July 1, 2010 - Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced today an enhancement to several city parks by allowing non-powered watercraft on three city park lakes. Beginning today, visitors will be allowed to boat on Shields Lake and Swan Lake in William Byrd Park and on Forest Hill Lake in Forest Hill Park.
“I believe residents will enjoy boating on these city lakes as it highlights the aesthetic beauty of our city parks as well as aids in promoting fitness in our city,” said Mayor Jones. “A city’s greatness cannot be measured without including its parks and green spaces, and this added activity highlights the numerous amenities of the already great park system we have here in the city of Richmond. I would like to thank the city’s department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities for implementing this initiative which allows residents and visitors to our city, enhanced access to the city’s parks and lakes.”
The use of non-powered watercraft provides park boaters the opportunity to view the beauty of city’s parks from a different perspective. Paddling and rowing are activities that require the engagement of multiple muscle groups and which helps tone muscles and reduce body weight.
Boaters should use caution as they enter their boats into the water and adhere to the following rules when boating in city lakes:
- Non-powered watercraft only (examples include canoes, row boats, sailfish boats, dinghies and kayaks).
- Inflated tubes are not allowed.
- Powered watercraft (jet skis, wave runners, electric motors, outboards, etc) are not allowed.
- No boats over 13 feet in length.
- No glass containers allowed.
- Lakes close at sunset and open at sunrise daily from April 1 to Nov.30. Lakes are closed at all other times.
- Persons under age 13 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.
- Watercraft must be carried to the shore or may be launched from designated areas. No vehicle trailers allowed.
- No diving or swimming is allowed.
- Boaters and passengers assume all risk.