Dayton Daily News - by Nancy Bowman - BETHEL TWP., Miami County — When Paul and Tanya Kroger decided to give back to the community, they saw the Miami County Park District as the perfect vehicle for their gift.
The fruits of their generosity were unveiled in mid-September at the district’s Charleston Fall Preserve with the dedication of the Dr. Paul and Tanya Kroger Legacy Grove.
A financial gift from the Krogers to the Friends of the Park District Fund through The Troy Foundation was used to create a new trailhead, picnic area and walkway at Charleston Falls. The grove includes a recognition walkway to allow other donors to honor a friend, business or loved one with a brick inscribed with a name or short message.
“The park district is special to my wife and me. We walk the parks at least three times a week,” Paul Kroger said of the Troy couple’s visits to various county parks, often with their dog.
“We have used the parks so much, we want to give back to the community,” Tanya Kroger said. “Miami County has been good to us. We have 27 years in Troy and did very well here.”
Paul Kroger, who recently retired from dentistry, said the couple discussed possible projects with the park district before agreeing with a suggestion by Scott Myers, district executive director, to address a long-time need at the Charleston Falls trailhead.
“We had been wanting to do something there to enhance the trailhead to get from the parking lot to the restroom without walking into traffic, and provide other amenities for folks to enjoy beyond the walking trails,” Myers said.
The legacy grove is an area for everyone to enjoy that also provides the opportunity for others to honor someone with a paver brick, he said.
The new area includes trees — such as sweetgums and buckeyes — along with picnic tables and a rain garden.
Myers said the donation “came out of the blue” and helped the district fulfill a lot of needs at Charleston Falls, the most-used park in the county park system. The Krogers asked to not disclose the specific amount of the gift described as “generous.”
For more information on recognition bricks, visit The Troy Foundation website at www.thetroyfoundation. For more information on the Miami County Park District, visit www.miamicountyparks.com or call 937-335-6273.
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