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Rotary plans park project

By Staff | Mar 2, 2009

Plans to clean up and beautify Rumsey Monument Park off Mill Street were discussed at the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting Tuesday at Town Hall.

The beautification process, planned by the Shepherdstown Rotary Club, consists of three phases. The first phase will begin after a tentative budget is organized and sufficient support is obtained.

During Phase I, the Rotary Club hopes to clear out the brush on the Rumsey Monument property and trim the trees on the riverside. Professionals will also remove branches to open up the park view, while maintaining sufficient shade.

“This will be spectacular if it’s done right,” added Hank Walter, a Rotarian and manager at the Cress Creek housig subdivision.

Along with these improvements comes the need for new signs. The Rotary Club is proposing signs be placed around downtown Shepherdstown to direct visitors to the park.

Cleaning up Rumsey Park is not only encouraging physical improvements; entertainment is another priority in this process, Walter said. Phase I includes the proposal of outdoor performances, a concert series in the park. If approved, these performances will take place during the summer, in July, August and September.

The ultimate goal, according to Parks and Recreation chairman Howard Mills, is to “make people want to look at Rumsey [park].”

A recent and growing concern is the decline in business on German Street. The hope is that more tourists will visit and increase business if there is a beautiful park to see and entertainment available.

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Also on the agenda was the proposal of ideas for the Shepherdstown community garden. Currently, students at Shepherd University are organizing a group to improve and maintain the vegetable garden plots. The first steps that need to be taken are defining its physical boundaries and renewing the lease, Parks and Recreation members said. No official decisions were made Tuesday about the garden.