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Joe Grant retires after 40 years of service to the county parks

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY – After coming to the Glen Hills County Park in September of 1976, Joe Grant has said goodbye to the career and hello to retirement after providing 38 years of service.

Prior to Glen Hills, Joe spent two years working as Assistant manager for Pierce County at the Nugget Lake Park.

The opportunity to become a Manager at the newly opened Glen Hills County Park presented itself and Joe jumped on the chance and he was appointed to the job.

The Park itself celebrated its grand opening on July 4, 1974 after the dam was completed in 1972 and the park facilities were finished in 1973.

Joe was an Elmwood native, but he eventually moved his family to the Glenwood City area upon taking the job, which consisted of he and his wife Vickie and their son Lucas. They later had a daughter, Sarah.

As Manager and Director of the park, Joe saw the place change greatly over the years and he had a hand in many of those changes including adding pavement to the roads, building offices at the campground and at the beach entrance and creating more showers, to name a few.

It was then in 2003 that Joe’s title changed to “Site Manager” due to the merger of the Land Conservation and Parks Department within the County.

The County has since merged more departments into one called the Community Development Department, which took place in 2012.

In the last 10 and a half years as Site Manager, Joe has been the staff supervisor. He works along side two other full time employees and roughly eight seasonal staff members.

Joe also oversees maintenance, takes care of the office duties, reservations and was around to hand out brochures and park information. He also dealt with any complaints that may have been called in as well.

One particular thing Joe is quite proud of is his work in small development projects like the nature area by the beach.

Tables, chairs, blocks, hop-scotch, etc have all been carved out of wood and painted in an effort to give children a true nature feeling while they play.

Other projects Joe has helped start have been the fishing pier and the building of fish cribs in the winter.

With retirement here, Joe now plans to do some traveling and see the countryside with his wife.

He is also going to stay busy watching his four grandchildren in their sporting events and school functions.

Joe is also an avid golfer and plans to continue hitting the links as well as the softball field on his “Fossils” team.

Joe’s welcome to the park appeared in the Tribune in April of 1977 when he was introduced as Park Manager. Times have certainly changed as a one-day pass to the park was .50 cents then and today it is $7.00