Director’s Report

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.”

~ Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

Congratulations to the Jesse Jones Park Volunteers on their 30th anniversary! The original JJPV minutes book recently resurfaced from storage and brought back special memories. It was Feb. 4, 1989, when then-Director Tom Olsen called together a group of 15 volunteers and five staff members (including me) for the first Jones Park volunteer meeting. During the meeting, three volunteers were appointed as interim officers until the elections in August:  President Mary Keelen, Secretary Carol McCollough, and Treasurer Charles Boyd. The three helped create the JJPV bylaws, served as board presidents, and contributed to the same programs that we do today. Mary Keelen gave inspiration to and led one of my favorite Jones Park programs, the Tadpoles Club, including the “open-shut-them” rhyme. What fond memories I have of each of those special original volunteers.

Visitors may notice lush new growth along the trails, thanks to the regular rain this past summer. The conservation service groups have also helped curtail invasive plant species and assisted in litter removal. Thank you to all who participated in these volunteer service days.

End of the summer park projects kept everyone busy, including a homestead barn-raising, horse-trail clearing, rebuilding the steps for the overflow parking lot, and replacing the Nature Center windows. Best of all, the new park entrance monument sign project is underway.

Fall events are on the horizon, with a variety of volunteer opportunities available each month. Be sure to mark Tricks & Treats Among the Trees and Pioneer Day on your calendar! Whether you’re a new or longtime volunteer, you’re invited to help the JJPV celebrate 30 years on Monday, August 26, at 7 p.m.

Hope to see you about the park!

Darlene Conley Hostetler, Park Director

Staff Updates

We welcomed new staff caretaker Baldwin Swayzer in July and bid farewell to Outreach Coordinator Anni Ranck and Volunteer Coordinator Kim Hammond in August. Also, we have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the help of our summer interns, Alana Ranck, Rebekah Rice, and Chandler Sanford. We wish all the best of luck and smooth trails ahead.

I’m saddened by the loss of Jones Park irrigator, Mike Mayfield, who passed away on Monday, June 3. Mike oversaw the park’s irrigation system, operated the pontoon boat, and always provided expertise for our sound equipment. He will be greatly missed by staff, volunteers, and park patrons. The JJPV is donating a memorial bench in his honor. Anyone who would like to contribute to the bench can make a donation to the JJPV, with a note labeled “Mike’s bench.”