Larry See

The outlook continues to get brighter, albeit in small increments, on the fight against the corona virus. 

Some of the worst spots in the country, places like New York and New Jersey, are starting to see their numbers of infections and deaths decline, which is good news indeed. 

I even heard Governor Justice say at one of his news conferences last week that school re-openings could be a possibility before the end of the year, which is another good sign. 

All the experts seem to think that the situation will continue to improve with warm weather on the horizon. But for right now, we need to stay in place and wait it out.   

West Virginia continues to be one of the lucky states, with both diagnosed cases and deaths far below the national average. We’ll be glad when this is over that we didn’t get the virus, and especially that we didn’t give it to our kids or to our parents.

Until the Governor’s stay-in-place order is lifted, all parks in Hampshire County are closed. We know this may be inconvenient for many people, but you have to look at the big picture. If one person with the virus climbs up a sliding board ladder, and then ten or twenty other people climb up the same ladder later that day, then we have the potential of spreading the virus to many families, and the HCP&R Board just doesn’t want to take that risk. 

Many of our programs have been postponed or canceled, at least through April. This includes the Gary Crane Cup Golf, our Women’s Self-Defense Course, and rentals at Old Capon Bridge Middle School, Hampshire Park, and Afton and Pauline Malick Central Hampshire Park. If you have a rental at one of those locations that you have already paid for, please contact the HCP&R Office at 304-822-7300, and we’ll make arrangements to get a refund to you. 

Also, the HCP&R Office will only be open on a limited basis. If you have questions, call the office to see if it is open before you come in. If it is closed, leave a message, and we’ll try to answer your questions as quickly as possible. Again, we are sorry for any inconvenience these closings, cancellations, and postponements may cause, but we’ll all be glad when this is over that we erred on the side of caution.

Walk To Be Fit Program

One program that we feel comfortable continuing is Walk To Be Fit, but we will have to change the way we go about it. 

Since most of our distribution points (FNB Bank, the Wellness Center, the Health Department in Augusta, and the HCP&R office) are closed or on an appointment-only basis, you may not be able to register for the program as you have in the past. That doesn’t mean that you can’t participate. 

Now that April 1 has come and gone, which is the official starting date for the program, just go ahead with your walking as you have in the past. If you want an official step-count sheet to record your miles, you can go to the home page on our website, hampshirecountyparks.com, and print one off, or you may simply record your steps on a sheet of paper you find around the house. Hold on to those step-count sheets until this emergency passes, and we’ll collect them then, or you may mail them to us at P.O. Box 213, Romney, WV 26757 if you want to get rid of them. We’ll worry about filling out the registration form at a later date as well. If you don’t have a pedometer, remember that 2,000 steps equal one mile, so just keep track of your steps in your head as you walk and record them when you finish for the day.

We will recognize four milestones this year: 100, 250, 500, and 1,000 miles. Prizes for 2020 will include sling backpacks, stadium blankets, coffee mugs, and portable chargers for your electronic devices.

Walking is great exercise on the path to a healthier lifestyle, and it’s recommended to help fight off the virus. What could be better than receiving some nice prizes for your efforts? That’s what Walk To Be Fit is all about.

New Conference Center at Hampshire Park

Work is steadily progressing on the new Conference Center at Hampshire Park. Financing has been secured from FNB Bank, and Appalachian Engineering Group from Meyersdale, PA, sent the floor plan last week. The HCP&R Board approved those floor plans, and AEG is now at work on the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC plans. Once we have those, work can begin on the interior of the building. 

The 6,600-square-foot conference center will be heated and air conditioned for year-round use and will be available for a variety of functions, including:

4-H Camp

Weddings

Wedding Receptions

Business Meetings

Business Conferences

Family Reunions

Birthday Parties

Baby Showers

Retreats

Camps for Organizations

Anniversary Celebrations

Craft Shows

Class Reunions

Holiday Celebrations

Picnics

If you have questions about the project, or if you are interested in contributing to it, call HCP&R at 304-822-7300, or email us at hampshirecoparks@hotmail.com. o

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