WHITESVILLE -- The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group announced that it plans to build a new riverfront park at the former site of a public pool in Whitesville, near the Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial.
The group has again partnered with Rob Dinsmore, UBB Miners Memorial designer, and Chapman Technical Group to plan the new park.
The Coal Heritage RiverWalk will be a nod to the state’s rich coal heritage. It will include two picnic pavilions, a stage and a riverfront walking trail. Green space at the park is designed to be used for community movie nights, concerts and annual events.
Future expansion could include a structure that will serve as a museum. All structures will have details that are reminiscent of the bygone era of the coal company store.
Renderings and more details of the new park will be released in the coming weeks.
The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) and was formed in 2011.
To introduce the public to the Coal Heritage RiverWalk plans, the group partnered with Catholic Charities of West Virginia to host the first ever Health & Wellness Expo in the area. It will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., April 25, at the Raleigh-Boone Technical Center (former Pettus Grade School) gymnasium. Renderings of the new park will be on display at the Expo.
An area inside the gym has been designated as a walk track which the UBBMMG, Inc. is sponsoring. Anyone who walks a mile the day of the event will receive a T shirt and pedometer. They will also be entered to win a gift certificate for a pair of athletic shoes. The event is free and open to the public.
The Expo will offer seniors, children and families information and practical tools in becoming more engaged in their own health and well-being.
Catholic Charities WV Western Regional Director Elizabeth Hardy noted, “Although there are many opportunities in the urban areas for this kind of event, it is the rural areas that seem to be missed opportunities where there is a much greater need.”
Sue Pauley, Whitesville-Pettus Outreach Coordinator, added, “Our Health & Wellness Expo will be free to the public and allow our families in this community to have access to free screenings and educational materials.”
The event will have door prizes, healthy snacks, commemorative T-shirts and STUFFEE®, the medical teaching doll with removable organs from the Clay Center.