MARTINSBURG — After a long process of developing the new Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan, Executive Director Bob Williams said the group has adopted a new mission and vision statement, helping the organization to moving forward for years to come.
“It’s taken a long time and a lot of people to get to this point, and we’re trying to approach it from a very strategic perspective,” Williams said. “I think the most important thing that we wanted to go away with and spent a lot of time on was to have a strong mission and vision statement. Those really stand out in terms of where we’re going and of why we exist.
The newly adopted mission and vision statement is as follows according to official MBCPR documents:
Mission Statement — To provide a sustainable parks system that enriches people’s quality of life through participation in recreation, open spaces and natural resources.
Vision Statement—To be a leader in improving and preserving our high-quality, accessible parks, modern recreation and wellness facilities, and healthy programs and services for all.
“You often hear the statement ‘quality of life’ at the county or city level, and it ties directly into that. It’s not a luxury; it’s a way of life,” Williams said. “The vision statement is where we see ourselves in the future, and it helps us move into the next phase, which is the master planning process. This is where we start planning programs, services and facilities like park sites, which we plan to move into.
“We have just completed the community survey and got the final data a few weeks ago. We received over 1,700 survey responses, which is great. We were very intentional about reaching people who are not currently using our facilities.
Williams said the survey responses and community feedback will serve as the basis for developing the vision-related master plan.
“We want to be the leader in providing these facilities and services and making sure they are accessible to everyone,” he said. “In the past, we have missed certain age groups, and the survey shows that there are no programs or services available for certain age groups, in particular the age group 20 -40, as well as other adults, and to reach young people who are not sports oriented We are trying to create more diversity in the programs.
He thanked the community for communicating their needs and wants, and for participating in the survey.
“The master plan is coming, and it will take another six months or so to go through a series of meetings to determine, now that we have our strategy, how we are going to implement it. That’s what the master plan is. “For the master plan, we are working with Michael Baker International as we did with our strategic plan, so it will have the momentum and consistency between the two processes.”
According to the official strategic plan document, the MBCPR is responsible for providing and maintaining a portfolio of “20 clean and safe parks and recreation facilities totaling approximately 440 acres.”
These facilities are located throughout the county, but are primarily concentrated in the city of Martinsburg and nearby areas along the Interstate 81 corridor.
“Two of these facilities – the Berkeley 2000 Recreation Center and the W. Randy Smith Recreation Center – offer indoor space totaling 81,000 square feet that can accommodate a multitude of league and non-league adult and youth program activities, including water sports, basketball, day camps, futsal, gymnastics, floor hockey, floor soccer, karate, pickle ball, senior fitness, volleyball, yoga and Zumba,” the document states. “In addition, the two facilities, in conjunction with Berkeley County Board of Education School Facilities, annually host the BB&T Quad State Basketball Tournaments which draw hundreds of young participants from across the four-state area. .”
The document adds that Poor House Farm Park includes the barn which offers approximately 2,400 square feet of indoor space for weddings, receptions and special gatherings.
In addition, approximately 10,000 children participate each year in more than 30 different educational programs, summer camps and leagues sponsored by MBCPR.
Other services include clubhouse rentals, pools for public swimming and private parties, mini-golf, and multiple active and passive park facilities for recreation and play, according to the document.
“Between 2010 and 2020, population growth in the city of Martinsburg increased by 9.2%, or 1,550 residents, over the past decade,” the document states. “Berkeley County experienced greater growth, with a population increase of 17.2% over the same period. Population growth in the city of Martinsburg and Berkeley County, between 2010 and 2020, has occurred in contrast to the overall population decline of 3% in West Virginia over the past decade.
More information and a full description of MBCPR facilities and programs can be found on its website at www.mbcparks-rec.org/.
“We always want to hear from the community. If you have any ideas or questions, please give us a call,” added Williams.