In 2016, a developer approached the City of Danville with plans to redevelop Westmoreland Park into apartment buildings. Because of its historical significance in connection with the former Westmoreland Elementary School and Langston High School, residents strongly opposed the project. After development plans were successfully stopped, the Westmoreland Neighborhood Organization focused their efforts on improving their historic park.
The work began in 2017 when the organization conducted a neighborhood survey which confirmed that residents had a strong desire to preserve and update the park. They also applied for and received a Make More Happen grant from the Danville Regional Foundation for $25,000 to hire a consulting firm for planning and design assistance. The resulting master plan utilized resident input to create a vision for the future of the neighborhood park. Located at the center of the neighborhood and adjacent to Head Start and the Westmoreland Senior Apartments, the plan proposes recreation and entertainment opportunities for people of all ages. Planned improvements include an update to the basketball court, installation of new playground equipment, construction of new shelters and seating areas, and the development of a walking path. The plan also proposes ideas for community gardens, fruit trees, an outdoor entertainment area, and an expansion of the park along Poplar Street.
The organization has since partnered with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and connected with some interested sponsors. Clyde McCoy, president of the neighborhood organization, hopes that continued progress on the development of the park will attract additional sponsors that can help the organization complete its improvements. He believes the park will be an important site for recreation and community gatherings for residents of Westmoreland and an asset to the City of Danville.