One Charleston family said they were paying it forward by donating 65 acres of land to the city of Charleston to establish a new recreation area connected to Kanawha State Forest.
Charleston City Council on Monday voted to accept the land donation from Callen Jones-McJunkin on behalf of her family’s trust to create The Herbert and Gloria Jones Woodlands along the south side of Loudon Heights Road.
The land donation comes from McJunkin and her family’s trust, The Herbert E. Jones Jr. Family Share Trust.
McJunkin said her family was thrilled to be able to donate the land to the city.
“I’m a third-generation Charlestonian, and we’re fifth-generation West Virginians,” McJunkin said. “I love to hike and bike and walk and take the kids out trail walking, and it’s really nice to have a space where there are no cars.”
The city will develop the land to have recreational trails and other leisure activities, according to a news release from the city.
“The Herbert and Gloria Jones Woodlands will provide a beautifully scenic area for folks throughout Charleston to enjoy our natural landscape,” Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said in the release. “Because of this generous donation, members of our community will have greater opportunities to take part in family-fun and create lasting memories for generations.”
After Monday’s meeting, council’s Planning, Streets and Traffic Committee met to discuss the re-naming of Court Street as Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Under the measure approved by the committee, Court Street would keep its name, and Martin Luther King Jr. way signs would be placed beneath existing city street signs.
The full City Council will consider the measure at its Jan. 6 meeting.
Charleston lawyer Kitty Dooley, who first petitioned to altogether change the name of Court Street, said she and other community and faith leaders had reached the compromise to formally honor Martin Luther King Jr. in Charleston while honoring historical structures, cultures and communities tied to that area of the city.
In addition to the honorary renaming, Dooley also said tentative discussions were underway to develop Brawley Walkway between Court Street and Capitol Street to include elements to showcase the heritage of immigrants, African-Americans and other people who helped build Charleston.
In other business during Monday’s regular council meeting, Charleston Police Chief Opie Smith Jr. presented two Charleston police officers with the Honor and Valor Award, the highest award given by the Charleston Police Department.
Cpl. Brandon Burton and Patrolman Brandon Hazelwood each were honored for their actions on Nov. 2, 2018, when they de-escalated a domestic disturbance in which a person was armed with a knife and threatening a pregnant woman, according to a news release from the police department.