Clements Receives State Recreation Award
New Martinsville resident Charles H. Clements was awarded A Special Citation to a Citizen Board Member from the West Virginia Recreation and Parks Association on Nov. 7 at Cacapon State Park. He was honored by the city at their council meeting Dec. 1.
New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Director Beverly Gibb nominated Clements for the award. “Charlie has volunteered his time on the Parks and Recreation Commission for more than 20 years, several of those as chairman,” stated Gibb. “He has been an exceptional commissioner and continues to volunteer his time with our department and other organizations in our community. He offers some great ideas for new projects and programs.”
A person is eligible for the award if they have made a significant contribution toward the park, recreation, or leisure service field in a position whereby no financial remuneration is made in compensation for that particular expenditure of time and effort. Additionally, evidence must be shown of a firm understanding of and commitment towards providing quality leisure services.
“He definitely has just been a true friend to me and my department,” said Gibb. “It’s not often that someone comes into your life and makes such a difference.” As outgoing president of the WVRPA, Gibb was privileged to be able to give the award to Clements.
“She makes it sound like I’ve done miracles, but I haven’t,” said Clements.
Finally, Clements encouraged the city to keep up the parks funding and not let them slide into disrepair because of lack of funding. He has talked with businesses that have located in West Virginia and asked why they choose the Mountain State. It was not because of tax breaks or other created incentives; a big influence on their decision was the quality of life that is largely due to parks and recreation availability.
Barbara Tulipane, CEO of the National Parks and Recreation Association, spoke during the awards banquet. She commented numerous times throughout her speech about the importance of the volunteers and professionals in the industry. The mission of the NRPA is “To advance parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people.”
The West Virginia Recreation and Park Association is an organization made up of parks and recreation professionals from state, county, and city departments. There are more than 400 members statewide. Each of those members can nominate one citizen for the award.
The WVRPA is very active in supporting political issues, both federal and state, dealing with parks and recreation. The association also offers an outreach committee. Through this program, professionals will visit an agency or organization and offers advice and instruction on various topics.
Additional information concerning WVRPA can be obtained by contacting Gibb at 304-455-9130.