The Friends of the Parks and Trails honored Jon Kerr as Park Citizen of the Year at their annual meeting on June 19. Jon worked with the Friends of Lilydale Park to develop a new vision and mission for Lilydale Park.
Jon’s leadership helped to build a broad base of park support and interest. Jon came up with the fun and creative idea to do a Saturday in the Park event. With a unique and different focus each month of that year. All events were free and family friendly, designed for children, youth and adults to enjoy together. Saturday in the Park was very successful and offered a fun way for many people in the area to sample and experience a wide array of what Lilydale Park has to offer, including events that focused on: winter Hiking (animal tracking, etc.) birding (and bird house building), biking/roller blading, fossil hunting/geology, arts and nature, running fishing/boating (kayaks & canoes), social history, etc.
Through Jon’s leadership, connections were made with a teacher and students at Humboldt High School who, with then Singing National Park Service Ranger, Charlie Maguire, wrote a song celebrating Lilydale Park’s history and features. The song became part of an inter-generational storytelling event designed to bring together old timers (some of whom have lived in Lilydale Park when it was a town), and park newcomers.
In 2000 Jon helped to provide leadership to review the park master plan and meet with Parks and Recreation staff to help move the master plan into an action plan.
Jon has taken a special interest and lead for Friends of Lilydale Park on working with the city on trail improvements. Jon’s involvement was instrumental in several projects in particular
1) Vento’s View wildlife viewing platform, which sits bluff-top in the park overlooking Pickerel Lake.
2) The Brickyard Trail improvements for pedestrians was completed in 2006 which created a safe, beautiful link between Lilydale Park’s buff-top and lower level of the park in the Mississippi River flood plain.
3) Helping Friends of Lilydale Park receive a grant to help pay for development of promotional materials for the park, including a train map brochure which he designed, wrote and printed, as well as a website for Friends of Lilydale Park
Gary Bobb has worked to make the Swede Hollow Park safer and cleaner. Gary became a Park Steward for Swede Hollow Park and is a member of the Friends of Swede Hollow Park.
Gary has met with members of the St. Paul Police Department and with other residents or businesses near the park, Dayton’s Bluff, Payne Avenue and near the Drewrey Tunnel entrance. His objective was to discourage folks going into the park for he sole purpose of using the park as a safe haven for consuming alcohol.
His treatment of the homeless and itinerant persons as members of the community, who have a right to be there, but also have a responsibility to keep the parks litter-free, has helped immeasurably in this effort.
Gary participates in bi-annual park cleanups and he also picks up litter in the park daily when he walks his dog.
Through this constant monitoring of Swede Hollow, it has become safer than ever before. More people are using Swede Hollow as a walking or biking route. Hope Academy School has begun recess and excursions into Swede Hollow. The added public use of Swede Hollow and the promise of the Vento Regional Park have created growing public awareness and greater expectations of these treasures.
Sue Moyer is a dedicated volunteer who has completely taken charge of the annual Battle Creek Park cleanup in the spring as well as two other times during the year.
For the last four years Sue has coordinated the Battle Creek Park spring cleanup. For the last three years Sue’s efforts have resulted in the largest cleanup efforts in the County. She utilizes various methods of volunteer recruitment to involve local residents, schools, youth and adult organizations to cleanup the Battle Creek area consisting of 840 acres of parkland. Each year the number of volunteers involved in the effort has increased due to her efforts.
In 2007 volunteers spent a morning in the Battle Creek area and picked up more than 2.3 tons of trash and waste. Since she has taken over the leadership of the cleanup she has added two other opportunities during the year for people to help cleanup the park area.
Debra has served on the Ramsey County Park and Recreation Commission for five years. She is active in her community of Vadnais Heights helping with plantings and park cleanups. She has a wonderful garden and is very knowledgeable.
Deb is very willing to help on any project she is asked to serve and she leads by example.
Mona Frey was honored by the Friends of the Parks and Trails for her volunteer work at their annual meeting on June 19. Mona’s commitment to Hansen Park in New Brighton is well known by residents around the park and visitors to the park. She walks daily through the park picking up litter. This has gradually expanded so that she not only walks on the trails, but through other parts of the park as well.
Mona has encouraged others to help keep Hansen Park clean and has engaged with the Disc Golf players to help keep a clean environment in Hansen Park. Mona has become the Adopt a Park committee of one for Hansen Park.