The Park Story
Windsor Castle Park became a reality as the result of the vision of Joseph W. Luter lll, founder and former CEO of Smithfield Foods. The nature of his business required a considerable amount of travel across the country and he had seen way too many cities and towns consumed by development and urban sprawl. For several years, he lived in New York City and came to appreciate Central Park --considered one of the urban wonders of the world -- a green oasis in the great concrete, high-rise landscape. The park is such a natural part of the Manhattan environment that many people may not realize it is entirely man-made.
It was the opportunities, lost forever, of far too many communities to set aside land for recreational use that led Mr. Luter to consider purchasing property in his beloved hometown for park development. In March 2009, he donated the staggering sum of $5,000,000 to the Town of Smithfield to acquire 208 acres of land known as Windsor Castle Farm for just such a purpose. During the construction process he realized the true gem that was in the making and contributed an additional $2,200,000, for a grand total of $7,200,000 towards the park's development.
Construction of the park actually began on March 23, 2008, and was completed in the record time of just over one year. The park was dedicated in a ceremony on May 22, 2010 with congratulatory remarks by Governor Robert McDonnell.
Windsor Castle Park has partnered with the Virginia Master Naturalist Historic Southside Chapter to produce "Nature in the Park," an online guide to the natural resources of Windsor Castle Park.
Click here to visit the website NatureinWindsorCastlePark.com.