wi-Fi connectivity and lots of open space. Picnic shelters and meeting room space are available to rent.


Park Volunteers!

Kudos to volunteers from Williamsburg AVID Medical, an Owens & Minor Company and the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office for planting beach grass at Jamestown Beach Event Park. Their efforts helped stabilized the shoreline at the beachfront park. In total, seven volunteers spent 24.5 hours on this United Way Day of Caring park project.

Award Winning Parks & Staff 

Department Wins State Honors

Two James City County Parks & Recreation staff members and a facility received the highest honors from the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS), presented during its annual conference in November in Roanoke. The prestigious VRPS awards program recognizes indivduals, agencies and organizations within the state as the best in business.

Jamestown Beach Event Park was recognized as the Best New Facility (Parks, Playground, Greenways and Trails), an outstanding example of balancing emerging recreation needs with historic and environmental preservation. Design improvements and shoreline restoration work at the park provides full accessibility for visitors with disabilities, protects sensitive environmental and archaeological areas, improves water quality and engages the community through volunteer opportunities. The use of federal and state grants to fund over one-third of the cost of the project demonstrates the County’s commitment to provide quality facilities without overburdening taxpayers and ensures the property remains a public recreation area in perpetuity. A permanent facility to address improvements to sanitary services as well as provide a new revenue stream through concessions sales met the requests of park users who voiced this need as their number one priority for improvement. The facility was recognized as the best in the award category for populations of 50,000-100,000.
Nancy Ellis, Parks Administrator, was honored with the 2016 Fellows Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated consistent and outstanding commitment by furthering the goals of VRPS, contributing to the profession and serving the community. Ellis has held various VRPS positions including two terms on the Board of Directors and VRPS President. She has been a National Recreation Park Association member for more than 20 years and has been a Certified Parks & Recreation Professional since 2002. She joined the Parks & Recreation department in 1986 as a Recreation Leader, and has served in a variety of positions including Center Administrator, Recreation Services Administrator and Youth Services Director.
John Carnifax Jr., Department Director and Certified Parks & Recreation Executive, was recognized by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and VRPS for his outstanding work serving on the Virginia Outdoors Plan Technical Advisory Committee. Through his professional successes, the Award Committee noted Carnifax had made outstanding contributions to the field of outdoor recreation and to the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan project team, including promoting outdoor recreation through leadership roles, providing insight to trends in local parks and recreation, sharing local outdoor recreation department implementation successes and ideas and fostering community and regional partnerships that enhance outdoor recreation opportunities for the public. 

James City County Marina

Marina receives state recognition

The James City County Marina has received the "Virginia Clean Marina" designation, which recognizes staff's voluntary adoption of measures that prevent or reduce pollution from traditional and non-traditional marinas, boatyards and recreational boats.

Staff News

Outstanding Services in September

Our Professional Team  

The Parks & Recreation department holds quarterly staff meetings for training on various topics, team building and to recognize outstanding employee performance. In September, Outstanding Service Awards were presented to several groups of employees for their excellence in customer service, project and leadership initiatives, collaboration and stewardship. Pictured above, left-right: Alisha Berkley, Administrative Specialist; Justin Reeser, Lifeguard; Theresa Motes, Lead Lifeguard; Kristen Gage, Lifeguard; Sandi Anderson, Lifeguard; Shawn Jamieson, Lifeguard; Dave Gerwitz, Park Supervisor; Michael Prelewicz, former Senior Fitness Trainer; and Brian Crowly Jr., Park Attendant. (Not pictured: Pete Morelli, Lounge Volunteer; Lora Gubler, Fitness Attendant; Gaylin Hurt, Fitness Attendant; Xavier Valez-Rivera, Fitness Attendant; Erik Lavender, Park Program Coordinator; Michelle Lightfoot, Parks Operations Coordinator; Craig Nordeman, Customer Assistant; and Pat Menichino, Customer Assistant.

Outstanding Service - February

During the February staff meeting, several employees earned recognition for their efforts in the Master Plan civic engagement process and the KABOOM Keeping PLAY alive playground building initiative. Staff were also recognized for improving safety of playgrounds, taking on additional responsibilities and their contributions toward the accreditation process. Recognized, left-right: Kelley Herbert, Recreation Operations Coordinator; Richard Wright, Recreation Site Supervisor; Rob Insley, Park Ranger; Tracy Newsom, Inclusion Program Coordinator; Joy Johnson, Special Events Coordinator; Amy Fiedor, The Lounge Program Coordinator; Erik Lavender, Parks Program Coordinator; Shawn O’Keefe, Recreation Operations Coordinator; and Angie Sims, Volunteer & Resource Coordinator. (Not pictured: Diane Carroll, Customer Assistant; Paul Gapcynski, Customer Assistant; Michelle Lightfoot, Parks Operations Coordinator; Veda McMullen, Senior  Communications Specialist; Cheryl Sonderman, Special Project Coordinator; and George Williams, Customer Assistant.

Employee of the Year

Employee of the Year 

Nancy Ellis (far left), Parks Administrator, was also named 2016 Parks & Recreation Employee of the Year (EOY) during the department's annual recognition event in February.  Ellis received recognition for her work in leading the department in the accreditation process. In combination with Parks & Recreation's 2012 Gold Medal award win, becoming accredited pushes our department to be recognized as one of the top park and recreation systems in the country. Pictured, left to right: Ellis and fellow EOY nominees Tracy Newsom, Inclusion Program Coordinator and Alister Perkinson, Parks Operations Coordinator along with Parks & Recreation Director John Carnifax Jr. Thanks also to the nominees for their outstanding work in expanding their customer base through increased programming and service enhancements.


Welcome Aboard!

Please join us in welcoming Shawn O’Keefe as Recreation Operations Coordinator of School Age Programs. O’Keefe joined the team in October and oversees preschool and youth/teen programs and before and after school and summer camp programs. O’Keefe has more than 20 years of experience working with diverse teams, groups and individuals in unique settings. Before joining the County, he served as Youth Programs Specialist with the City of Newport News. His work history demonstrates a true passion for public service and working with youth of all ages, adults and families in the areas of licensed before and after school programs, camps, youth/family prevention programs, teen leadership councils, sports, fitness and special events. He earned his Bachelor Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphasis on psychology and social work from Liberty University and is currently finishing his Master of Arts Degree in Human Service Counseling with an emphasis on health and wellness.  

Staff News

Nate Thomas was recently sworn in as Park Ranger. Thomas is responsible for enforcing park rules and County ordinances and typically works nights and weekends at all County Parks.

Staff News

Change in Watch 

A job "well done" to James City County Marina operations coordinator Kim Berry (left) who retires in March. Before James City County assumed operation of the Marina, it was known as Eco Discovery Park where she worked since 2012 in various positions including Operations and Events Coordinator. Christopher McKnight (right), Parks & Recreation’s Sports/Outdoor programs coordinator has transitioned into the vacant Marina position. McKnight will ensure the Sports/Outdoor program area needs continue to be met until a replacement can be found. Also congratulations to McKnight on his recent achievement in becoming a Certified Parks & Recreation Professional (CPRP).

Spring/Summer Special Events 

Bikes Out of Hibernation, Free!
April 1*, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Chickahominy Riverfront Park, 1350 John Tyler Highway
Easter Egg Extravaganza, Free!
April 15*, ages walking – 7 years
9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Warhill Sports Complex, 4900 Stadium Road
1 p.m. at the Abram Frink Jr. Community Center, 8901 Pocahontas Trail
Summer Camp Fair, Free!
April 21 & 22, James City County Recreation Center, 5301 Longhill Road
Family Fun Fest
May 20*, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Chickahominy Riverfront Park
Movies Under the Stars, Free!
May 26*, 8:30 p.m., Chickahominy Riverfront Park; offered throughout the summer.
Opening Day at the Pools
May 27, noon- 6 p.m., Chickahominy Riverfront Park & Upper County Park

Karaoke in the Park, Free!
May 27*, 7-9 p.m., Chickahominy Riverfront Park; offered throughout the summer
Skate Jam
June 10 & 11*, 10 a.m., Skate Park (adjacent to James City County Recreation Center)
July 4th Celebration at the Pools
July 4, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., Chickahominy Riverfront Park & Upper County Park
Park to Park
July 15*, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Chickahominy Riverfront Park
Harvest Festival & Scarecrow Stuffing
Sept. 16*, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Chickahominy Riverfront Park

*Weather permitting
For complete details, see the spring/summer brochure!

The Lounge

Upcoming Excursions 

Norfolk Botanical Garden
May 24, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
$55/person; $45 for Lounge members
Departs James City County Recreation Center (JCCRC) at 9:30 a.m. Fee includes transportation, admission and lunch. The registration/cancellation deadline is May 19. #231201-GG. The trips are offered as part of “The Lounge,” located in the JCCRC. However, Lounge membership is not required to participate in the trips.
The Lounge is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Program offerings include a variety of activities, discussion groups, games, trips and luncheons. Lounge activities require a separate membership of $60/year for James City County and Williamsburg residents or $70/year for nonresidents. For the latest information or to request the bi-monthly newsletter, stop by The Lounge or the JCCRC front desk, call 757-259-4178 or visit jamescitycountyva.gov/recreation under “Facilities.”


Discount Program

Discounts on programs, classes and access passes are available to qualified James City County and Williamsburg residents. Discounts of 20%, 50% or 75% are available based on total gross household income. For more information, see the Discount Application Form or call 757-259-5414.

Credit/Debit Card Convenience Fee

A convenience fee of 2.95% is applied to all credit and debit card transactions made to any James City County department, including payments made in person, online and by telephone. Customers can continue to pay by check or in cash to avoid the fee. For details, call the Treasurer’s Office at 757-253-6705.

Parks & Recreation Payment Location

Abram Frink Jr. Community Center, 8901 Pocahontas Trail
Chickahominy Riverfront Park (CRP), 1350 John Tyler Highway
Freedom Park, 5537 Centerville Road
James City County Recreation Center (JCCRC), 5301 Longhill Road
Satellite Services Office, 3127 Forge Road 

Holiday Closings

The James City County Recreation Center and the Abram Frink Jr. Community Center will be closed in observance of the following holidays:

Easter…...................April 16
Memorial Day….......May 29
Independence Day...July 4

All County Parks are open year-round. Some parks feature a Guest Services Office/Park Store:
*The Freedom Park Office/Store is closed on Memorial Day and Independence Day.
*Chickahominy Riverfront Park, the James City County Marina and the Little Creek Reservoir Park Offices/Stores are open on Easter, Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Administration Moves 

Parks & Recreation Administrative Offices have moved. We’re still in the same neighborhood complex, but in a different building – 5320 Palmer Lane, Suite 1A. All phone numbers remain the same.

Stay Informed!

P & R Times - quarterly department newsletter emailed to interested citizens and visitors. To subscribe, visit the James City County homepage and sign up through Notify Me.

Rec Center Times - bimonthly newsletter for patrons of the James City County Recreation Center and the Abram Frink Jr. Community Center. Emailed to those who provided an email address at the time of registration. Info: 757-259-4200.
Freedom Now! - monthly newsletter for patrons of Freedom Park. To subscribe, email alister.perskinson@jamescitycountyva.gov or call 757-259-4022.

Our Mission

We work in partnership with citizens to ensure responsive programs, facilities and open space which promote personal growth, social development and healthy lifestyles.

Contact Us!

Administration: 757-259-5410
Parks: 757-259-5360
Recreation Centers: 757-259-4200
Recreation Services: 757-259-5351
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus