Barnes Preserve


Purchase a Bench








“I am pleased to be appointed to my first term as a Park Commissioner for the Wayne County Park District.  I live in Smithville with my wife, Julie, and work with Kroft Wagner Law Firm as an associate attorney.  I grew up in northeast Ohio and my lifelong passion for “all things” nature led me to obtain a degree in Zoology from The Ohio State University.  It is no surprise that in my spare time, I enjoy hiking, camping, and any other activity that I can be outdoors! 

I am looking forward to serving on the Park Board and using my 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. “


Phil Grimm


“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.”

Phil Grimm

I am excited to serve on the Park Board. I am fully committed and focused on Strategic Planning for the Park District.  I wish to help establish goals and create a vision for future growth.   

I am a native of Orrville and after graduating from Ohio University I began my longtime career in teaching at Ashland Jr. High and Wooster High School. My career in education also includes research, program administration, and technology.

For many years, I have done long distance bicycle touring. Along the way, I have ridden on many trails that were created from abandoned railways that were converted to multi use paths. I like to call them “linear parks”. These parks preserve a natural corridor and protects the land from development. Wayne County needs to develop , support, and maintain a system of parks and trails that will protect places that provide public access to the natural world for knowledge, recreation, and simple pleasures of being outdoors.

I am looking forward to seeing what the future is beyond Barnes Preserve; our first park.  We are far behind our neighbors of Ashland, Stark, and Medina but I know we can move in that direction! 

Phil Grimm


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 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 Leadership

 Friends of the Park Officers:

L to R, top: Karen Graham, Secretary; Brenda Meese, Vice President

L to R, bottom:  Darrel Barnes, President; Sue Zann Johnson, Treasurer