New boat ramp opens in Smithfield

Published 10:02 pm Friday, July 19, 2019

The Town of Smithfield on Friday cut a ribbon for the new Clontz Memorial Park Public Boat Ramp on the Pagan River.

The new recreational asset was built on 5.7 acres of waterfront land donated by Smithfield Foods Inc. As the only public boat ramp within Smithfield town limits, the property features floating docks, a 25-foot-wide boat ramp, and parking for 30 vehicles and trailers.

“Smithfield Foods is honored to be part of this celebration for our neighbors here in Smithfield,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president of sustainability for Smithfield Foods. “The banks of the Pagan River have been our home since 1936, and we are pleased to help provide even greater access to this beautiful asset that our community is lucky to have in its back yard.”

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“This is prime real-estate in our community, and we’re very appreciative of Smithfield Foods’ generous land donation,” said Amy Novak, director of Smithfield Parks and Recreation. “This property will enable our residents and visitors to experience the beauty we enjoy daily living in Smithfield, and we are grateful to our partners who made the Clontz Park Property a reality.”

Founded in Smithfield more than 80 years ago, Smithfield Foods has grown to become a global consumer packaged goods and protein company with more than 54,000 employees. The company remains headquartered in Smithfield, employing more than 3,000 individuals locally. The boat ramp was made possible through Smithfield’s land donation, as well as through contributions from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the state of Virginia and the Virginia Port Authority.

The Clontz Park Property is located on North Church Street in Smithfield and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, visit