Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation Department was founded in 1974 by the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors. The department’s first Director was Ned Cheely and its first large project was the development of Shenandoah County Park in 1983. Shenandoah County Park, approximately 67.5 acres, is situated along Route 11 between Maurertown and Toms Brook. From the time the park was established to present day, it has seen many improvements. Currently, the park’s facilities include one baseball field, one lighted softball field, one regular softball field, two sand volleyball courts, two tennis courts, one basketball court, two picnic shelters with grills, a Bluestone walking trail, three gazebos, and several open meadow areas. The Tuscarora Trail (formerly the Big Blue) passes through the park as it connects the Appalachian Trail with other state trails. There is a Civil War marker within the park describing the Toms Brook Battlefield and its located in a meadow that overlooks Signal Knob, part of Massanutten Mountain. A recent addition to the park is the Signal View 9-Hole Disc Golf Course, which sees regular individual and league play as well as PDGA-sanctioned tournaments.
Other important pieces of the department’s history include the adoption of the Indoor/Outdoor Master Recreation Plan which guides the department in its programming and in its identification of future park sites and partnerships as well as keeping the department in line with state parks and recreation service level recommendations.
In 2002, Shenandoah County purchased 151 acres of land just outside of Strasburg, currently known as the Keister Tract. This property is part of the currently developing Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, and has already been through its master planning process. The department hopes to develop this site in the next few years.
In 2013, Shenandoah County accepted a donation of just under 300 acres, currently known as the Wagner Property, located in the southwest corner of the county; this donation requests that the land be developed into a park that’s available for recreation, education, and conservation. This future park site will be known as the “Mack and Zula Wagner Park.”
In 2011, Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation moved out of the Edinburg School as the school was being renovated for a new school operation. Our main office was relocated to the Shenandoah County Government Center. In the Fall of 2013, the Edinburg School renovations were completed and SCPR moved several of its programs back to the school. SCPR will continue to operate the facility as a community center after school Monday-Friday and on the weekends. The gymnasium and cafeteria will be utilized as program space and will be available for third-party rentals.
The department operates today with five full-time staff members and 20-30 part-time/seasonal staff members.