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East End Playground, Valley Fork Park Are Upgraded

When I’m on my daily walk at Valley Fork Park in Moundsville with my dog, it always seems like I come up with something, the majority of which deals with the past.

Well, it just so happened this past Wednesday morning thatmy thoughts dealt with what I’m always referring to as the East End Playground.

As you might remember, a year or so ago City Manager Rick Healy came up with “Bring Back East End Playground,” with which members of city council agreed.

The most recent addition to the facility is a walking trail which starts near the front door of Four Seasons Pool and proceeds southward to Fourth Street, then east to Railroad Avenue, north on Railroad Avenue to Jackson Street and Railroad. If you do this you will have one half-mile under your belt. You may also walk your dog on this trail as there are provisions of “dog waste bags” along with disposal cans on the trail.

Before I proceed, not in walking but about the area of the trail, if you have been around for a number of years you probably remember that there was a small tributary that carried water from north of the playground along with water from off of the hillside across from the playground, with the water going under Fourth Street and on to Middle Grave Creek.

A number of years ago the tributary was culverted, and now you don’t even know where the tributary was.

In that same area there were weeds growing on city property, and thus a couple of years ago it was decided to cut the weeds and keep that area cleared by mowing, and lo and behold there was land which city officials agreed could become sites for benches, picnic tables, etc.

Getting back to my visit, Recreation Director John White was more than happy to give me a tour of not only the new trail, but the other area of “playground.”

You might wonder why would someone need to have a tour of an outside area. Well here’s some of the reasons:

There are two basketball courts, a hockey court and a skateboard court.

White also pointed out in the past year new playground equipment has been installed, along with a new and larger shelter. The maintenance building is currently undergoing upgrades for both men and women, along with the construction of a handicapped restroom for men and women.

White also stated that the nearby Four Seasons Pool was having all of its doors and windows replaced, that work having already begun.

As you can see, this facility is no longer a playground for youngsters, but instead has been updated as a facility for persons of all ages.

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While on the subject of recreation, the Park View Playground has a new attraction.

In addition to swings and other playground equipment, there were a basketball court and a tennis court, but as of a week ago or so, there is now a basketball court and a pickleball court.

In case you haven’t heard of pickleball, it is described as a fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It can be played as doubles or singles. It is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.

It was invented in 1965 and is governed by a United States Pickleball Association.

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Also, the the obstacle course at Valley Fork Park will be ready for use on Monday.

Recreation and street commission workmen have installed rope beams on portions of course.

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Kara Gordon, the Preserve WV AmeriCorps member at the Cockayne Farmstead in Glen Dale, was the speaker this past Tuesday at the Moundsville Lions Club.

Gordon’s talk dealt with some of the projects and events that are going on at the Farmstead. The Farmstead, like other attractions, had to close its doors because of COVID-19, and since its reopening has been branching out digitally.

Three of the branches are: a Tunnel video; a homemade mascot whose name is “Bennett the Sheep;” and a new scavenger hunt for kids at the Farmhouse.

Gordon said, “We’ve also been exploring new things to offer visitors outside, one being a Victory Garden.” She told the Lions Club members that she had picked eight squash, a zucchini, turnips, two bags of green beans, a bowl full of strawberries, and a couple cucumbers, the previous day. She noted that there was a pumpkin that is talking over the entire garden, watermelon, sunflowers that are about nine feet tall, tomatoes, eggplant, kohlrabi, onions, broccoli, popcorn, herbs, beans and carrots.

Gordon also invited the members, along with anyone else, to attend the “Hungry for History” speaker series held every Thursday at noon at the Farmstead through Aug. 27. Two of the speakers, Stan Stewart, July 23, and Gary Rider, Aug. 6, are Lions Club members. On July 30, several area youngsters will take part in a “Life as a Cockayne Kid” program. The Aug. 13 program will be: Oglebay Good Zoo, Zoo to You!. C.J. Plogger will review part of his book about the former West Virginia Penitentiary on Aug. 20 and the final series will be by Sean Duffy, about a mine disaster in Benwood.

Also, she stated that actually the final program will include a walking tour at Mt. Rose cemetery from 10-11:30 a.m., on Sept. 12, offered by Jim Stultz.

Gordon, a material culture and textile historian, is serving her second year as a Preserve WV AmeriCorps member at Cockayne Farmstead. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheeling Jesuit University and a master’s degree in public history from West Virginia University. She also spent a summer in Colonial Williamsburg, learning to study and recreate historical clothing, and will complete her service as an AmericCorps member at the end of August, at which time she will take over the position of site manager at the Farmstead.

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The Marshall County Family Resource Network will be partnering with the Mountaineer Food Bank for another Mobile Food Pantry serving Marshall County residents from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Thursday in the side parking lot adjacent to Four Seasons Pool, at the corner of Railroad and Jackson Streets.

Families are invited to drive up and receive a free box that will be placed into their vehicle. One box will be given per family, while supplies last.

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Not too many people receive congratulations for one year on the job, that is unless you happen to be Tom Cook.

The Marshall County Health Department staff placed on Facebook this past week that Cook had reached the one year mark. It has been a busy year for Cook and his staff as the result of COVID-19.

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Moundsville Veterans Foreign War Auxiliary No. 437 has elected new officers for 2020-21.

The officers and committee members are:

Kathy Gill, president; Ethel Peggy Ullom, Sr. president; Donna Zelinski, Jr. president/1 year trustee; Patricia Wnek, secretary/cards/Mound View; Della Deskins, treasurer/membership/media publicity/historian; Melvin Crow, conductor; Margaret Stern, guard/legislator/veterans and family; Beth Maheny, 2-year trustee; John Vitiello, 3-year trustee/coupons; Mary Lemasters, VA Hospital Clarksburg; Judy Wellman, youth.

Although the auxiliary is not meeting at the present time due to the coronavirus, it is welcoming new members, males and females, who must be over 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and joining under a veteran who has served in a foreign war.

Those sponsoring new members should contact Della Deskins at 304-810-5192 or by email at djd_his2008@yahoo.com.

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Although the Marshall County Fair has been canceled, the Junior Livestock Show and Sale will go on at 6 p.m. on Friday as scheduled at the Fair’s Halley Hubbs Arena.

The show and sale will involve 4-H and FFA members along with their families.

The show and sale will also include online bidding.

Earlier in the week, the animals will be judged, which will consist of steers, hogs and lambs.

Those at the fairgrounds will be required to follow guidelines set forth by Gov. Jim Justice. Planners for the show and sale have met with a representative of the Marshall County Health Department pertaining to the number of participants, with a member of the MCHD to be in attendance.

In past years there have also been auctions of rabbits and goats, however, this year those connected with this show and sale did ask to be ask to hold such an event.

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