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Spring cleaning: Volunteers work to spruce up Morgan’s Grove Park

By Toni Milbourne - For the Chronicle | Apr 2, 2021

Shepherdstown Community Club member Don Davis diligently power-washes the playground equipment at Morgan’s Grove Park on Saturday. Toni Milbourne

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Dozens of volunteers turned out for a clean-up day at Morgan’s Grove Park on Saturday, eager to get the park ready for spring activities.

Every area of the park was worked on, whether it needed cleaning, maintenance or improvements.

Stephanie Unger and her mother, Linda Guild, worked along the park’s stream to clear weeds and debris away, as part of a filter garden.

“We saw it on the park Facebook page that they needed volunteers, so we came out,” Unger said, mentioning the park holds fond memories for her, as she served as a summer camp counselor there for many years. In addition, Unger has helped facilitate Earth Day events at the park over the years.

The area where Unger and Guild were working to clear weeds will be planted with hydrangeas later this spring, which will help cut down on the run-off into the stream, flowing through the park.

Members of the Shepherdstown Rotary were on hand, working beside SCC members to clear out debris from the stream and beautify the park.

SCC board members were kept busy all morning and into the afternoon, as they helped direct and organize the work being done.

Jenny Haynes was, at times, overwhelmed with the community support to help with upkeep of the park. As a member of the SCC’s board, she was on hand all day Saturday.

“We never gave up,” Haynes said of the club taking over maintenance of the park, following years-long contracting of that work to Jefferson County Parks and Recreation. “I’ve cried three times today.”

SCC President Jenifer Wabnitz could also be found around the park throughout the day.

“We have people creating a new volleyball court, cleaning the stream, improving the horseshoe pits and Don Davis is power washing all of the playground equipment,” Wabnitz said, mentioning Davis, a longtime club member, can often be found at the park doing whatever needs to be done.

Wabnitz pointed out a couple of other SCC members who were hard at work — Steve Campbell was busy with his chainsaw trimming trees and Scott Hostler was loading fill-dirt into the scoop on his tractor and delivering it to needed locations along the stream.

Jayden Hill, a member of Boy Scout Troop 142, was busy blowing leaves and small sticks away from the pavilion area. Several other volunteers were busy painting the restrooms and doing general cleaning.

All the efforts put in this past weekend will be evident to park visitors on April 2, when the park officially opens for the season. A ceremony dedicating signage to Henry Willard will begin at noon in the lower parking area. Visitors to the park will also receive free hot dogs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the pavilion, while supplies last.