PRINCETON — Creating an outdoor venue for music festivals and other events is one of the improvements being contemplated for Glenwood Park in Mercer County.
Glenwood Park once had an outdoor stage, but a new one is being considered, Park Superintendent Kevin Dials said. It was located in the park’s large central field now ringed by three picnic shelters and featuring a playground.
“We’ve had some discussion about a stage,” he said. “We had one in the past on top of the hill there. We’d like to see that happen again. I think we could do well with an outdoor venue for bluegrass and some other kinds of music. We’d like to see what we would have in that, at least. Once we determine the size and scope of what we want to do, we could do something to complement the area.”
The old stage’s former location is the most likely setting for a new outdoor venue, Dials said.
“It’s probably our best option because of the lay of the land. It would be perfect for gradually-elevated seating, kind of an amphitheater kind of seating,” he stated. “Camp Creek (State Park) has a really nice stage, and I think we could do something rivaling that almost; but I think our land is a little better sloped. You could allow for multi-level seating. That field has just enough of a crown, so it would lend itself well to that.”
County Commission President Gene Buckner said an outdoor venue for special events was among the improvements the county was seeking to make at Glenwood Park.
“They’re building one new shelter, and we’re looking at upgrading the sewer system at the park,” Buckner said.
Another facet of the overall improvement plan includes refurbishing Glenwood Park’s playgrounds. Buckner said playground equipment acquired from a putt-putt golf course that once operated near Bluefield High School could be added to the park’s course. County Administrator Vicky Reed has been seeking grants to buy more playground equipment which could be installed near the park’s Route 20 entrance.
“We have applied for some grant money to either add to or replace some playground equipment that we have,” Dials stated. “There are a few pieces that are damaged and need fixed or replaced. And then in past we had a very large twisty slide. There seems to be a lot of people who kind of miss that slide. That was sort of our icon out here. We may want to look into getting one of those.”
The putt-putt course at the park’s Route 20 entrance can use some surplus equipment acquired from a course that once operated in Bluefield. Dials said he would like to do even more to refurbish the park’s course.
“The course needs new carpet, timber along the edges and things like that,” he stated. “That part doesn’t get a break. It stays there all winter and all summer.”
Another project is aimed at improving Glenwood Park’s sewer system.
“We’re into a situation where we’re paying quite a lot of money to have our restroom tanks pumped regularly, so we are working with Green Valley Glenwood PSD to install some pump stations to pump that sewage down the line to their treatment facilities in Glenwood,” Dials said. “The (county) commission is working on getting bids on the equipment and the labor to install it.”
Dials said he is now deciding what other improvement projects to proceed with first.
“I’ve actually got a lot of plans, but I’m not sure which ones we’re going to work on first. I kind of want to finish things that are half-finished like that picnic shelter we’ve started. I’d like to get that done and there’s a lot of just kind of delayed maintenance stuff. We’ve got repairs that need to done at a lot of facilities and the 4–H Camp as well; flooring in one of the bathrooms, a little bit of roof patching here.”
“This time of year, myself and Gavin Hager are the only two employees,” Dials said. “We’re picking and choosing projects we can work on until we get the rest of our crew back (in the spring). We may get back one gentleman this month to help with projects outside.”
There was a First Day Hike at Glenwood Park on New Year’s Day, and Dials hopes to offer more hikes throughout the year.
“One thing I’m doing is more monthly hikes,” he said. “We did the First Day Hike and I’m going to try to do one every month. For February, we will do Valentine for a Vulture, and I would plan to talk about turkey vultures, black vultures and other scavengers. We have a plethora of them, I’ve already noticed.”
The Valentine for a Vulture Hike is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, starting at 2 p.m. in the 4-H Camp.
— Contact Greg Jordan at email@example.com