The Fairmont News
The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission has named Philadelphia native Anthony Harper as its new assistant director.
Harper has been MCPARC’s assistant director for nearly one month now, and he’s loving his job every day.
“I want to improve on different things,” Harper said. “Bring in new activities and new programs that they haven’t had yet here, and also just get the kids more involved and more motivated to get out and do things with MCPARC.”
Harper, 32, worked for Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Commission for several years before moving to Morgantown, working at Youth Academy in Fairmont.
“I can’t sit back,” Harper said. “I have to be hands on. I have to teach. I love the kids that just come back and say ‘Thanks, Mr. Anthony. I appreciate that. I didn’t know this.”
Harper said that he looks forward to working with the county, and hopes he can encourage the area’s youth to get more involved with groups and sports.
“I have to be hands on with the kids,” Harper said. “We have a basketball camp for second and third grade. I’m not a coach, but I get to sit there and watch all of the practices just in case there’s anyone needing help.”
Besides the basketball camp and a few other events sprinkled throughout the winter, MCPARC doesn’t have a lot of events set up through the cold seasons.
However, MCPARC officials such as Event Director John Provins are working as hard as ever, securing plans for events throughout next summer and fall, and even some things for 2018.
In his office, Provins has a whiteboard stretched from one wall to the other, filled with dates and ideas for 2017 events at Palatine Park.
“I’m a couple months ahead of where I was last year,” Provins said. “Eventually, I want this board to be two years ahead of time. In fact, I should be booking bands for 2018 right now. That’s how you get the best deals and get the acts that you want.”
Provins went over some of the big events next year, including the third annual Bluegrass Festival in June, an Independence Day celebration and the second annual Rock ‘n’ Roll tribute concert in July, the second annual Luau and an Arts Week in August.
MCPARC is also hoping to complete the unfinished sections of the city and county’s walking trails.
“We only have a couple of those pieces missing, with Fairmont being the biggest of those pieces,” Provins said. “Hopefully, within the next couple of years, we can have the trail come from the trestle on the of Prickett’s Fort onto Palatine and from the trestle onto West Fork.”
Provins said that the trails are a part of the “Appalachian Loop,” one of five walking trail loops in the Eastern United States. He said that, once completed, the area would see more tourism from around the world.
Like Harper, Provins deeply enjoys his work with the county and hopes to help make Fairmont the best it can possibly be.
“I’ve always looked at Fairmont and have seen all the potential,” Provins said. “I’m not seeing the negative that people have talked about over the last 30 years… You’ve got to be able to say ‘Look at what we’ve got’. And this is it.”
Original article: http://www.theet.com/fairmontnews/news/mcparc-hires-new-assistant-director-prepares-for-events/article_b720c5eb-c79a-5750-9c82-59bd4fa3a77d.html