Community Gem: Springboro man volunteers over 1,000 hours a year at Caesar Creek

Ron Kelly has loved exploring the outdoors for as long as he can remember.

Growing up as a Boy Scout, Kelly found his passion for problem solving and spending time out in nature. Decades later, he spends most of his time volunteering at Caesar Creek State Park, helping to clear the park’s nearly 100 miles of trails.

Kelly, 62, is a Springboro resident and retired Systems Engineer at LexisNexis. He was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by a fellow Caesar Creek volunteer, Kat Roeser.

“Ron works tirelessly keeping the trails at Caesar Creek cleared,” Roeser said. “It takes an immense amount of time to organize everything Ron does, and then he actually goes out and does the work too.”

Kelly volunteers to clear the trails and is in charge of coordinating trail teams of other volunteers who want to help keep the trails at Caesar Creek in good shape. Sandy Kelly, Ron’s wife, will often come out and helps out the trails teams with her husband.

“I have always been super interested in the outdoors,” Kelly said. “I was an Eagle Scout, and my wife and I have always enjoyed biking and kayaking.”

He helps with the park’s Boy Scout programs, plans fundraisers to help build a new nature center, and works on planning the annual Meteor Shower Campout on the park’s beach.

They said they consider all the time spent volunteering at Caesar Creek very well spent.

“My wife and I get back everything that we put into it,” Kelly said. “It is a lot of fun and we have met a lot of cool people.”

Kelly said he spends nearly 1,200 hours each year volunteering at Caesar Creek, and he doesn’t plan on letting up anytime soon.

“He makes it fun, and cares about everybody’s experience, even though it is hard work,” Roeser said.

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