West Virginia students to help revitalize state parks and forests

State parks and forests in West Virginia will receive much-needed upgrades thanks to a partnership signed Nov. 8.

In order to address maintenance needs at West Virginia’s state parks and forests, DNR and education officials agreed to a unique partnership. The agreement will allow students to gain real-world experience by working on construction projects for the parks system.

West Virginians take great pride in their state parks and forests, and rightfully so. They’re beautiful, unrivaled and world-class vacation destinations. They offer retreats for nature lovers, attract thrill seekers and lure in sportsmen and women from all over the world.

At West Virginia state parks and forests, there’s so many fun and exciting things to do. Go fishing for native brook trout. See historical landmarks. Hike some of the best trails in the country. Camp under the stars. Or, cozy up in a rustic cabin or mountain lodge room.

West Virginia’s parks and forests have a rich tradition dating back to the 1920s. Despite the hard work of parks staff, many facilities are in need of repairs and upgrades. In order to address this need, Division of Natural Resources officials came up with an innovative way to spruce up the parks system.

Partnering with students to enhance state parks and forests

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, DNR announced a partnership with the state Department of Education to create a way for high school students to gain real-world experience by working on construction and maintenance projects for the parks system.

The agreement will allow more than 24,000 students help the parks system with construction projects, equipment replacement and bathhouse restoration. These students are enrolled in 1,200 simulated workplaces at 157 schools around the state. They will be working on projects for:

35 parks

7 forests

Greenbrier River Trail

North Bend Rail Trail

The partnership is an ongoing agreement and will help the parks system meeting growing maintenance needs.

“The West Virginia state parks system’s staff is excited to work with our technical school students and instructors,” said DNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “These projects will greatly benefit the students, our parks and the citizens of West Virginia.”

To read a copy of the partnership compact, click here.