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Doddridge County family remembers man with land donation

With help from Doddridge County Community Corrections and Howard Eakle, the former Parson property in Smithburg near Spencer was cleaned up and prepared for its next phase of development as it was donated by two local brothers in honor of their father who dedicated his career to the outdoors. (Photo Provided)

WEST UNION — A piece of land in Doddridge County was donated to Doddridge County Parks in honor of a dedicated outdoorsman.

As a way to honor their late father, Richard Barton, Rick and Greg Barton gifted the former Parson property in Smithburg.

“It’s awesome that individuals are that generous but also are forward thinking enough in their contribution to kind of lead an effort and show an example that they’re giving to local nonprofits,” parks director Greg Cottrill said.

The land borders Spencer Park and once it’s cleaned up, the plan is to use that space for easy access to the North Bend Trail for horseback riders.

“(We) need a place to park trailers and unload horses. That would be a nice addition that we could encourage or market that we have space where you can park your trailer,” Cottrill said.

Rick and Greg Barton donated this piece of property near Spencer Park to Doddridge County Parks in memory of their dad, Richard Barton. The property will be used to further amenities at the parks in Doddridge County. (Photo Provided)

Spencer Park was also a gift to the community donated by Hugh and Earldean Spencer in 1993.

“With the location of the Park between the North Bend Rail Trail and Middle Island Creek, the Park lends itself to many possible uses,” Cottrill said. “The Park Commission sees the Park being a great jumping on point for the NBRT bikers and hikers, a possible place to launch canoes, kayaks and small fishing boats, and a possible place for riders of horses to stage from and park trailers when they ride the trail.”

Spencer and Doddridge County park are within walking distance of each other and there is a bridge to connect the two.

“Spencer Park is a nice community park for Smithburg but is underutilized. Some residents felt it was unsafe for kids due to the neighboring property.” Cottrill said. “That situation has changed with the addition of the property to the Park.”

With help from Doddridge County Community Corrections and Howard Eakle, the property is being cleaned up and prepared for the next phase in development.

“The Park Commission members take their responsibilities to be good caretakers of the parks property very seriously,” Cottrill said. “This is just another example of them planning and working to make DC Parks the best they can be.”

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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