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Shepherdstown Community Club receives help at Morgan’s Grove Park

By Staff | Nov 8, 2019

Jim Bauman, left, and David Cogar trim bushes to clean up Morgan's Grove Park, during the work day on Saturday. Toni Milbourne

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Shepherdstown Community Club’s call for help was met with many volunteers at Morgan’s Grove Park work day on Saturday.

The SCC owns the park, along with the War Memorial Building in downtown Shepherdstown.

Prior to Nov. 1, the club had a contract with Jefferson County Parks and Recreation for the park’s maintenance. Due to an increase in costs and budget cuts this year, JCPR did not renew the contract, leaving the SCC with the responsibility of maintaining the park once again.

SCC President Nancy Stewart had nothing but praise for the department’s work at the park over the past 20 years.

“The Parks and Rec left us in great shape. We are not burdened by anything broken, but we want to get the park cleaned up and ready for the winter season,” Stewart said of the work day. “I’m delighted to see so many people have come out.”

Russ, Jack and Jesse Gann were joined by Eric and Alicia Newman to help load boards and debris, during the work day at Morgan's Grove Park on Saturday. Toni Milbourne

Many community residents, along with Shepherdstown Rotary Club and Shepherdstown Centennial Lion’s Club members, showed up, ready to clean the park entrances, rake leaves, add gravel to the walking trail, trim bushes and clear away branches.

“It helps us get the park ready for winter, but also it gives Shepherdstown, especially people who are new to the area, a chance to visit and get to know the park,” she said. “It shows things from the care side, and not just the recreational side.”

Work day organizer and SCC member Jen Wabnitz was glad to see the progress made throughout the day.

“We want to keep the park as lovely as possible, but that takes effort by a lot of people,” Wabnitz said.

However, with the SCC now having to maintain the park throughout the year, it will need committed volunteers to continue helping at the park and donating money for its maintenance costs.

“It’s very expensive to maintain the park,” Stewart said. “After completing a financial analysis with information from Parks and Rec, we have created a new budget for ourselves. We have determined that for us to maintain the park at a base level will cost approximately $57,000 a year.

“The park is only half of the equation,” Stewart said, mentioning that the club’s funds are stretched between caring for its two historic properties. “The War Memorial Building is 150 years old and is in need of maintenance.”

To help raise funds for both properties, the SCC is announcing a capital campaign, which will be launched at the club’s annual membership meeting on Wednesday. The meeting is open to the public and will be held on the WMB’s second floor.

Stewart said she doesn’t recall a time when the club, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year, has had to hold a capital campaign.

“We will use this as a time to reintroduce ourselves to the community,” Stewart said. “We want to get to know new residents and share all the club means to Shepherdstown.”

For those who wish to make financial contributions, checks may be sent to Shepherdstown Community Club, P.O. Box 463, Shepherdstown, WV 25443.