Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


July 7, 2012

State park designation — Cavitt’s Creek worthy of consideration

Tazewell County officials are still petitioning the Virginia Department of Parks and Recreation for an official state park designation for the Cavitt’s Creek Recreation Area. Given the number of recent improvements and planned enhancements to the recreational site, it is a request that should be given ample consideration.

A state park designation would provide a welcomed tourism and economic development boon for the county while also serving as another regional attraction for the proposed Spearhead Trail system.

The Tazewell County Board of Supervisors attempted to secure a state park designation for the county park more than a decade ago, but the original request was denied, according to County Administrator Jim Spencer.

Since that time, officials have made numerous improvements to the recreation area, and additional enhancements are planned. Spencer believes those improvements should make the county park a stronger candidate for a state park designation.

The recreation area itself is 164 acres and has a 54-acre stocked lake, nine full-service camping sites with laundry, and primitive camping with bathhouse and shower house facilities.

The county’s recreational development authority also is pursuing seasonal cabins, an amphitheater, and boat rentals at the park as part of the group’s master plan for Cavitt’s Creek.

“We will be petitioning the state Department of Parks and Recreation,” Spencer said. “We will be doing a similar process to what we did last time. We will get the state to come in and look at it, to see if it would be something they would want to do. Tourism and recreation are a big aspect of economic development. We are just starting the process right now and are taking it from there. We are trying to do some research on everything we need to do to pursue this further. We are going to be learning more about the procedural process. It will take a little bit of time.”

The closest state parks in Southwest Virginia at the moment are the Breaks Interstate Park located at the border of Buchanan and Dickenson counties and Hungry Mother Park near Marion.

 “This would be something new for this area,” Spencer said. “It is a very well utilized park, but this could bring more people to Tazewell County there. I would envision if this becomes a state park the state would be spending more money to enhance the amenities that are already there. This has great potential.”

We agree. We believe Cavitt’s Creek would make a wonderful state park. We urge the Virginia Department of Parks and Recreation to give fair and ample consideration to the request by the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors.

A state park would be a wonderful, and long overdue addition, to Tazewell County.

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