You know staff really love their park when they sound broken hearted when the park sustains massive damage. I heard it in Park Manager Josh Ellington's voice the night it happened when he called me to tell me about the tornado that hit Staunton River State Park. It wasn't the incredible amount of work and overtime involved to get it right (and that's an understatement) – it was like the loss of a family member. Josh was not at all optimistic about when the park might reopen when I talked to him that night.
Park staff from across the state and many volunteers came together in a way that is some typical for them and something magic happened.
This past weekend most of the major park facilities were open for business just a little over a month after the tornado left 103 acres scarred. Camping reopened yesterday and the swimming pool and snack bar will be open Saturday, May 28, 2011 just like every year! The park's trails still need more work though and will be closed until we can finish clearing the debris. These will be opened as they become available for use.
The Pool and Snack Bar will open May 28, 2011!
So, come on out toe Staunton River State Park this weekend to show your support for the park and its amazing staff. And, don't forget the 75th anniversary celebration on June 18th.
Here is the park's entry in the contest we are having between our parks for best birthday video. You can see the damage and the clean up effort and all the reasons to come out and enjoy the park Where Everybody Knows Your Name!