Parks and Recreation

Greater Muhlenberg Parks and Recreation System 

Beginning 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. Upon the completion of this Master plan in 2011, the Foundation has worked as a partner with the community to begin to implement the steps outlined in the plan.

In late 2011, the foundation saw an opportunity to improve the quality of life throughout Muhlenberg County, by creating the Greater Muhlenberg Parks & Recreation System (GMPRS). GMPRS was created through an interlocal agreement with all incorporated cities, County government and the Muhlenberg County School System and is governed by its own Board of Directors. The Foundation has made a $2 million grant to support the creation of and ten-year operating costs associated with the new park system, which will be committed to providing positive experiences with a balance of active and passive recreation, as well as equitably distributed natural environments throughout Muhlenberg County.  

Since the hiring of Executive Director, Tommy Barton in February 2012, the park system has been quickly adding programs and updating facilities. The GMPRS currently provides county-wide youth leagues in baseball, softball, basketball, and football. Registration and information are available online as well as in a central location. The GMPRS has become a strong presence at community events hosting their own functions such as Take A Kid Fishing Day, and providing booths and activities at local events such as the Squash & Gobble and Harvest Festivals.

In the Fall of 2012, the Foundation provided a $500,000 grant to be used for updates to all existing parks within the Greater Muhlenberg Parks & Recreation System.  Basketball Courts and Playgrounds were added in some parks and upgraded in others.  Benches, picnic tables and garbage cans were added throughout the park system.

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 a grant of $8 million from the Foundation and additional community support of almost $1 million, Phase 1 of the Park, the Ray Jones Athletic Facilities, opened to the public in fall 2014. This section of the park includes a state of the art baseball/softball complex with covered dugouts, seating areas, a concession stand and new restrooms which host both local games and regional tournaments throughout the summer. In addition, the public enjoys tennis, basketball & volleyball courts, as well as playgrounds, a walking trail, picnic shelters, park offices and meeting rooms.



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.

Master Plan 

The Foundation had the Master Plan developed to help guide its grantmaking in this important endeavor. The goal of the Master Plan was to be a comprehensive plan of the wants and desires of the Muhlenberg County population – it was not intended to be an Action Plan for the new Parks and Recreation System. The Action Plan for the Greater Muhlenberg Parks and Recreation System is at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors of the Greater Muhlenberg Parks and Recreation System. 

Access to the full 330 page Master Plan is provided below. 

Muhlenberg County Parks and Recreation Master Plan: