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Did You Know?BY KATHY BANFIELD SHAWFerrall, the Program Manager at Cal- houn County who has the Parks and Recreation Department as a part of his responsibilities, says within two to three years that same trail will head west to connect with Battle Creek’s Linear Path, which will allow a bicyclist to go from Historic Bridge Park all the way to South Haven on a bike trail. (check out the trail at it enters the river to protect the habitat,” Doug explained.The parks he visited seem to have been the seed planted early in Doug’s life. “We used to visit the parks in Ot- tawa County and I was so impressed with what they have developed there,” he said. “As you visit a park across time and see changes you begin to real- ize there is someone behind the scenes doing all the work of planning.” In or- der to bring those changes to Calhoun County Doug relies on money from funders such as the DNR, the Visitor’s Bureau, and the Kalamazoo Commu- nity Recreation Foundation set up by Enbridge. He relies on feedback from the people who use the parks, from the members of the Calhoun County Parks and Recreation Commission, and those volunteers mentioned before.Doug’s been working for Calhoun County for over a year, learning all about the parks and the people who use the parks, to develop the next five-year plan. “It’s ideas like the biking and hik- ing trails that will attract people, jobs, and tourists to our area,” he says. New programs and projects that residents can enjoy this summer in the parks are the new rain gardens at Historic Bridge Park, which will be installed by the time you are reading this; a new Pavilion at Kimball Pines Park; new signage at Ott Preserve so hikers don’t get lost going around in circles; and if the DNR grant comes through a new entrance will happen at Kimball Pines Park. “Rain gardens are designed to take the rain water coming off the paved areas of the park and filter it through the 30 yards of mulch and 2,000 plant plugs we installIt takes volunteers to help get those 30 yards of mulch and plant plugs on and in the ground. “Volunteers are great,” he says. “We couldn’t live without them.” Moving mulch and getting plants in the ground is not all the help the volunteers provide. “Some people adopt a section of a trail because they like it and they vol- unteer to keep it trimmed and clean,” Doug told me. “Three times a year we take volunteers out to the parks to trim along the trails. They bring their own equipment. They save the tax- payers thousands of dollars.” If you are interested in volunteering just call the office at 781-0782 and tell them how you’ d like to volunteer.In addition to his Parks and Recre- ation duties, Doug is currently working on a study that will determine the fea- sibility of county-wide public transpor- tation... just a part of his many respon- sibilities, which some days includes picking up trash as he walks through one of the parks. “You have to be hum- ble enough to do all those things,” he explained, “Some days it’s just nice to be outside.”6 SCENE 4406 I SUMMER FUN!Did you know that you can walk or bike through all Calhoun Coun- ty parks on one trail? (It’s the Calhoun County Trails Park) Dougdegrees from Western Michigan Uni- versity and, with his family, is now settled in Marshall. “I love Michigan. I love the seasons. I love the lakes, the Great Lakes and inland lakes. You get to experience it all,” he says with a smile. “My family is still in Dowling and my wife’s family is from Quincy, so we are right in between and close to both.” Doug and his wife Liz have two children, Malachi who is four and Aliza is a year and a half. “I studied Public Administration and that’s still a part of my job here, but parks is really where my interest lies,” Doug stated. “Any time we travel, ...we go to the parks, the trails, the lakes, or the playgrounds.”Doug FerrallDoug is a native of Dowling. He received his bachelor’s and master’s269-965-2979www.shawcommunication.comT. R. Shaw Jr. Co-Founder / CEO / 269-209-5555 cell / Kathy Shaw Co-Founder / President / 269-209-9719 cell / KSBANFSH@gmail.comYou can learn more about the Calhoun County parks by going to their Facebook page or visit their website at and click on the Parks & Recreation Department.

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