How the park came into being
On November 4, 1970, John C. Janes, Orga E. Janes, Herman Marshall and Marjorie L. Marshall donated the approximately 36 acre property now known as Johnson T. Janes Park to the City of Parkersburg for use as a park and recreational area. On October 13, 1992 Article 959.11 of Ordinance 0-677 was passed which made Johnson T. Janes Park a nature preserve and conservation park. The City of Parkersburg wrote a grant to the Corporation for National and Public Service for the utilization of an AmeriCorps Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA) member to facilitate the development of the park in June of 1999.

In December of 1999, the grant was approved and the first meeting of the Johnson T. Janes Park Advisory Board was held and consisted of community leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise. On January 28, 2000, Robert Matthews was awarded the AmeriCorps VISTA position and during the year 2000, extensive research was conducted concerning access, trail systems, flora, fauna, ADA requirements, curricula and available grants to fund the project. A park proposal was developed from this research and presented to City Council on January 9, 2001. City Council voted to pass this proposal to the Public Works Committee, which suggested that City Council adopt the proposal.

Approval for the Johnson T. Janes Park proposal was granted on January 23, 2001. Robert Matthews completed his term as AmeriCorps VISTA for the City on June 8, 2001. In July, 2001 Brad Blaine succeeded Matthews as Ecological Developer for the Johnson T. Janes Park and will serve a minimum of one year as per AmeriCorps VISTA term requirements. Since his start, Blaine has furthered the development goals of the Johnson T. Janes Park. Extensive networking from a variety of agencies, applications for grant funding for the park and biological surveys are but a few of the activities revolving around the development of Johnson T. Janes Park.
2001 The City of Parkersburg
One Government Square, P.O. Box 1627, Parkersburg, WV 26102