WELLSBURG - Officials with Brooke Hills Park have planned several events and activities for the summer season while working to make improvements there.
Janice McFadden, the park's manager, said the park is undergoing several improvements, with crews and volunteers repainting the pool and picnic shelters, converting the park's tennis courts for basketball, refurbishing the regular and miniature golf courses and adding a fence between the larger course and the park's entrance road.
There also are plans to purchase new playground equipment, she said.
Many of the improvements are being supported by funds derived by a signing fee paid by Chesapeake Energy as part of an agreement allowing the natural gas company to drill in a back area of the park.
"The park board wisely invested a good portion of the money, but it's also putting a lot back into the park," McFadden said.
Walter Ferguson, president of the Brooke County Park and Recreation Commission, said the board is considering various projects, including a waterslide park, that may be supported by revenue generated by any royalties received for gas drilled at the park.
The park also has received a boost from students in the building construction class at Brooke High School. Under the direction of instructor Ralph Smith, the students created signs for each of the golf course's 18 holes that indicate the distance between the tee and hole and the shape of the surrounding terrain.
Ferguson praised the students for the signs' professional quality.
It's the latest of a number of community projects undertaken by the class in recent years. Not long ago the class created wooden coyote-shaped decoys intended to deter geese at the Wellsburg Wharf, city parks and the Wellsburg Middle School football fields at the request of city and school officials.
"We're making changes, little by little," McFadden said of the improvements.
She added, "We're very thankful for the people who come out to support us and the many volunteers who have helped us to prepare for the summer season."
McFadden said the park will be celebrating Father's Day, June 17, with free greens fees for fathers patronizing the golf course and a classic car cruise hosted by the Ohio Valley Mopar Club beginning at 1 p.m.
There also will be a mud bog on the second Sunday of each month beginning this weekend. Registration will begin at 10 a.m., with the event to start at 1 p.m. Admission is $5, with pit passes enabling attendees a closer look at the festivities available for an additional $5.
Participants in the mud bogs will compete for cash and points. For information, call the park at (304) 737-1236.
A night golf scramble also is set for June 30, and two-player teams who register before June 28 will pay $10 less than the $60 fee collected on that night. The cost includes dinner, and winners will receive cash and other prizes.
Registration will begin at 5 p.m., with a shotgun start at 6 p.m. that night.
McFadden said a series of day camps for children will be offered also. The cost is $40 per week for half-day camps for children ages 4-6 and $75 for full-day camps children ages 7-9.
The full-day camps include a visit to the pool. Children for all of the camps are asked to bring a bagged lunch. Parents and guardians should pre-register their children by calling the park.
McFadden said there still are some dates available for shelter rentals for those planning family reunions, church picnics and other events.
She noted the park has a new shelter on the Brooke County fairgrounds near Brooke Hills Playhouse, thanks to a donation from Chesapeake Energy last year.
The pool and paddle boats are open to park visitors from noon to 7 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday. The scenic miniature golf is only manned full-time during those hours, but weekday visitors who want to play there need only stop by the park's clubhouse to gain admission.
McFadden added there also are recreational vehicle and primitive camping sites for those who want to get away and enjoy the park's natural beauty.
The park is on state Route 27, just 5 miles from state Route 2 in Wellsburg, and offers a pleasant outdoor experience without requiring a long drive, she said.
In addition, Brooke Hills Playhouse has announced a full summer season with musicals, comedies and even a classic murder mystery, on the schedule.
The playhouse's production of "Peter Pan" continues at 8 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Sunday. The playhouse's 41st season also will include the sci-fi inspired musical comedy "Zombie Prom," the comedies "The Dixie Swim Club" and "Leading Ladies" and Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" as well as a number of smaller shows to be staged between the major productions.
For information, call the theater's box office at (304) 737-3344 or visit the playhouse's website at brookehillsplayhouse.com.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)