PRE HISTORY of TIBBS RUN RESERVOIR
The Original Water Works
Land is purchased to build a small reservoir with wooden pipes to carry water.
Reservoir is enlarged to meet the water needs of Morgantown. More than seven miles of 12 inch pipe is laid in 1925 to carry water to Morgantown. A resident caretaker lived in a small house to the left of the current entrance, where there is only a foundation left today. His job was to treat the water, which he accomplished with lime and calgon to prevent it from becoming "roily".
When Morgantown builds a new water system, the Tibbs Run Reservoir is disconnected from Morgantown. It becomes a place to swim and picnic and finally, it was drained in 1980.
THE FORMATIVE YEARS of the Botanic Garden
The Landscape Arboretum Task Force is assembled to identify needs of a garden and discuss potential sites. Of this group, Bradford Bearce, Edie Jett and George Longenecker are still active.
The task force changed the name to the West Virginia Botanic Garden. On December 13, the a certificate of incorporation issued by the Secretary of State.
A logo competition for the botanic garden sponsored by Susan Barry, Barry's Office Service, is won by Irma Barazzone of Fairmont.
March. Florence Merow, Richard Zimmerman and George Longenecker meet with Tom Urquhart, executive director of the Morgantown Utility Board, to explore the use of the Tibbs Reservoir property.
The Morgantown Utility Board proposes to strip mine coal at Tibbs Reservoir. Milt Cohen sounds the alarm and area neighbors pack City Council chambers to object. The proposal is voted
The Tibbs Run Coalition is formed when the Morgantown Utility Board proposes timbering the Tibbs and Mayfield tracts. The coalition is charged with preparing a management plan for Tibbs
In a plan presented to City Council, the Coalition recommends the site be used as a botanic garden. Dan Boroff, city manager, stipulates that to become a botanic garden, the West Virginia Botanic Garden must be incorporated, recognized as a nonprofit with 501c3 status, and carry two million dollars liability insurance.
Negotiations culminate with a lease agreement on May 18, 1999, when City Council enacts Ordinance 099-16. The agreement allows for limited timbering before the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc. takes possession of the land.
June 13. City Council authorizes the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc. to take active control of the Tibbs Run property.
Site improvements begin with regularly scheduled weekend work and the upper loop parking area is completed.
The entrance is widened, the entry flower beds are designed by Sven Velinden and planted by WVU horticulture students and the gate is relocated.
An entrance sign is designed by George Longenecker, constructed and installed by Ellen Hrabovsky.
The public is invited to the first organized mushroom walk and tree removal demonstration.
The first brochure is designed and printed.
The public is invited to the first Gardens of the Mon garden tour held at various private homes throughout the county.
City Council grants West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc. a long-term renewable lease on the property.
A bridge across Jones Run is proposed and later donated by the Appalachian Hardwood Center.
Following public input, a Master Plan is developed by LaQuatra/Bonci, landscape architects.
Shade house is built to house donated plants.
Work begins on the Eclectic Garden at the entrance.
The first grant of $55,480 is presented to Board members by Governor Wise from the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trail Program. The grant provides an 80/20 matching funds.
The Shade Garden, designed by George Longenecker, is planted with the help of several volunteer groups. Site work continues with more volunteer groups: the Eagle Scouts, Morgantown Learning Academy, Mountaineer Challenge Academy and several WVU classes and clubs.
In honor of their 75th Anniversary, the West Virginia Garden Clubs donate a bench, now located in the Shade Garden.
The first regularly scheduled educational Walk Program begins.
The first quarterly newsletter is published.
Landscapes Plus is contracted to build the new entrance road and parking lot which is completed in the summer of 2006. They also won the bid to install the first mile-long handicapped accessible trail.
Construction begins on the Butterfly Garden designed by George Longenecker. The two wings are planted by volunteers.
Gateway to the Garden Celebration is held June 23 to recognize donors and volunteers at the botanic garden.