Originally, the park was designed for recreational use with plans for baseball fields, playgrounds, campsites, etc., but was never developed as such due to wet soils and drainage problems. Coming to realize that we cannot always change nature to suit our wishes, the Lawrence County Commissioners have decided to work with nature and allow the park to remain as natural as possible, while opening it back up for public use. The Lawrence Conservation District was appointed to oversee the development of West Park as a Nature Center. Assessments including the study of existing wildlife, water systems, road systems, forestry, soils and vegetation determined development constraints and priorities. To date, improvements made to the park include hiking trails, wetland observation deck, informational kiosks, wildlife gardens, bluebird nesting boxes, composting restroom, watershed model, and paving of existing roadways and parking lot. We are planning construction of a shelter to accommodate students for outdoor classes and field trips in the near future. As the Lawrence Conservation District's environmental education program continues to expand, the park will become an indispensable tool for both the district and the county's educators.