Meet Gary: With a career spanning roughly 40 years of parks management, Gerrone became manager of Geneva State Park and Headlands Beach State Park in Mentor in 2019. Headlands is the largest beach in Ohio and the northernmost point of the 1,440-plus-mile Buckeye Trail.
On the Level: The sand at Headlands Beach State Park has broken off from a nearly 200-year-old federal break wall. Wind and water form sand dunes on the 40-acre beach that Gerrone’s team level off with bulldozers. They then sift out debris to make the sand comfortable for beachgoers.
Nature’s Resilience: Gerrone’s job includes environmental efforts, like establishing a wetland on the park’s west end where plants and groundwater had overtaken a parking lot. “Why not let nature win? Because she's going to win anyhow.”
Eclectic Animal Sightings: A medley of species — including bald eagles, river otters, foxes, minks and hundreds of species of birds, live and pass through Headlands Beach and its adjacent parks, Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve and Mentor Marsh. Last fall, Gerrone witnessed the annual monarch migration. “Everything was covered with monarch butterflies.”
More Info: ohiodnr.gov