Matt Smith Field Notes Analysis – 2/5/2017

For field work I went to the site of Riverfront Park off of Sophia St. in Downtown Fredericksburg. The primary questions that I asked myself while there were; Who used the land? What are the land uses? What makes the place attractive? What is the layout? All of these questions are of interest because I learned over the weekend that the City is planning on making a full-scale park on that plot of land and the Free Lance Star ran an article on Friday about an archaeological dig at the plot in January.

        I did my observations on Sunday, February 5th from 12:14 pm to 1:23 pm. It was partly sunny, a bit chilly, and breezy. I will try my best to describe the layout, I’ll add pictures of the place for a better understanding,  the plot seems a bit jumbled. The general layout and design of the plot of land is that it is rectangular and seems to divided into three sections: left, center, right. The direction is based on facing the river.  On left side of the plot, is a concrete walkway going diagonally across the land with two benches on either side of the walkway with trees. By the river in the left section there is a fence blocking off the slope to the river.  In the center section of the plot is a paved parking lot and toward the river there is a small concrete walkway and a bench overlooking the river, the fence by the river on the left goes into the center section as well. The right side of the plot seemed to be open land with hay visible on the ground. The land slopes toward the river in a U-shape with no trees and down the slope is a small wooden dock. Further right in the right section is a parking lot that is half paved and too the back it is gravel. A vacant piece of land is there, previous knowledge and from the Free Lance Star article, it was the site of a Masonic Lodge that they recently tore down. By the river there is a small trail going though the thin strip of woods. The main attraction of the land seems to be its location on the Rappahanock River absence of buildings can give it a more natural place and an attraction and use is that it is a place for free parking and has easy access to the city. A few people were at the park during the time I was observing, mostly people were there for recreational purposes (couples taking walks, walking a dog, or taking family photos) or parking. I did notice that there was a proportional number of white and black people using the space but did not observe other ethnicities.




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