Where is the park?
Johnson T. Janes Park is a 36 acre park that lies within the northeastern portion of Parkersburg city limits. Located just south of Worthington Golf Course on 36th Street, it has as its western boundary a creek of the same name. To the east, there is a neighborhood of several houses along Randolph, Pineview and Millbrook Drives. Currently there is no access to the park other than by foot. Access is one of the key objectives of the JTJ Park.
What will be offered at Johnson T. Janes Park?
Johnson T. Janes Park has been established as a nature preserve. As such, there will not be any major facilities like swimming pools and playground equipment as with other parks in Parkersburg. The facilities for the park are drawn on the Master Plan for the park and include a parking lot, rough trails, boardwalks and interpretive signs to name a few.
Why should the Johnson T. Janes Park be built?
There are many reasons why the 36 acres encompassing the park should be used as a nature preserve. 

First, there is a 185 acre deficit in the amount of land that should be used for parks in Parkersburg. Researchers in the discipline of parks and recreation use a 10 acre per 1,000 residents ratio to determine the amount of land municipal planners and developers should allot to park facilities. Parkersburg's population as of 2000 was 33,099 residents and therefore has a need for 331 acres, yet currently has only about 146 acres thus creating the aforementioned 185 acre deficit. By making JTJ Park accessible, this deficit can be decreased. 

Second, the activities offered at JTJ Park are demanded by residents in this region. The State of West Virginia created a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan to identify recreation needs as well as recommend ways of meeting them. This plan found that jogging/walking, sightseeing, picnicking and birdwatching were among the top 10 activities demanded by residents in the Parkersburg region. JTJ Park will provide for these and other activities. 

Third, by developing the park into a nature preserve, it helps the City meet the best "land-use" strategy for the area. Literally dozens of environmental and natural resource professionals that have been on-site recommend the creation of a nature preserve for the 36 acres encompassing JTJ Park. Much of this information can be viewed in the Soil Survey. Furthermore, zoning and building regulations prevent building any houses or similar structures below 600 ft. elevations. Johnson T. Janes Park is entirely below 600 ft. elevation. Therefore, by making JTJ Park a nature preserve, the City of Parkersburg is meeting the best land-use strategy for the area. 

Finally, as ecologists and other natural science professionals have persistently and correctly demanded, there is a need to curb urban sprawl. Urban sprawl is the consumption of open land areas, such as parks, forests, and agricultural land for urban development to include such things as roads, housing divisions and so on. According to the Sierra Club, urban sprawl consumes more than 1 million acres per year of parks, farm and open space in America. Though in some areas, it is more pronounced than other. For example, in West Virginia's neighbor state of Maryland, projections outlined by Edward McMahon - an writer for Planning Commissioner's Journal- show that there will be as much land consumption in the next 25 years as the total amount of land consumed in the first 300 years. This will result in a loss of over 500,000 acres for Maryland. Even locally urban sprawl can be seen with the US Route 50 Corridor D expansion, albeit on a comparably smaller scale. There will be a total over 400 acres consumed by construction and improving US Route 50. Urban sprawl has been such a big issue, that it was even posed to the Year 2000 Presidential Election candidates Texas Governor, George Bush Jr. and Vice President Al Gore during their campaign. By creating the Johnson T. Janes Park, the City of Parkersburg will ensure that there will always be a natural setting for future Parkersburg generations.
How will the Johnson T. Janes Park Development Project be funded?
Though the City of Parkersburg administers the Johnson T. Janes Park Development Project, funding for building park facilities comes from donations, grants from charitable foundations as well as grants from state and federal agencies. Because grants and funding continue to be cut on a number of fronts, funding for the capital projects at Johnson T. Janes Park has been relatively limited and construction has been slow to follow.
How can I help the Johson T. Janes Park Development Project?
Citizens interested in helping out with the JTJ Park Development project should contact the AmeriCorps VISTA that administers the project. Brad Blaine currently serves in this position and he may be reached at (304) 424-8519 in the City's Development Department. If you would rather fax, or write, the pertinent information is given in the Contact us page. He notes that any assistance is helpful. Monetary donations, though helpful, are not the only way to help out. As the park has been idle for nearly 30 years, much work has to be done. If you enjoy creating trails, picking up trash, learning about the environment or simply enjoy the outdoors please call and ask how you may be of assistance. Suggestions are also welcomed and strongly encouraged.
2001 The City of Parkersburg
One Government Square, P.O. Box 1627, Parkersburg, WV 26102