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Hampton’s Air Power Park provides interesting outdoor displays of vintage aircraft, a playground and a geodesic domed building with a 1960s aesthetic. Because those exhibits are a key part of Hampton’s history, the Hampton History Museum is assuming operation and direction for the park. The museum would like the public to help shape that direction and is holding an input session “ReThink Air Power Park” on Thursday, March 29 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Hampton History Museum.
“As we explore the possibilities for Air Power Park, it is critical for us to understand the community commitment and thoughts on such an iconic part of our personal histories – who of us does not remember going to see the planes as a child?” asks museum director Luci Cochran. “We hope to create a conversation about revitalizing one of Hampton’s underused spaces and also a plan in which the community can be actively involved.”
Air Power Park sits on 15 acres between Mercury Boulevard and Newmarket Creek, near the Hampton Coliseum and Hampton Roads Convention Center. In addition to historic aircraft, it contains a floating dock and will be a part of the Waterwalk at Central Park. Though relatively small, the city landmark with good interstate accessibility creates a unique asset with a wide range of possibilities. Each year the park averages approximately 6,000-7,000 visitors.
In this first phase, the Hampton Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services Department is focusing on some small upgrades for the pocket park, concentrating on protecting the landscape and waterway, while also functioning as an indoor and outdoor classroom and laboratory for school children and others.
Next steps are collecting community input in a public process, as well as an internal evaluation of the site and its inherit opportunities and obstacles. After that, we plan to focus on building partnerships, identifying resources and developing a long-term plan.
The Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane in Downtown Hampton. There is free parking in the garage across the street from the museum. For more information call 757-727-1102, visit www.HamptonHistoryMuseum.org, or like the Hampton History Museum on Facebook and follow it on Twitter and Instagram.