By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Now that winter is fading and spring is coming forth, people are putting on their walking shoes and taking their dogs out for a stroll in the fresh air. One favorite place for this activity is Glenwood Recreational Park off Route 20 in Mercer County, so some of its users are hoping to find the money needed to make it even better.
Linda Cheverton, who lives near the park, moved back to Mercer County in January 2012 after being away for about 30 years. She started walking her dog at the park every day, and soon became acquainted with others who use the park for exercise and dog walking. Besides walking her dog, she also takes time to pick up trash.
“I’m not paid to do it. I feel if I use the park for exercise and reflection, I owe it to keep it clean,” she said.
When the weather is good, there are hundreds of people at the park and children on the playgrounds, Cheverton said. Other visitors are fishing, flying kites and playing games. Many county residents use the park, but the facility could use help, she added. The park’s road, picnic shelters, and other facilities need repairs.
“I know it’s costly and I doubt the county has the money,” she stated. “I think that we’re lucky to have what we have.”
To help improve Glenwood Park, Cheverton and other people are urging the public to contribute money for its maintenance.
“Everything we have does come from the county,” Park Superintendent Greg Pruett said of the park’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 a 4-H camp, the park has a total of 368 acres; 55 acres of the park include its lake, he said.
Paving the park’s two miles of road is a high priority, but paving is expensive,” Pruett said. The road has been used for 24 years and has had some patching, but it does need repaving. Park restrooms, opened when the park was opened in the late 1960s, require work.
The park’s personnel are also trying to replace older items such as picnic tables.
“We replaced some last year, and hope to do it this spring, also,” Pruett said. “Our pie is only so big and we try to prioritize each year with the budget we have and purchase things accordingly.”
One new attraction the park personnel are trying to put up this year is a disc golf course, Pruett said. Instead of hitting a ball with a golf club, players throw a Frisbee or other flying disc.
“You play it like regular golf,” he said. “You throw it at a basket, and you count the number of times you throw it. It will have 18 holes. It’s going to be pretty neat.”
Donations are accepted, he said. Checks can be made out to Glenwood Recreational Park and sent to Glenwood Recreational Park, 1823 Glenwood Park Road, Princeton, WV 24739, Pruett said.
Volunteers working at the park would also be helpful, Cheverton said.
“It just seems to me that there are things organizations like Boy Scouts or church groups could do. They’re not terribly hard, like putting down mulch or repairing structures in the little golf area,” she said.