On April 22nd, Helios Park was dedicated at the Richwood Feast of Ramson. The Helios Park is a community project that had a variety of funders and facilitators, and which ultimately resulted in the creation of a completely unique pocket park space in Richwood. The park hosts solar panels donated by Create West Virginia, the panels are mounted on solar trellis designed by WV architect Thom Worlledge and constructed of white oak donated by local Laurel Creek Hardwoods. The park body was designed by WV landscape architect Todd Schoolcraft and includes pervious concrete walkway (enhances drainage), native vegetation rain garden, and a colorful human sundial which enables visitors to determine the time of day (if the sun is out). The solar energy is fed into the grid via a “Net-meter” which provides a positive return to the city electric bill.
A primary funder of the park grounds was a grant from the WV DEP. Other funding and donations were provided by a Nicholas County Community Foundation grant, Blueprint Communities mini-grant, Donaldson’s Landscaping, Fusion Builders, a WV Department of Commerce grant, and a number of additional private donations. The property upon which the park resides was donated by the John and Janice Dotson family. Helios Park was developed under the guidance of Ray Moeller, West Virginia State University Extension, in partnership with the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority.