BUCKHANNON – Upshur County has hired a new Parks and Recreation director to lead new projects and oversee enhancements across all the parks in the county.
After the Upshur County Commission approved the creation of a full-time position at its Aug. 26 meeting, commissioners gave the greenlights to the hiring of Parks and Recreation director Adam Brumley Sept. 9. He started his new position Sept. 13 and will be the first person to occupy the role since the early 2000s.
Brumley recently discussed his vision for not just what is arguably the most widely utilized park in the county — the Upshur County Recreational Park — but also his ideas for some of the sometimes-overlooked parks, including Pringle Tree Park, Historic Fidler’s Mill, James W. Curry Park in Brooks Hill and Upshur County Youth Camp in Selbyville.
“This position became available, and I’ve always had ideas and plans to renovate the [Upshur County] Recreational Park; I want to make it a place people are drawn to,” Brumley said. “In my eyes, I see people going to other communities and I have to ask myself, ‘Why?’ and find those answers. Those answers are still going to come to me as we progress.”
Brumley, who grew up in Buckhannon, said he has the most experience with the Upshur County Recreational Park in Tennerton but looks forward to evaluating all the parks in the county.
“I’m a little unfamiliar with places such as Pringle Tree, but it’s definitely nice out there,” Brumley said. “It has plenty of room to expand and host great activities, and developing some of these activities is one of my main goals. It is further out and people might not know where it is, but I’d like to create some community engagement out there. That would be a big thing for us.”
Brumley, who previously served as head swimming coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College, does hope to make several improvements to the Upshur County Pool before next summer.
“I’d like to be able to continue improving those inflatables that we have. We are working on that right now, and another issue that is pretty urgent is the diving boards. They need to be replaced, and some umbrellas need some cosmetic work done to make the place look a little bit more appealing,” Brumley said. “I’d like to get a better lifeguard stand, because as we know, they’re old and raggedy, so if we can upgrade some of these cosmetic things, make it more viable for people, more enjoyable to look at, I think it will make a big difference.”
He hopes his new position will help the pool stay open further into August, even after school starts up.
“I’ve been working with other directors in the surrounding areas is, just trying to see how they’ve been doing and how we can keep improving to stay open with everybody else, because those are some of the people that we are losing business to, so I certainly believe that we can stay open a little bit longer,” Brumley said.
He looks forward to working with the volunteer trail group, Upshur County Trails, and hopes to boost community engagement.
“We have a great group of people that we’re working with, and we certainly have a lot of ideas that we need to get done and want to get done,” Brumley said. “At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to engagement as well, because we can have all these ideas, but if we don’t have the support, it’s going to be difficult.”
Overall, Brumley is optimistic about the potential Upshur County parks hold.
“That’s going to be one big thing that I’m going to be trying to do is to really reach out and create communications with a lot of these other companies and businesses to try to get some support in that direction,” Brumley said. “If you look at other counties, they have a large resource pool they can pull from, and being smaller, certain hurdles like that are hard, but I think we can come together make it happen.”