POMEROY — Jim Smith who has dedicated his retirement years to improvements of the Mulberry Pond and development of a park area surrounding it has been presented a Hometown Hero Award by the Modern Woodmen of America.
Smith was surprised by the recognition at a Modern Woodmen luncheon. The award comes with a $100 check which Smith says he will use in further developing the site.
Hometown Hero awards are given in appreciation for volunteer work.
After Smith retired from his employment in Columbus several years ago, he returned to Meigs County where many happy hours of his youth were spent with his father fishing in the Mulberry Pond. Restoring the pond almost immediately became a project of the heart for Smith whose style is one of persistence with patience. Former Pomeroy Mayor John Musser named Smith to be chairman of the project and without delay he began making contacts with anyone and anyplace where funding might be available. He became a man with a dream he absolutely refuses to have dashed.
Smith sent out letters by the hundreds soliciting contributions and grant money. He called on local businesses and organizations to donate needed materials and supplies along with labor and got what he asked for in more in most cases. Under his leadership, the Pond has became a community project and gained support from many individuals and students who donated their time and skills.
It has been seven years since Smith started on the project. Today the lake is stocked with fish, there are two picnic tables on concrete slabs with a barbecue grill nearby, four benches for watching the ducks and geese or just taking in some sunshine, a beautiful flower bed, and walkways on both sides of the pond.
Now Smith is working with village officials on getting grant funds so that the walkway can be extended back to where there is a waterfall, and a bridge can be built across the pond. With his persistence and patience there’s every reason to believe those things will happen.