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Lower Huron Metroparks

Belleville

Hero Story

Wow…how can I explain this to you? I am an avid runner (actually it's more like a trot) and have been for over 25 years. I had a "Forest Gump" experience after a messy divorce – I just started running one day. Anyway, when I relocated to Romulus, I searched for a new place to run and discovered LHMP and I knew that this was the place for me. This was about 5 years ago. I am that "crazy lady" out there running even in the snow and ice…it is my spiritual ritual and I love it. There have been times when "the crazy lady" has been out running in snow, hail, rain you name it and the park maintenance crew have driven through the park searching for me to see if I am okay and if I will relent and admit that I both need and want a ride back to my vehicle! (Lol)! Fast forward to 2020 and the age of Covid: as a first responder myself, my greatest concern was "Lord, are they gonna close the park?" Where will I go if that park is closed? Much to my delight and answered prayers, the park never closed. In fact, the park was still maintained, cleaned, and as safe as ever! Each morning, I see the service trucks and vans with the little park emblems on the side – still keeping the park clean and kept up very nicely. Covid signs are in place as they should be, but they were and are still there. For me! The police officers–Lord God bless and keep them all–still drive throughout the park making sure I haven't fallen into one of the creeks or someone's dog hasn't bit me!

I guess what I want to express is this: in the height and midst of the global pandemic, the staff, workers, and police officers continued to do their jobs as if nothing had happened. The park remained open, clean, safe, and a place of refuge. See, I am but one of the "regulars" that depend on this park for sanity, refuge, and a sense of normalcy. My park buddies began showing up with their "I'm Vaccinated" stickers at the park – giving us a comfort level to once again embrace one another on the trail! My brother returned, too, running with that big American Flag in tow with all of the pride and strength that is the foundation of our great country.

I nominate the real heroes of our times: regular Michiganders. These people wake at the crack of dawn to make sure our parks are accessible, safe, and clean. They are the ones who are most likely to go on unappreciated and unrecognized for the work that they do. They make it possible for me and people like me to hope and believe in a better tomorrow, despite un-imaginable realities. They are my unsung heroes. I pray that you agree.

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