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The Suburbanite
  • Four Seasons: Volunteers needed at Stark Parks

  • If you’ve ever dreamed of being a frog, here’s your chance. Well, not the hopping kind. This frog is bright green and stands tall.

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  • If you’ve ever dreamed of being a frog, here’s your chance. Well, not the hopping kind. This frog is bright green and stands tall.
    Stark County Park District is recruiting volunteers to train for jobs that include being the park district’s costumed mascot FeLeap the Frog.
    “February is Volunteer Recruitment Month at Stark Parks,” said information from the park district. “If you enjoy being outdoors and interacting with children and adults, Stark Park invites you to apply to become a Trailblazer, Pontoon Boat Captain, or its mascot FeLeap the Frog.”
    Volunteer application forms are available at the park’s website, www.StarkParks.com. Or you can call Volunteer Coordinator Cindy Zutavern at 330-409-8993 to register for the following recruitment events:
    • March 1 — Mascot Training School from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Exploration Gateway, 5712 12th St. NW, at Sippo Lake Park.
    • March 8 — Pontoon Boat Captain Open House from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Exploration Gateway.
    • March 26-28 — Trailblazer Training School from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Exploration Gateway.
    Register online or call 330-409-8993 to schedule an interview, which must be completed before training begins.  
    ABOUT THE JOBS
    Connie Rubin, public relations coordinator and grant writer said that the March 1 FeLeap meeting will teach volunteers “what it takes to portray FeLeap and why current volunteers love donning their green tights and flippers  and greeting guests of all ages.”
    She said there also is a need for FeLeap assistants, who don’t have to wear the costume and who get to talk with guests. People who would like to do that also are encouraged to attend the March 1 meeting.
    Rubin said captains are needed to drive pontoon boats at Sippo Lake in Perry Township and Walborn Reservoir north of Alliance. Previous boating experience helps, but not required.  
    Captains will be certified in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid and will be required to attend a free park-sponsored Ohio Boater Education Course to be offered this spring, unless they’ve already taken such a class.
    Captains can work morning, afternoon or evening assignments on both weekends and weekdays.
    “Stark Parks Trailblazer Corps has been walking, bicycling, and riding horse-back on Stark Parks’ trails since 1998,” said Rubin.
    “In that time trail mileage has grown from 1.5 miles to more than 80 miles.”
    TRAILBLAZER PROGRAM
    Trailblazers volunteer along the 25-mile Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail in western Stark County, on the Hoover Trail in North Canton, the West Branch Trail in Canton, Mahoning Valley Trail north of Alliance, the Sippo Valley Trail in Massillon, and Nickel Plate Trail in Louisville.
    “Horseback riders can also Trailblaze at Whitacre Greer Park near Magnolia and Waynesburg,” said Rubin. “This summer Trailblazers will also have new Stark Park trails to patrol in Plain Township and Canton.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Training to become a Trailblazer includes civilian cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and certification in first aid. You must be 18.
    Trailblazers also learn about the history and policies of Stark Parks. Shirts, hats and other equipment are provided, said Rubin Volunteers in the Trailblazer program determine their own hours of service.