Jerry Cannon’s shiny, new metal dog tags ask anyone finding him to return him to Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.
That’s where Cannon usually can be found anyway.
The 68-year-old Stow resident was honored Monday as the No. 1 volunteer in the park district. He has logged 8,000 hours over the past 13 years and is the first park district volunteer to reach that figure, volunteer coordinator Della Day said.
Cannon started out as a bike patrol volunteer, has worked with rangers, naturalists and resource management personnel, and most recently has been involved in photographing the park system almost daily. Many of his photographs are posted on the park district’s Facebook page.
Cannon, who retired after 35 years with AT&T, said he fell in love with the park district in retirement, especially with taking digital pictures.
He has logged more than 1,000 hours volunteering in each of the past six years, Day said. About the only task he has not performed, she said, is wearing a mascot costume for the park district.
“Everywhere he goes, there are a lot of smiles,” Day said.
Park district secretary-director Keith Shy hailed Cannon as “the ambassador for metro parks.”
The park district presented Cannon with a plaque, certificate, wooden birdhouse, wooden toolbox, great blue heron pin and a book on the park district’s history. The dog tags were added when park officials realized they didn’t possess a pin denoting 8,000 hours for volunteers.
In other action Monday, the park commissioners:
• Agreed to seek an engineering firm to begin a new master plan for Sand Run Metro Park with its roadway, stream, culverts, side streams and erosion problems.
The Wadsworth Shelter at the park, in northwest Akron, also needs major repairs, officials said. The work would include a topographical survey, hydrographic analysis and hydraulic modeling.
The report would help park officials to identify major park needs and repairs that will be needed in the coming years, chief planner Paul Wilkerson said.
• Approved spending $20,000 to buy sandstone blocks to prevent bank erosion on Little Turtle Pond’s east bank. An aging wooden dock will be removed from that area at Firestone Metro Park in South Akron. Park staff will perform the work.
• Agreed to spend up to $40,000 for a new open-air picnic shelter in the Tallmadge Meadows Area of Munroe Falls Metro Park. Water and electric would be run to the site. Staffers would build the shelter in the Tallmadge portion of the park.
• Approved spending up to $16,350 on 1,500 trees and shrubs to be planted at Tallmadge Meadows, Springfield Bog and Sand Run metro parks.
• Agreed to spend $22,000 on nine new aluminum light poles at Goodyear Heights Metro Park in East Akron, Cascade Valley in North Akron and Brust Park on the Bike & Hike Trail in Munroe Falls.
• Accepted $215,000 in state funds for use on park roads and parking lots from July 1 through June 30, 2015.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or email@example.com.