Curriculum Development
The Johnson T. Janes Park Development Project has been aggressively identifying the biological resources within the park. Fifty-five different plants have been identified through the work of Marilyn Ort, Brad Blaine, and the WV Division of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Program. Additionally, 80 birds have been identified through an avian survey conducted by John Blomberg and his associates. The identification of these resources will help educators, students and others interested know what species they may find in the park.

Initially, the Johnson T. Janes Park Development Project was geared towards finding ways to fill any identified gaps in educational resources available to teachers and students. It was found that the number of available teaching resources in print or through other media is enormous and that there were relatively few gaps. However, it was found that gaps do exist in relating major concepts to specific local conditions. For example, there may be textbooks xand materials found for a major concept like bird identification, yet few resources for birds of West Virginia, and even fewer on the birds of Wood County West Virginia and fewer on birds of Parkersburg, WV. Therefore, it was decided, after much consultation with local educators, that a "Johnson T. Janes Park Resource Guide" would be the best solution. The "Guide" would be a collection of information gathered from the park. Teachers can then pick through the materials within the guide and use it in their classes as per their institutions' guidelines for curricula development. Input is continually sought from teachers, students and other interested parties as to the specific guidelines of what should be included in the "Guide." However, there has been significant input about the need to include a lot of "hands-on" teaching materials.
Service-Learning and Volunteer Opportunity Development
The City of Parkersburg's Johnson T. Janes Park Project is designed to involve citizens of all ages in service-learning and volunteer opportunities at the park. It has been found that for the present time, volunteer opportunities lie predominately in construction-related projects. Trail construction, park designing, planting of trees and other vegetation, water quality monitoring and trash removal are some of the areas that citizens may volunteer to help out with currently. Through services such as these, citizens may learn more about the park and environment in general. Efforts have been made to involve the community in trail construction, exotic invasive plant control, planting of vegetation and stream monitoring. Ideally, outdoor and environmental clubs will spearhead these efforts. However, there have been no clubs or chapters found in the Parkersburg area that are affiliated with a national organization such as The Nature Conservancy, The Audubon Society, Sierra Club and so on. National organizations such as these could provide the logistical support needed to organize events at the Johnson T. Janes Park. Additionally, such organizations could help support curricula development for the park.
Physical Improvements
The City of Parkersburg has coordinated with many agencies regarding the physical improvements to the park. Robert Matthews - AmeriCorps VISTA/Ecological Developer for JTJ Park, the City's Engineering Department, US Fish and Wildlife Service, WV Division of Natural Resources, US Army Corps of Engineers and many others have given significant input regarding the locations and design of trails, parking lot, scenic overlooks and other such infrastructure. A significant amount of research was conducted and compiled in a "Park Master Plan/Resolution" that was passed by the City Council. At around the same time, many ways of funding the park were sought. The Sisters of Saint Joseph Charitable fund granted the City $20,000 and Mrs. Bonnie Stevens Donated $5,000. These funds have been held until a sufficient amount of funds have been collected from charitable foundations and other sources and the logistics of construction have been established. Currently, there is about $100,000 pending in grants. Should the JTJ Park Development Project be awarded these funds, they will be used for constructing access facilities and meeting the other goals for the park.
Create a Marketing and Awareness Campaign for Johnson T. Janes Park
To keep the citizens of Parkersburg informed about JTJ Park developments, the City has been alerting the media of major developments. The Parkersburg Sentinel Newspaper, WTAP television news, as well as this web site serve as venues of park information. When the JTJ Park is made more accessible, there will be signs directing visitors to the area and there have been several groups expressing interest in designing the signs for the park.
2001 The City of Parkersburg
One Government Square, P.O. Box 1627, Parkersburg, WV 26102