Submitted by Barbara Partington
Here’s the inauguration of a (hopefully) regular missive to keep you up to date on Protect Geauga Parks’ current projects and events as well as to go back into our history to review what brought PGP into existence, our goals and what adventures we have had along the way.
First, a big thank you to Kathy Hanratty, founder of Protect Geauga Parks and president from our inception in 2015 until recently stepping down from the position. It will be hard to fill her shoes. Her knowledge of conservation, both in Geauga County and beyond, her advocacy for protection of natural resources, and her involvement in so many aspects of environmental work is unsurpassed. She has taught all of us the value of community organizing, and we look forward to getting wise counsel from her as we move forward. Thank you Kathy!
Why was PGP formed?
Protect Geauga Parks was formed by a grassroots group in the summer of 2014 and incorporated as a 501,©4 organization in January, 2015. We formed in response to major changes that took place on the Geauga County Park District Board of Commissioners following the tragic death of Judge Chip Henry who was replaced by Judge Timothy Grendell. A little-known fact became public at that time—that the appointment of all 3 park commissioners was made by the county probate judge as per Ohio Law. In quick succession, long time commissioners were replaced with individuals without historical or recent perspectives of the parks, who made rapid changes, both to park staff and policies, alarming citizens when “development” of parks took a front seat to “protection, preservation and conservation” of parks, evidenced by the change in the mission of the park that placed “recreation” on equal footing with preservation and conservation.
The mission of Protect Geauga Parks is “to promote, support and actively campaign for Conservation, Preservation and Protection of Nature as the primary mission of the parks.
That’s all for now. Check out our Facebook Page and sign up on this website for notifications of new posts. Next time I’ll write about the history of Odie the Coyote and how he came to be our mascot, our upcoming events and our Common Sense Standards.
AND: Save the date: Saturday November 20 10:00 – 12:00 Take a Walk with PGP at Sunnybrook Preserve – guided walk, meet and greet and refreshments at the shelter. Event is free but please bring a non-perishable donation for one of the Geauga County Food Banks.
Heading out for a walk,
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