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Former Soccer City Park to Be Renamed in Honor of Fire Chief Gene Shepherd

The Board of Trustees has agreed to rename the former Soccer City Park in honor of Fire Chief Gene Shepherd.

An applause rang out in the Shelby Township boardroom Tuesday evening after Trustees unamiously passed a motion to rename 23 Mile Park on Dequidre Road in honor of current Fire Chief Gene Shepherd.

"I would move to name former Soccer City Park Chief Gene Shepherd Park in recognition and gratitude for his service to Shelby Township,'" said Trustee Michael Flynn, after he introduced the motion.

Flynn, who serves as a liason for the Parks and Recreation Deparatment, said the Township has applied for three state grants, one of which would provide funding for three new soccer fields, general maintenance and rehabiliation to the park.

During the application process, the park has been generically named 23 Mile Park, said Flynn.

"I can think of no better way to show his honor then to name our park for him," added Flynn.

Several residents, including a current Shelby firefigther, appluaded the Board's decision.

"I agree. This is very appropriate. Lets do it," said resident Ron Churchill.

The park has been a point of contention for the Board for many years. 

In 2008, Shelby Township bought the park back from developers, Meram Building, after the Department of Environmental Quality sued the developers for damaging the surrounding wetlands, according to C&G News. Meram was eventually acquitted of the charges. Howerver, the environmental issue fell onto the township when it reassumed ownership, the newspaper reported.

In December 2011, the township settled with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Shelby Township has said there is a plan in place to extend the hike-and-bike trail through the park in order to connect Metro Beach Metropark in Harrison Township to Shelby Township’s Stony Creek Metropark by the end of 2012.

Shelby Township May 04, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Very nice gesture by the board.
Mike May 05, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Not knowing him personally, I'm curiously wondering.......Why? Seriously.......I am clueless as to why.....He must be an exemplary citizen.
Mike May 05, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Please,.....I'm just out of touch, that's all........
Matt Guarnieri May 05, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Everyone who has met the man, even under the worst of circumstance will say he is level headed, always thinking of others. He is a problem solver,... not a problem maker. Only ran into the man once, I think before he became fire Chief and was impressed by him, he improved my opinion of all Firemen, I can only hope others would try to emulate Mr. Shepherd's sense of commitment to the citizens of our community.
gene shepherd May 06, 2012 at 05:23 AM
I am moved beyond words can express and thank all who would even consider me. Chief Shepherd
Marina Cracchiolo (Editor) May 07, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Thanks for weighing in, Chief. In the short period of time that we've worked together, I too can see what the community sees in your personal attributes and leadership qualities. Congrats!

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