RD170 - Hayfields Farm Property: Suitability as a Recreational Area for Development as a State or Regional Park – April 1, 2021

Executive Summary:

Highland County has been vying for a state park since it was first mentioned in a state planning document in 1965. Since that time, the citizens have not lost their dedication to acquiring a state park in their county. In 2020, the General Assembly requested a study on the suitability of a recreation area on the Hayfields Farm property owned by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. The study required a review of alternative management possibilities, the suitability of a state or regional park on the site, if the site could be used for various recreational activities, and if the use of the site could be operated with minimal improvements. This report is a culmination of that study determining that with initial capital improvements, the Department of Conservation and Recreation could open a minimal state park operation at the Hayfields Farm property with minimal modifications and initial staffing costs totaling about $12.8 million. However, DCR has significant existing state park backlogs with existing infrastructure needs and park lands that have not yet been developed that need to be addressed first.