Berkeley County growth could bring more parks and recreation

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — Berkeley County has an ambitious plan to expand its green space to accommodate the robust influx of new residents in the heart of West Virginia’s eastern panhandle.

The north and south ends of the county are prime targets for more outdoor recreation acreage to facilitate picnic areas, paddle boating, trails, miniature golf and swimming pools.

A bill pending in the state legislature would dedicate $1 a year for the next decade to proceed with the plan. A similar bill last year died in the Senate Finance Committee in the rush to adjournment.

Martinsburg city councilman Kevin Knowles says this is a logical step to follow from the business expansion of major employers like Clorox and Macys and Proctor & Gamble.

“Look at our proximity to I-81 and the quality of living here,” says Knowles. “It just makes sense that we anticipate the need for this to enhance the experience of making the eastern panhandle home.”

On an unseasonably warm February afternoon, Josh Leonard from Inwood was playing on the swing-set at Memorial Park off Tennessee Avenue in Martinsburg. “It’s great to have a family environment like this, says Leonard. “To be able to bring your kids here and have this family time at an outside park. It’s a great way to spend some time outdoors here.”

The anticipated funding from the legislature should be decided by the middle of next month.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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