All of you receiving this email are those I work with regarding natural areas within the Columbus Recreation and Parks system and Central Ohio – either actively improving the natural resources through your hard work, or through scientific study done within our parks to help us gain more knowledge to better manage them. OR I may aid your programs through assistance or advice and direction OR you assist mine.
Unfortunately, my position of Natural Resources Manager is being eliminated in the 2009 due to budget cuts. Please don’t worry about me because the Columbus Public Utilities Department has agreed to take me on to do other work for them. So I will not be without a job, of which I am very, very grateful.
However, my absence will leave gaps that may affect you. I am working on transitioning some of my duties to other staff, however, there will just be things that will not be done anymore.
For those who I have given permits, if you would like to continue to do your work and receive a permit for 2009, please reply to this email and I will get your permit out before I leave.
For those of you that do wonderful work in our parks, I hope that you will continue to do so in 2009. You all have made such a difference in restoring and caring for our natural resources.
For everyone, if you feel that the approximately 5,000 acres of natural areas within the Park system should be cared for and managed, you really need to let the decision maker’s know. If you feel inclined, you can contact the City Council or Mayor by email, letter, phone call or attend one of the public hearings set for the next few weeks. I believe there is a public hearing regarding Recreation and Parks set for this Thursday evening (11/20) with Councilwoman Tyson in Council Chambers at City Hall. There are two others set for the first and second week in December.
Obviously, many of you have known for years that my job alone is not nearly enough to take care of that amount of acreage properly. But, if no one speaks up, then it will confirm some people’s thoughts that it is not important to care for the natural areas – either for the plants and animals existing in them or for our quality of life. Honestly, in our urban area, nature cannot just take care of itself.
I have totally appreciated all the work we have done together. I am excited about all of our accomplishments over the last nine years: hundreds of acres of honeysuckle have been removed; thousands and thousands of trees have been planted; tons of trash, garlic mustard and winter creeper vine have been removed; streams, rivers and wetlands have been protected; two lowhead dams have been removed; wetlands have been created; nesting populations of native birds have increased; vital scientific information has been gathered; native plants and prairies have been established; new nature preserves have been created; rain gardens have been installed; people have become connected with the natural areas within their neighborhoods; thousands of people have been educated about natural resources; rare plants and animals have been discovered in our parks; and much more. YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!!!!
Thank you so much. I will truly miss working with you in our Parks.