Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Barnes Preserve has experienced an increased use by residents in and outside of Wayne County. The Board has recognized this increase of outdoor recreation as part of a growing trend and wish to provide more conservation and recreational resources to residents and visitors alike. However, to do so, the Park District must evolve from the single-park, volunteer-run organization it has been since its inception and become a publicly funded county entity. The Park District has already acquired additional land through a generous gift, which is currently unavailable to the public as it is inaccessible. Throughout 2021, the Park Board and members of the public engaged in an extended Strategic Planning process to identify and strengthen the Park District’s values. This process is ongoing and will continue, with the goal of presenting the people of Wayne County an opportunity to show their support for a fully funded, multi-property Park District.