Jim Barnett Park addresses goose problem

The City of Winchester’s Public Services Department is attempting a new strategy to curb the geese pollution problem at Wilkin’s Lake in Jim Barnett Park.

Residents may notice border collies at the pond through July as part of a new, humane maintenance program.

The highly-trained dogs will be stationed at the pond.

When confronted with a goose, they will  crouch, stalk, and present a menacing “wolf like” gaze.

This will make the goose think that it is confronting a predator and move on to a different location.

The goal of the program is to use the geese predator fearing instincts to teach them that Wilkin’s Lake is not an acceptable location for them to nest or feed.

No geese will be harmed by the dogs.

Border Collies are often employed for similar roles at golf courses, airports, and other recreational spaces due to their ability to herd while maintaining their composure to not harm the target.

A single goose produces around 1,000 pounds of manure in one year.

Geese pollution can lead to poor water quality, low oxygen levels in water, and harmful algae blooms.

If you have any questions about this new initiative, contact the Grounds Maintenance department at 540-662-4946 ext. 1171.  

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

News Maker Debbie of Kiwanis prepares for Pancake Day

Scott Bradley speaks with News Maker Debbie of Kiwanis as they prepare for Saturday’s Pancake Day.

The Kiwanis are excited to have everyone back indoors for this year’s Pancake Day at the Jim Barnett Park War Memorial Building to raise money to support local youth and the Highland Food Pantry.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County Together We are Community.

Click here for Debbie’s News Maker.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

News Maker Debbie of Kiwanis prepares for Pancake Day

Scott Bradley speaks with News Maker Debbie of Kiwanis as they prepare for Saturday’s Pancake Day.

The Kiwanis are excited to have everyone back indoors for this year’s Pancake Day at the Jim Barnett Park War Memorial Building to raise money to support local youth.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County Together We are Community.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Winchester receives grants for 102 trees

The City of Winchester received $22k in grants to plant 102 trees.

The Virginia Department of Forestry awarded $6,700  to plant 50 large-maturing trees in Jim Barnett Park and the Audubon Arboretum as part of the Virginia Trees for Clean Water Grant Program.

Another grant of $15,000 was awarded by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges to plant 52 trees in areas that are disproportionately impacted by high urban temperatures.

Some trees will be planted as part of Winchester’s Arbor Day celebration coming up on October 21.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Changes made to Pleasant Valley Road

The City of Winchester made adjustments to the traffic pattern on Pleasant Valley Road along Jim Barnett Park and Mount Hebron Cemetary.

Drivers will notice two double yellow lines creating a small median in the middle of the road and also narrowing the lanes.

The speed limit was also lowered to 35 mph.

These changes are in an effort to calm traffic flow in the area and improve driver safety.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Craft Show and Community Day at Jim Barnett Park

Tomorrow from 9 am to 5 pm, a craft show and community day will be held at Jim Barnett Park.

The event is hosted by the Kevin Riley Foundation of Hope and features a kickball tournament and a king of the kick competition for the longest kick with guest judges from Shenandoah University’s football team.

There will be plenty of activities for the kids like face painting, a magic show, balloon art, and an obstacle course by FASST Sports Training.

There will also be live DJs, a mobile smash room, food vendors, school supplies to be given away, and much more.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

WPRD’s 7th Annual Splash Bash

The City of Winchester’s Parks and Recreation Department is hosting their 7th Annual Splash Bash today at the Jim Barnett Park outdoor pool from noon – 6:30 pm.

This is a great way to kick off summer before the 4th of July weekend and check out the newly refurbished slide, diving board, and wading pool.

NREP took over the concessions stand this summer to provide students with disabilities job training while also raising money for the school’s new greenhouse.

There will also be a DJ and door prizes including a free month membership to the pool.

The regular pool fee structure applies.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

News Maker Kelly Warnagiris on Winchester Swim Team

Over 600 swimmers are at Jim Barnett Park this weekend.

The competition has already begin and will be held each day through June 19.

We spoke with Winchester Swim Team Administrator Kelly Warnagiris in our latest news maker.

News makers are brought to you by Warren County Together We are Community.

Kelly tells us that competitors from several different states are in the meet along with over 80 local swimmers from local schools.

She also tells us that the 2 for 2 foundation will be at the meet this weekend to offer information on their efforts to raise funds for an indoor pool and ice skating rink in the area.

Kelly also tells us of upcoming events involving the 2 for 2 foundation.

Click here for Kelly’s interview.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Winchester City Parks: A Conversation About Programs, Parks, and the Pool

Winchester city Parks

Today’s conversation for The Valley Today was recorded on location in the Active Living Center in the War Memorial Building at Jim Barnett Park. Host Janet Michael talked with Winchester City Parks Director, Chris Konyar and Maggie McCampell Lien their Public Information Officer. Click here to have a listen.

The pair explained their current undertaking: surveying city residents to get feedback about the parks in their neighborhoods. There are nearly 16 neighborhood parks scattered throughout the City of Winchester with the ultimate goal of having a park within 10 walking minutes of every neighborhood. Chris talked about the importance of these local parks and why getting feedback will be vital to maintain and grow them to fit the neighborhoods they serve.

You can visit their website to take the survey online: https://www.winchesterva.gov/parks or attend one of the feedback sessions they’ll be hosting throughout the summer.

On May 23, 200 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm for Ward 3 at Jim Barnett Park, War Memorial Building, Social Hall

On July 25, 2022 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm for Ward 2 at Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School

On September 26, 2022 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm for Ward 4 at Frederick Douglass Elementary School.

A session was already held on April 25, 2022 for Ward 1 at John Kerr Elementary School Library. Each meeting will focus on parks within the ward; however, residents are welcome to attend any meeting.

Maggie gave us details about the summer camps the parks department offers, talked about when the pool will open and gave some insight into the benefits the recent partnership with Shenandoah University provides through no-cost sports camps for children in the area.

Finally, Chris talked about the number of jobs Winchester City Parks currently have available from lifeguard positions to childcare and front desk/administrative. We talked about how great these positions are as a “first job” for many teens & young adults in our area. He also explained that if you’re interested in a lifeguard position, they will provide the necessary training and certifications needed. For a list of all the city’s job openings, visit the City of Winchester’s job portal by clicking here.

To learn about Winchester City Parks programs, purchase a family pool pass or get details about upcoming events, visit the park website: https://www.winchesterva.gov/parks and follow them on Facebook.

Winchester holds public meetings

Winchester City website announced a series of monthly public community conversations  will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m..

The meetings will be hosted by Vice Mayor John Hill and Council Vice President Kim Herbstritt and cover a variety of subjects.

The first meeting covers Community Policing on Mar. 26 at 10 a.m. at Jim Barnett Park’s Recreation Center’s Social Hall.

On Apr. 9 Community Clean Up with volunteers needed to be held at various locations which will be announced.

Grocery stores and the city will be discussed on Jun. 18 again at Jim Barnett Park.

On Aug. 20 a discussion on a subject to be determined at Jim Barnett Park.

Sept. 24 a meeting on Housing and Development for the city will be the topic at Jim Barnett Park.

Public input is encouraged and any suggestions are welcome before the meetings to be submitted at winchesterva.gov.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.