Typical flora and fauna: 

The following are just a few of our favorite biodiversity highlights found at this park.

See the community submission section below to view additional wildlife sightings found at this park, and submit your own favorite naturalist sightings through iNaturalist!



What plants have you seen here?

General Park Information:

Virginia Lake Park is a 32-acre Reno park with a year-round restroom.

Amenities Include: 

Playground, dog park, exercise court, walking path, picnic shelter, rentable shelter, barbeque area, tables/benches, bird watching, and fishing.


Virginia Lake Park also has a beautiful lake that is home to many different species of waterbirds. Bring your binoculars and explore!


View the slideshow to see some of Virginia Lake Park's amenities!  

Submission Box for Personal Stories/Photos:  

Do you have personal photographs or stories about this park and are willing to share your memories with your community? Stories and photos can be recent adventures in the park, old memories of what the park used to be like, or fond remembrances of what this park has meant to you in the past. Sharing your photographs and memories will help to build our shared history of these important public places.

Click here to submit your stories and photos! 

General History:

Virginia Lake was constructed (1938-39) during the Great Depression as part of the “New Deal” under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to provide jobs constructing the lake. The construction crew started out with 25 men and grew to employ 60 men during Virginia Lake’s development. Through the help of WPA workers, Virginia Lake was dug and filled with water, the storm drains added, the walking path surrounding the lake implemented, park landscape installed, and roads created connecting Virginia Lake to Virginia Street, Plumas, and Moana.


The park landscaping was overseen by the superintendent of Washoe County Parks, John Henry Reeve. Reeve had also helped with the design of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and the Los Angeles Parks District prior to helping oversee the design of Virginia Lake. Reeves transplanted many of the trees and plants at Virginia lake (such as the junipers) from the desert. UNR and many community members donated a bunch of plants which saved on the cost of this parks project. 98% of all the transplanted flora survived, a huge accomplishment and savings.  


Virginia Lake Park Entrance

Image by Haley McGuire 


Submission Box for Biodiversity Sightings:  

Click here to document your own biodiversity observations from this park on iNaturalist.

Any observations noted along the Truckee River, please share with the 

Truckee River Guide project here.  


community submissions 

Biodiversity Submissions:

Community Stories and Photos:


Virginia Lake Park

During the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, I walked around the lake almost every day. One day I was sitting on a bench watching the birds on the island when somebody dropped a piece of bread at my feet as they walked past; I was subsequently swarmed by hungry pigeons. It makes me laugh now, but I was pretty freaked out in the moment. (Also, please don't feed the birds bread!)

Your Name

Virginia Lake Park

Tell us your stories about this park or share your photographs to add to the growing record of our shared park history! 

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volunteer highlights

To view this project, click here.

Doggie Ambassadors Project:

Colleen McClintock:

Colleen McClintock is the Doggie Waste Ambassador for this park. Thank you Colleen for helping to keep Virginia Lake free from dog waste!


To learn more on how you can become a volunteer, click here.

Rephotography Site Steward:

To view this project, click here. 

Susan Palladino:

Susan Palladino is the Site Steward for Virginia Lake Park. She has been involved with The Parks Rephotography Project since 2013. Thank you Susan for your dedication to the Parks Foundation for over four years! Click here to see the collection!


References/more info

General Park Resources:

History  Resources:

  • Nevada Department of Wildlife: History and Park Information.

  • A Walk Around Virginia Lake by the Ol’ Reno Guy.

  • “Virginia Lake Park: A WPA Success Story” by Robert A. Nylen. Article found in A Magazine of Popular History: Nevada, In the West. Number 1, Spring 2010.