Clarksburg City Parks: With Showcase Sites for Family Fun and Recreation, the Park Board Seems to Be Even Better | Harrison News

CLARKSBURG, WV (WV News) – Veterans Memorial Park is well established in north-central West Virginia as a spring and summer fun spot for family and youth.

From the award-winning 2,000-seat amphitheater to the Splash Zone aquatic facility that features a long slide, lazy river, and plenty of water to splash, the 50-plus-acre facility on Clarksburg’s southwest side is a major asset. drawing card for visitors.






Children enjoy a waterslide at Clarksburg Splash Zone on May 31, 2021.




In addition to the Splash Zone, Amphitheater and Mayor’s Walking Path, Veterans Memorial Park also includes the River Bend Miniature Golf Course, lighted tennis and pickleball courts, six shelters for family reunions, two youth league sized baseball fields, playground equipment, boat launch, fishing pier, trail junction, nine-hole disc golf course, park dog rooms and several bathrooms located throughout the park complex.

But never one to rest on his laurels — or his facilities — Clarksburg Parks Superintendent John Cooper looks to the future, both in terms of his facilities and his own.







John Cooper

Cooper


Cooper, who has worked for the park board for 41 years and has been its chief for 35, knows this will be his last summer in charge. He announced his intention to retire on May 1, 2023.

In some ways, this can be considered bittersweet, as he devoted much of his time to making Veterans Memorial Park, Clarksburg City Park, and a network of community parks the best system in the state.

“I can’t speak highly enough of John Cooper,” said park board chairman John Angiulli. “He’s been with us for 41 years, 35 of them as a director, and he’s given so much of himself, of his family’s time.







John Angiulli

Angiulli


“He will be missed. There is very little he hasn’t seen or solved. But he deserves his time, for himself and his family. We are grateful to have him to show the ropes to the next person.

As the search for the next superintendent continues, Cooper, his staff, and the park’s board have a busy season ahead of them.

From plastering the pool in preparation for the Memorial Day weekend opening, to programming high-quality concerts at The Amp, to maintaining the many grounds of Clarksburg City Park, the season charge of the parks system isn’t in full swing, but it’s definitely kicking into high gear.

“It’s a busy time, but it’s an exciting time,” Cooper said. “We have a great staff, and they work hard to prepare us, from maintenance and repairs to new projects.”







John Cooper and Tessa Fazzini

Recreation Coordinator for City of Clarksburg Parks Tessa Fazzini and Superintendent of Parks John Cooper at River Bend Miniature Golf Course.




Both Cooper and Angiulli praised the work of recreation coordinator Tessa Fazzini, who plays a key role in helping line up high-quality acts for The Amp.

Already on the books for this season are Aaron Lewis (sold-out for June 3), the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (free show, July 2), Chris Lane (mainly general admission tickets available July 8), and Travis Tritt. (July 30).

There will also be a Family Day event scheduled for July 23 that will culminate in a ticketed family concert, Cooper said.

“We could have another great show,” Cooper said. “And we’re working to amplify our series of free Music in the Park events.”

Every summer (unless COVID-19 interferes), the park system offers free concerts featuring local and regional artists, as well as a few tribute bands. It also offers several free movie nights with shows shown on the big screen.

Vision of something better

50 years ago when the park was relocated, commonly known as Riverbend Park, it was a collection of ball diamonds, picnic shelters and playground equipment.

Eventually, city leaders thought a large municipal swimming pool was needed – and it was. And slowly but surely, the renowned Veterans Memorial Park began to take shape.

A few baseball diamonds remain above the hill, but the majority of baseball is now played at Clarksburg City Park.

Today, Veterans Memorial Park is all about the Splash Zone, amphitheater, tennis and pickleball courts, Mayor’s Walking Path, and a quality mini-golf course. Add to that lovely picnic shelters, some designed for small gatherings and others capable of accommodating several hundred, and the park is a busy place most spring and summer days and nights. .







John Cooper

Cooper


“When the pool opens, it’s always busy,” Cooper said. “As long as the weather cooperates, we expect that again this year.”

The amphitheater is packed for large events, but also regularly stays busy with smaller events. It’s available for rent, Cooper notes.

And it is possible that the park will be even busier in the future.

A proposal by the Harrison County Commission to build an additional ice rink and pickleball courts caught the attention of the park board and Cooper.

“We’re in the study phase right now,” Cooper said. “But we have room for it, so why is the county going to look for additional land?”

The ice rink would be located near the aquatic facility while the pickleball courts would be adjacent to the location of the current courts.

“We are advertising for an engineering firm to study the possibility of an ice rink, as well as expanding our pickleball courts,” Angiulli said. “And we are grateful to the Harrison County Commission for working with us.

“Can you imagine how much more use the park would have with a winter feature, plus additional pickleball courts?” said Angiulli.

While Veterans Memorial Park is the perfect place for entertainment and family fun, Clarksburg City Park is well known for its recreational activities.

From spring and fall football to spring and summer baseball, this park is teeming with baseball players and their families.

In partnership with area sports programs, the facility now includes a small indoor practice facility to go along with five baseball diamonds, including one with college or major league dimensions. The large field – Frank Loria Memorial Field – is grassed and in high demand.

There is also an abundance of free space used by football programs, with an array of pitches that can be positioned according to the requirements of the ages involved. One of the football pitches is lit.

“Clarksburg City Park is also a busy facility,” Cooper said. “It just serves a different, more sports-focused purpose. But it’s busy every night in the spring and much of the summer.

Reaching Communities

When residents and visitors think of parks in Clarksburg, the two storefronts are the first that come to mind, but the city has a network of 16 neighborhood parks as well as Lowndes Hill Park, home to the Lookout Civil War era city and trenches. .

Playgrounds are spread throughout the smaller neighborhoods of the city including Adamston, Broadway, Carlisle, Glenwood Hill, Harrison Street, Hartland, Jackson Park, Monticello, Montpelier, Mulberry, NVAC, North Side, North View, the Quarry and Stealey Park.

This network is supported by a city-wide levy, as well as staff-guaranteed grants.

“Per capita, we probably have the most parks in the state,” Angiulli said. “We are grateful to the citizens of Clarksburg, the council and those who saw the need and worked to make this happen.”

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