In 2001, the City of Virginia Beach purchased the 1,422-acre property known as Stumpy Lake from the City of Norfolk through its Open Space Program. Since its purchase, the City has taken a number of steps to both engage the public in discussions on potential future uses and to learn about the property's natural resources and the constraints or opportunities those resources might pose to future recreational activities.

The Stumpy Lake property lies at the head of Gum Swamp, a primary tributary of the North Landing River wetland system, and is comprised of a number of natural and environmental resources such as wetlands, vegetative communities, and wildlife species. 

The Master Land Use and Management Plan seeks to balance limited development and access with the principles of preservation, education, and environmental stewardship to ensure the property continues to provide vital wildlife habitat and environmental benefits. 

Specific recreational use recommendations for the site have been chosen and designed to maintain a careful balance between the need to protect the natural resources on the site and the desire to provide recreational uses for all to enjoy now and in the future. Proposed recreational uses for the property include hiking, birding, and environmental education.

A canoe/kayak launch opened in November 2011 and provides first-time-ever water access to Stumpy Lake. Located just after the causeway from Indian River Road near the entrance to the Stumpy Lake Golf Course, the launch is designed for non-motorized vessels and is fully ADA-compliant. Parking spaces are available for 12 cars and two trailers.