STEPHENS CITY — A ribbon-cutting ceremony for new amenities in Sherando Park’s northwest section was held Tuesday morning.
The area features a new access road and entrance on Warrior Drive. Inside the entrance, there’s an $84,000 outdoor fitness gym installed by Greenfields Outdoor Fitness Equipment, plus heated restrooms installed for $104,000 by Smith Midland. There’s also a new parking lot with about 50 spaces.
Frederick County parks officials added the new entrance and parking to alleviate parking along Warrior Drive by park users.
The outdoor gym opened in September, when construction of the entryway was completed by Kickin’ Asphalt Paving & Excavating LLC for $527,200. The restrooms were completed in October.
“It’s definitely something people use,” Frederick County Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Jon Turkel told about 25 people who attended the ceremony for the park’s new area. “If you were out here yesterday, this place was full.”
Parks Director Jason Robertson called the new addition “fantastic.”
The county’s Parks and Recreation Department received a $340,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Recreation Access Program to help pay for the new entrance and access road. Roughly $375,000 of the project’s cost was funded by the parks department.
Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Charles Sandy called those involved with the project “visionaries” because they see the recreational opportunities the park can provide the community.
“This is your park,” Sandy said. “Take care of it. Enjoy it. It’s going to be yours for a lifetime.”
Bob Wells, who represents the Opequon District on the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, said when businesses are considering locating in the county, parks and recreational facilities are a top priority.
“People who move a business here want their folks to live here and stay here and be happy working in the business,” Wells said. “And if they are not comfortable working in the area, they leave to go somewhere else.”
More amenities are planned for the park’s northwest section.
In December, the parks department will learn if it received a $10,000 grant from Colorado-based PeopleForBikes to help build a $50,000 bicycle skills park. The bike park is slated to be located along a popular shared-use path and adjacent to the park’s existing mountain bike trails. It would have more than a dozen ramp features.
Robertson said the hope is to have the bike park ready for use by the summer.
Future plans for the northwest area also call for a picnic shelter, playground and two dog parks.