Parks and Recreation

Greater Muhlenberg Parks and Recreation System 

Since the Foundation's first needs assessment in 2009 revealed that youth activities and services were a key need for the community, the Foundation has maintained a strong commitment to supporting quality parks and recreational activities.  In 2009, the Foundation worked with nearly 30 local volunteers from all sectors alongside consultants hired by the Foundation to develop a visionary 20-year “Master Plan” for Muhlenberg County parks.  (Links for the Master Plan are provided at the bottom of this page.) Upon the completion of this Master Plan in 2011, the Foundation has continued to work as a partner with the community to begin to implement the steps outlined.  The work started in 2012 when the Foundation worked with all incorporated cities, the County government, and the Muhlenberg County School System to build an interlocal agreement creating the Greater Muhlenberg Parks & Recreation System (GMPRS) which is governed by its own Board of Directors. Since that time, the Foundation has provided over $3 million in grants to support day-to-day operations of GMPRS, an organization committed to providing positive experiences with a balance of active and passive recreation, as well as high-quality natural environments throughout Muhlenberg County.  

During its first 10 years, the park system has become a central clearing house for intramural athletics, hosting county-wide youth leagues in baseball, softball, basketball, and football as well as various leagues for adults, and open gym and court time for all.  Registration and information about GMPRS programs are available online at

The Park system also assists local counties and cities in planning for the activities and needs of multiple parks across the County.  The Foundation has provided nearly $1 million for upgrades and improvements to local parks across the county including adding playgrounds and basketball courts in some instances and amenities such as benches, picnic tables, and garbage cans throughout the park system.  The Foundation also made investments to support several new parks to be added to the system including Lu-Ray Park, Martin Grounds, and Terry Vick Memorial Park.    

Perhaps the most significant undertaking of the parks system is the creation of Muhlenberg County Park adjacent to the Muhlenberg County High School's West Campus. With grants of over $11 million from the Foundation and additional community support of almost $2 million, the first two phases of the Muhlenberg County Park opened in 2014 and 2020.  Phase 1 of the Park, the Ray Jones Athletic Complex, includes a state-of-the-art baseball/softball complex with covered dugouts, seating areas, and a concession stand that hosts both local games and regional tournaments. In addition, the public enjoys tennis, basketball & volleyball courts, as well as playgrounds, a walking trail, picnic shelters, park offices, and meeting rooms. Phase 2, the Sue & Brown Badgett Center, includes an indoor year-round facility that is home to 4 side by side courts for basketball, volleyball, archery, and pickleball with facilities open for the general public as well as large local and regional tournaments.  The Badgett Center is also home to an overlook area with batting cages and community conference rooms which are used for meetings of all types as well as youth camps.


Martin Grounds

In 2013, the Foundation made a gift to the City of Greenville which included property that was previously owned by the Martin Family. Working with the City of Greenville, it was determined that with this gift, the property was to be available for public use as a public park. Along with the property, the Martin Foundation granted $85,000 to be used for upgrades and maintenance at the park. Since that time, the Martin Grounds has been established, overlooking the City of Greenville. A beautiful gazebo, known as the Summer House at Martin Grounds, has been erected and is available for community use.


Muhlenberg County Parks and Recreation Master Plan:

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan was developed to help guide the community and Foundation by identifying resources, gaps in services, and priorities for action. The  Master Plan serves as a baseline comprehensive plan of the wants and desires of the Muhlenberg County population which can help guide the Greater Muhlenberg Parks and Recreation System, city and county officials, and other stakeholders in decisions about parks and recreation investments now and in the future. Access to the full 330 page Master Plan is provided below.