Park Commissioners
Denny Jordan, Chair

"I am a naturalist, geologist, and retired science teacher (WHS). I have always had a deep connection to nature. I love all things outdoors and spend time hiking, camping, fishing, exploring, and learning about our amazing nature world. I am focused on nature education and helping kids and adults connect to it along with teaching preservation of the environment and the wide use of natural resources. People likely think I live at the Barnes Preserve as I am out there about every day. I am proud to be a part of the organization that helped make this park a reality and look forward to holding more educational classes this summer."

Joe Reed standing outside
Joseph Reed

Joe is pleased to be appointed to his first term as a Park Commissioner for the Wayne County Park District in 2021. Joe lives in Smithville with his wife, Julie, and works with Kroft Wagner Law Firm as an associate attorney. He grew up in northeast Ohio and his lifelong passion for “all things” nature led him to obtain a degree in Zoology from The Ohio State University. It is no surprise that in his spare time, Joe enjoys hiking, camping, and any other activity where he can be outdoors! 

Joe is looking forward to serving on the Park Board and using his expertise and passion to provide the citizens of Wayne County with greater opportunities to learn about and appreciate our county’s natural resources and beauty.

Donald Gerber, Treasurer

Donald has recently been appointed to his third term on the Park Board and serves as the Board's Treasurer.  Don is a Wayne County native and graduate of Smithville High School and Wayne County Schools Career Center.  After taking off a couple of years to live in Colorado Springs where he spent time hiking the Rockies, he returned to Ohio to attend college.  He graduated with honors from Ohio University, Athens, and went to work for IRS before opening up his own tax office, Gerber Tax Services, in Jan. 1990. Don has a wide variety of interests and talents that come in handy when projects need completed around the park. His vast knowledge of tax law has benefited the Board and Friends of the Park. 

David Armstrong

David graduated from College of Wooster in 2003. His love of Wayne County brought Dave, his wife and two young kids, back to the area. His expertise is environmental law. He has been working to protect and enhance natural environmental resources for several years and is eager to lend his talents to the Board. 

Carole Van Pelt, Secretary

Carole is the longest serving park commissioner and is the daughter of Don and Dorothy Barnes, of whom the park is named. She was excited to serve on the Park Board as she walked the fields and woods in her childhood. Her dream of the Barnes Preserve becoming a destination for visitors with mobility restrictions was a labor of love.  She lives close to the Barnes Preserve and spends hours keeping the park clean and orderly. Carole serves as the Board’s secretary.         

Friends of the Park Officers
Friends of the Park Officers

Friends of the Park Officers: 

L to R: Sue Zann Johnson, Treasurer; Darrel Barnes, President; Karen Graham, Secretary