Are you an “outdoor experience” type of person? What about “passive leisure” activities? If so, the Miami County Park District (District) may have just what you need, including an awarding-winning archery program. Troy Rotarians heard all about what is new with the District during their November 24, 2015 meeting.
Executive director J. Scott Myers, who is a Rotarian himself, discussed how this separate government entity is overseen by a three-person volunteer board.
Their mission statement is "to conserve natural resources and enrich the quality of life for the people of Miami County through stewardship, environmental education, outdoor experiences and passive leisure activities." Area cities and villages in Miami County maintain their own parks, recreation programs and departments, freeing up the District to stay true to their mission. The District manages 18 separate sites and 2,100 acres of parks, preserves, sanctuaries, trails and mitigation sites. Funding comes from multiple sources including a 10-year, 1.1 mil countywide property tax levy, donations, grants, fees and other miscellaneous revenues.
Myers shared that the District has something for just about everyone. Their programs include educational seminars, tours, and conservation projects. Two (2) popular annual events are the Banana Slug Fest and the Farm Fest, each drawing thousands of visitors from the area and beyond. Quality of life and related amenities are important to attracting residents, visitors, spenders, and employees for the businesses and industries in the area. In the past five (5) years, the District has been awarded eight (8) Ohio Parks and Recreation Association awards, including one this year for the new four-lane archery range at Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary. The District’s programs that focus on the health and wellness of children are drawing attention from Children’s Hospital in Dayton through a request that even more programs be promoted. There is a partnership with Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton to attract the International Trails Enthusiasts Symposium to the area, thanks to the series of trail runs offered by the District. They continue to work with the cities in Miami County, including the City of Troy.
These partnerships have helped the District meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts even more. Recently, they acquired the Huelskamp property to expand Duke Park and bring baseball/softball back to Troy. If you want more information on available programs, visit their Web site at www.miamicountyparks.com.
Troy Rotarians, and the Troy Rotary Foundation, support several community projects annually. In 2014-15, more than $16,000 in scholarships and community aid was distributed from the fund, including the annual Shoe Project, Troy After Prom and sponsorships to summer camps at Brukner Nature Center and Waco Air Museum. Club members are always looking for new topics to share at weekly meetings. If you are interested in presenting your business or organization, please visit the Troy Rotary Web site at www.troyohiorotary.org and submit your information in the “Contact Us” section. Troy Rotary is a member-involved, goal-oriented service club focused on socio/economic issues that have an impact both locally and internationally. You can follow their activities on Facebook at Troy Rotary Club.