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County park system recognized by state

By Staff | Oct 27, 2017

Chronicle photo by Toni Milbourne Jefferson County Parks and Rec staff pose with awards won at the West Virginia Recreation and Parks conference last week. Shown, from left, are David King, Brenda Whittington, Mary Reck, Jennifer Myers, Becki Zaglifa and Terri Burhans.

DAVIS – Jefferson County Parks and Recreation was the recipient of two different awards at last week’s West Virginia Recreation and Parks Association conference held at the Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center last week.

Director Jennifer Myers attended the conference and was honored to accept two awards on behalf of the Jefferson park system and her staff.

Jefferson was presented with the Austin C. Palmer Outstanding Facility Award, which recognizes outstanding facilities serving a large segment of a geographic area that are aesthetically pleasing, show evidence of sound design, are programmed to maximum potential and are in operation for at least one year.

The award was given in recognition of the Jefferson County Community Center which was opened in the late 2000s. The center, Myers shared, is always booked to capacity with a variety of programming in a variety of areas. The center houses a fitness room, a gymnasium and a preschool that meets five days per week.

“We offer so many programs for both children and adults that our center is always booked to capacity,” Myers said.

In addition to the facility award, Jefferson was presented with the Eugene M. Fuller Program Award recognizing outstanding programming of superior quality in promoting activities that are traditionally associated with park, recreation and leisure services or in developing innovative programming ideas.

Myers said that the award was given primarily because of the focus of nature programs at the Parks and Recreation facility last summer.

“We brought the nature element into the program,” Myers explained. “Kids were outside. They got to play with sticks and dirt. They got to play in the mud.”

They also learned beneficial things like what poison ivy looks like and to stay away from it.

The park department had submitted applications for awards; however, Myers had no idea she would come home with two recognitions.

“I am excited for the accomplishments we’ve made,” she said. “The staff here deserves these awards for all the effort they put in. It is nice to receive kudos on a state level.”

Myers, who has been on the parks staff for 18 years, and currently serves as director, said that the park system here is so often compared to neighboring states like Virginia and Maryland who have so many resources to invest in their park systems, that it’s sometimes easy to get discouraged seeing what those facilities can offer compared to Jefferson County.

“It took looking at the rest of our state to see what we do have,” Myers said. “We have great parks and recreation facilities here that many folks in our state do not have.”

Myers saw it as a refreshing eye opener on exactly what the county offers its citizenry in the scope of parks facilities.

“Jefferson County is by far ahead of the game in the state as far as the park systems,” Myers said.

Again, she commended the staff that works diligently to make sure programs are designed to fulfill needs of the community and to make sure all park facilities are kept up to high standards.