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In partnership with families, the Greater Richmond ARC creates life-fulfilling opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Tag Archives: ARCpark

A Park for All

There’s something for everyone at one of Richmond’s newest parks, and that has made it an especially popular destination in the past year.

The Greater Richmond ARCpark at 3600 Saunders Ave. is 2.4 acres packed with attractions for all ages and all abilities. Among its assets: three playgrounds, a glider and a tree house that are wheelchair-accessible; fitness equipment that’s handicapped-accessible; a charging station for electric wheelchairs; and a restroom with adult changing table. It’s divided into areas for ages 2-5, ages 5-12 and adults. It’s visited by about 1,000 people each week, about half on weekdays and the remainder on Saturdays and Sundays, according to Douglas Payne, communications director for Greater Richmond ARC... Read more>>

Northside ARCpark Celebrates One Year of All-Inclusive Play

The first all-inclusive recreation area in central Virginia, ARCpark, turns one one this month.


Created by the Greater Richmond ARC, the 2.4-acre play area, adjoining ARC’s headquarters at 3600 Saunders Avenue, is estimated to host 1,000 visitors each week during good weather since opening on August 29, 2015.

“If you build it, they will come has certainly held true,” said ARC vice president of development and communications Kim Watson.

Read more about the ARCpark's first birthday at Richmond Family Magazine>>

Sunday Q&A With … John Walker with the Greater Richmond ARC


The Richmond Times-Dispatch featured a Q&A with ARC President & CEO John Walker over the weekend. 

The column summarizes Walker's experiences in his first year with ARC. 

"It has been a whirlwind. ARC is a very complex organization. We are a relatively large and a successful nonprofit.

We employ more than 400 people (more than 250 have some type of disability) and provide services to more than 1,250 individuals and their families annually. We service infants and seniors and every age in between. There has been a steep learning curve, but it has been exciting and fun..."

Read more on >>


Architect Website Redesign Shows Off ARCpark

VMDO Architects just updated their website. If you haven't seen it yet, now would be a great time to read what they have to say about designing the signage and wayfinding markers for the ARCpark. 

The new page offers behind-the-scenes insight about the planning that went into developing the eight "wellness areas" that define space in the ARCpark. 


"The design team worked with the Greater Richmond ARC to scope a signage package that not only recognized the donors that helped make the park happen but also created a wayfinding system for visitors. In an effort to minimize signs around the park and also maximize the budget, the design team combined the donor recognition into the wayfinding system.

The ARCpark is divided into eight different “Wellness Areas” – each featuring wayfinding graphics that explain the type of activities or equipment that can be found in a specific location. These eight areas are themed around active verbs: Gather, Move, Grow, Create, Explore, Discover, Play, and Refresh." Read more>>

First ever SummerFest brings 1,800 fans on hot day

To celebrate the ARCpark, more than 1,800 guests visited on July 9, 2016 for the first ever SummerFest.

At this free event, families could enjoy live music from Dharma Bombs and Red Light Rodeo, sponsored by The RVA Group. Firehouse Bar-B-Que, The Dog Wagon and Kona Ice Richmond parked in the ARCenter lot so guests could purchase refreshments. Merry Bee Photo Company captured event memories, and brought along a face-painter.

ARC staff, board and committee members volunteered as ambassadors to share stories and information with interested guests.

While not an official fundraiser, SummerFest donations total nearly $900 and will be used to support people with disabilities served by ARC. 

BB&T Lighthouse Project: One last service project in the ARCpark

Three volunteers from the BB&T Lighthouse Project visited ARC for one final service project. The crew set aside four hours to stain raw wood planters and parts of the stage in the ARCpark. Project co-chair Brittani Gill said scheduling conflicts reduced the turnout to her and two other members.


“We’re going to make it happen with just us three,” she said, smiling.

Gill said this project is important to the team as a wrap-up because the park is a place that people with and without disabilities can experience together.

“We love that it is open to the entire community,” she said. “Everyone can come out and enjoy.”

BB&T Volunteers Partner with ARC to Make a Difference

Members of BB&T's Lighthouse Project, now in its eighth year, recently volunteered at the Greater Richmond ARC's ARCpark, a 2.4 acre handicap-accessible park for all ages and abilities at 3600 Saunders Avenue that opened last year. Their all-hands-on-deck effort included light landscaping such as spreading mulch.

BBT Lighthouse IMG_3479

"We want every one of our associates physically working in their communities to make a tangible difference in people's lives, ” said BB& T Chairman and CEO Kelly King.

Left to Right: Mary Catherine Ross, Brittani Gill, Emily Lehmann and Ginny Slack.

Left to Right: Mary Catherine Ross, Brittani Gill, Emily Lehmann and Ginny Slack.

In addition, BB& T volunteers helped at ARC's recent Ladybug fundraiser, purchased recreational equipment and  arts & crafts supplies for ARC’s Camp Baker summer camp program, and are hosting a luncheon in June for ARC Employment Services participants.

Left to Right: Brittani Gill and Ginny Slack.

Left to Right: Brittani Gill and Ginny Slack.

Picture of Doug and Tracy at the PR Awards.

ARC wins Virginia PR award for coverage of ARCpark grand opening

The Greater Richmond ARC received a Capital Award of Merit at the 69th Virginia Public Relations Awards held on May 18th at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. ARC was honored for its work in promoting the August 2015 grand opening of the ARCpark, Central Virginia’s first all-inclusive park for people of all ages and ability levels.

Crowd view of PR awards.

Each year, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)-Richmond recognizes outstanding Virginia public relations professionals and their work. Over its 69-year history, the chapter’s awards program has recognized the most creative and effective communications strategies and tactics happening across Virginia.

The Commonwealth Award recognizes exceptional public relations programs or campaigns. 2016 marks the third year in a row ARC has won a Virginia Public Relations award sponsored by the PRSA.

Commonwealth award of merit slideshow.

Congrats to all ARC staff, volunteers, families and visitors who continue to make the ARCpark a success on so many levels!

ARCpark a Finalist for 2016 Impact Awards

The Richmond Real Estate Group recognized the ARCpark as a top five finalist for the 2016 Impact Awards. The awards highlight significant real estate deals that have had a positive impact on the region and contributed to the economic growth and prosperity of the local communities they serve.

Bob Sommerville, ARC's Board Chair,  Meg Downs the ARC Development Committee Chair and John Walker, our CEO,  represented ARC at this by-invitation-only event.

Bob Sommerville, ARC's Board Chair, Meg Downs, the ARC Development Committee Chair and John Walker, our CEO, represented ARC at this by-invitation-only event.

We are honored to be included and to have the ARCpark's contribution to the community recognized. You can see the Richmond Times-Dispatch mention on >>

ARCpark wins top commercial real estate award

The 15th annual Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate (GRACRE) Awards were held at the Country Club of Virginia on April 16, 2016. The awards honor outstanding commercial real estate projects for 2015 in the greater Richmond region.

GRACRE award ARCpark_combined

The most creative award for an institution went to the ARCpark, the Greater Richmond ARC’s park for people of all ages and abilities located adjacent to the agency’s headquarters at 3600 Saunders Avenue, Richmond.

Congratulations to all who have helped make the ARCpark a reality and a continued success for the greater Richmond community! See the announcement on