Pittsylvania County Parks and Recreation is partnering with the Pittsylvania County Career and Technical Center on the research, design, construction and installation of a LOVEworks sign at Wayside Park in Hurt.

The sign is part of a larger $713,000 park renovation. The LOVEworks program is “a state-wide branding initiative designed to promote travel in Virginia and strengthen awareness of the ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ message,’” according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation website.

Students participating in the SkillsUSA program will research the park and community to determine the materials to be used in the LOVE sign. They then will make a presentation to the parks and recreation department on their findings, and a final design of the sign will be determined. This Community Action Project will be submitted for an award at the State SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference in April.

“Since the creation of our department in 2011, we have worked hard to find win-win opportunities to collaborate with our school system to grow parks and recreation and provide students with real-world projects that can have a lasting effect long after they have graduated,” Parks and Recreation Director Mark Moore said. “We were able to do that in 2018 with the ‘DOG PARK’ sign at our new dog park on 29 North, and we are excited to partner with them again.”

Travis Wood, welding instructor, and Justin Owen, precision machining instructor, serve as the SkillsUSA advisors for the center.

In addition to learning technical skills, they know the students in the program learn a life skills in these projects as well.

“The students not only learn technical skills, but also community pride, leadership, project management and teamwork over the course of these projects,” Wood and Owen said. “It really prepares them for life after high school. We are proud to partner with parks and recreation on this sign.”

The Wayside Park LOVE sign should be complete and installed by spring.

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