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Danville Parks and Recreation today reopened Abreu-Grogan Park on Memorial Drive to the public, and the department will hold its first program at the park on Saturday, Aug. 9.
The program will feature boating demonstrations from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For just $5, the public can try out all of the watercraft in the department’s fleet. For more information, call 799-5215.
The city closed the park on April 1 to allow Duke Energy and its contract crews to use it as a base of operations for removal of coal ash and sediment that accumulated near the Schoolfield Dam.
The deposit of coal ash was located on the north bank of the river, across from the park. It spanned 350 yards by 20 yards. Coal ash was released into the river after a pipe under the main coal ash pond at Duke Energy’s shuttered Dan River Steam Station -- located 20 miles upstream from Danville -- broke on Feb. 2.
Duke Energy and its contract crews mobilized in April, erecting a security fence and bringing a barge and vacuum dredging and dewatering equipment to the park. Dredging operations begin on May 6 and ended on July 3. Since then, Duke Energy has removed its equipment and restored the park to its original condition.
The park features a boat access ramp and a boathouse. The boathouse is open seasonally and allows water sports enthusiasts to rent a canoe, stand-up paddleboard or kayak hourly, daily or for the weekend. Danville Parks and Recreation also uses the park as a river access point when it conducts water recreational classes.