Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 23, 2014

Glenwood Park: Facility updates merit support

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — It can be argued that Glenwood Recreational Park is one of Mercer County’s greatest treasures. Nestled off of Route 20, it is a popular gathering site for families across the region. And when the weather is nice outside, it is not unusual to see hundreds of families with their children at the park and playground areas. Others will often use the park for exercise, dog walking and other activities.

Glenwood Park is a well utilized and very popular recreational area for Mercer County. We are very fortunate to have it. Unfortunately, time has slowly taken its toll on some of the equipment and facilities at the recreational area. That’s why a welcomed push is underway to raise funds to help purchase new equipment and assist with maintenance of the facility. This can be accomplished through two means: The first is through donations from the public; the second would be through additional financial support by the Mercer County Commission.

“Everything we have does come from the county,” Park Superintendent Greg Pruett said of the facility’s budget. “We rent the shelters and have gate admissions to help pay the salaries of our summer employees. We get some out of the county’s hotel/motel tax, and we try to do what we can, but our budget is limited.”

Including the 4-H camp, the park has a total of 368 acres. Fifty-five acres of the recreational area include its lake. That is a lot of land to maintain with limited staffing and funding.

Staff at the recreational site also are charged with keeping two miles of road at the park paved. But paving can be expensive, as correctly noted by Pruett. The road has been used for 24 years and has had some patching, but it does need repaving. Park restrooms, which have been in use since the park was opened in the late 1960s, also are in need of work.

Pruett said the park’s personnel also are trying to replace older items such as picnic tables. He adds that they are hoping to add a new attraction to the site this year, a disc golf course. This is a game played like golf, but instead of hitting a ball with a golf club, players throw a Frisbee or other flying disc.

Donations to help improve the park are being accepted. Pruett says checks can be made out to Glenwood Recreational Park and sent to Glenwood Recreational Park, 1823 Glenwood Park Road, Princeton, WV 24739.

It is our hope that citizens in the region will be willing to help with these needed upgrades.

In the meantime, we also would strongly encourage the Mercer County Commission to take a second look at its budget. We, along with hundreds of families across the region who utilize this facility, believe the Glenwood Park Recreational site certainly merits renewed support and attention from the commissioners.