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Martinsburg's Ambrose Park gets major renovations and upgrades

June 23, 2013|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • George Morris, a maintenance worker for the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board, grades a path for a new sidewalk Thursday at Ambrose Park in Martinsburg, W.Va. New pavilions, a parking lot and a dog park are among improvements planned for the park.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Ambrose Park, a four-acre tract that was designated a public park by city officials in 1975, is undergoing major renovations and upgrades that are expected to greatly increase its use by nearby residents.

More than $300,000 in federal, state and local funds are being pumped into the improvements, said Steve Catlett, executive director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board, which operates and maintains the city-owned facility.

The work is expected to be finished in time for a September dedication, Catlett said.

New key elements of the project include replacing an old, large pavilion with a new one; adding a second smaller one; $100,000 in new playground equipment in a new, larger play area; and a major addition, a 110-by-300-foot dog park, the first in the city or county.

The dog park will be divided into two play areas for small and big dogs.

Parking improvements include repaving the old parking lot and constructing a new 12-car lot on the west side of the park to allow for a second entrance off Wall Street.

Wide, handicap-accessible sidewalks are under construction, including one that leads to the large pavilion.

One of the more interesting features of the project, Catlett said, will be the construction of a children’s garden. The 70-by-150-foot garden will be an educational and recreational setting with trees, rocks and plants focusing on ecology, plus a gym and earthen mound for climbing, Catlett said.

“When it’s all finished, it will mean that all of the park’s acres will be completely utilized,” he said. “The park is open to all city and county residents, but it’s near the West End residential areas like the Senior Towers Apartments and the Porter Avenue projects. It’s also close to two West End schools, Winchester Avenue and Rosemont elementary schools.”

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