Summer is here, and the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission wants everyone to know that the city’s parks are open for
The Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission (EPRC) operates five parks, which together comprise 70 acres: Bluegrass Park, Davis Street Park, Elkins City Park, Glendale Park, and River Bend Park. This extensive park system is available for picnics, walks, fishing, organized athletics, or just a little peace and quiet. Davis Street Park, Elkins City Park, Glendale Park and River Bend Park all feature children’s play equipment. Glendale Park and River Bend Park have soccer fields, Glendale has a football field, and River Bend has a baseball diamond and two sand volleyball courts. Bluegrass also has a baseball diamond. There is a loop walking trail joining Glendale and River Bend Parks. Glendale, River Bend, and City Park also feature pavilions, which are available for rental. Learn more on this page.
EPRC is also excited to announce the recent hiring of the city’s first youth development coordinator. Owen Peet, a recent Davis & Elkins College graduate, will be leading youth programming in the city’s park system. One of his first big tasks will be running EPRC’s free summer day camp in Elkins City Park for children in grades K-5 (i.e., rising sixth grader this summer). Camp runs June 14-July 30, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm. Lunch is provided. There is no preregistration; children are registered on the first day they attend and then must be signed in and out by a parent or other authorized adult. In inclement weather, activities may shift to the Phil Gainer Community Center for the day (no transportation provided; parents must drop children off and pick them up at PGCC).
A few things to keep in mind:
Restrooms are available at all city parks except Davis Street and Bluegrass. However, at River Bend, portable toilets are temporarily in use because of a sewage-pump failure. They’re working on it!
Glendale is looking better and better with some recent tree plantings and the ongoing installation of boulders donated by the J.F. Allen company. Soon, there will also be a Pollinator Garden near the playground.
EPRC does not run any organized sports activities. However, we are fortunate to have several active leagues:
- Bengals Youth Football (practices at Glendale Park)
- Elkins Little League (practices at River Bend Park)
- Elkins Babe Ruth League (practices at Bluegrass Park)
- Seneca Soccer (practices at Glendale Park and River Bend Park)
- Summer Sand Volleyball League (plays at River Bend Park)
Enjoy your summer–and your parks!
First, the answer to the question on many people’s minds: Restrooms in all city parks will be opened April 1. The “season” for unlocked restrooms in Elkins parks runs April through October.
Why do we wait until April 1?
These restrooms are unheated spaces, so during the off-season the water is turned off at the meter, the water lines are drained, and the drains are filled with antifreeze to prevent damage to the plumbing and fixtures. As a result, it’s not possible to easily open them up on a nice Saturday during the off season, then close them again.
Although Elkins sometimes gets periods of favorable weather before April or after October, it’s too unreliable to count on. But by April 1, we can be pretty sure we’re done with winter–or with the risk of pipe-bursting freezes, at least. As a result, the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission (which has only two year-round employees) budgets for seasonal staff members (who, among other duties, clean, maintain, and lock/unlock restrooms) only for April through October.
That’s why the parks bathrooms won’t be open until April 1.
No announced date for reopening Phil Gainer Recreation Center and Riverbend Park
Elkins, W. Va., May 27, 2020: At a meeting last week, the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission announced reopening steps being taken at city parks and recreation facilities. As reopening proceeds, the commission advises all park users to observe recommended precautions for reducing COVID-19 risk, including distancing from other people, frequent handwashing or sanitization, and the use of masks where distancing may not be practicable.
Playgrounds at city parks are now reopened. Use of playgrounds is at patrons’ own risk. The use of pavilions is discouraged but not prohibited; no reservations are being accepted.
The 2020 summer day camp program has been cancelled.
There is not yet an announced date for reopening either the Phil Gainer Community Center or Riverbend Park.
Please visit www.cityofelkinswv.com/coronavirus for more information about these updates (including copies of relevant orders and guidelines), as well as an overview of COVID-19 response in Elkins and West Virginia.