Our Mission

Our Mission:  Stark Parks mission is to preserve, manage, and connect natural areas to serve the community through recreation, conservation and education.

Our Vision:  Stark Parks will be recognized as an essential community asset.

Our Values:

1. Integrity/Trust

2. Teamwork

3. Customer Service

4. Environmental Stewardship

5. Work Ethic

6. Respect for Each Other

7. Community Partnerships

8. We have fun!

Board of Commissioners

The Stark County Park District is an independent political subdivision created and governed by Section 1545 of the Ohio Revised Code. A volunteer five-member Park Commission is appointed by the Probate Court and governs the Park District. 

Members of the Park Commission are very interested in your thoughts and comments, and invite members of the public to the monthly meetings. 

Board Members

Denise Freeland, Chairperson

Denise Freeland HeadshotDenise Freeland has served as Minerva Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development executive director since 2012. Prior to that, she was a reporter/photographer/copy editor for The News Leader. As Chamber director, Denise is responsible for supporting new and existing businesses; planning and presenting a variety of community events; and programming, maintenance, and renovations at the Roxy Theatre, which is owned by the Chamber.

She has served as a volunteer with Minerva Local School District, Minerva United Methodist Church, Minerva Band Boosters, and ArtsinStark’s Minerva 20/20 Vision Committee. She is a past member of the Minerva Public Library Board of Trustees and current member of The Minerva Community Charitable Fund Board of Trustees.

A native of Missouri, Denise grew up in Maryland, before attending West Virginia University to earn bachelor degrees in journalism and English. She and her husband, Tom, a Walsh University biology professor, live in rural Paris Township and have two adult sons. The Freeland family enjoys exploring parks and trails wherever they travel, hiking, biking, and downhill and cross-country skiing.

Bill Bryan, Vice-Chairperson

Bill Bryan Headshot

Bill is active in his local community, having recently completed serving his fourth term as president of the board of Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, with more than 29 years in total on that board. A life long resident of the area, Bill is an avid golfer and an outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing, exercising and all activities associated with his farm in Navarre.  

Bill holds bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from Kent State University. He completed the Executive Development for Global Excellence (EDGE) program at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.


Patricia Quick

Pat Quick HeadshotPat retired after 25 years from Stark Community Foundation, serving as its Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with BA in History and an MA in Public Administration, and completed a certificate in Accounting at University of Pittsburgh leading to her certification as a CPA.

She is a member of Stark State College Foundation Board, National First Ladies’ Library Board Treasurer, and serves as a SCORE counsellor for the Canton Chapter. She is a past President of the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Board and Voices of Canton Board Treasurer.

Pat and her husband Ron have three grown children and have been Canton residents for over 35 years. Pat enjoys walking the Stark Parks Trails, music, and reading history. She is looking forward to spending time with her five granddaughters.

Ralph Dublikar

Ralph Dublikar HeadshotRalph has engaged in the private practice of law in Stark County for over 45 years.  He is currently Managing Partner at the firm of Baker, Dublikar, Beck, Wiley & Mathews, where he has served since 1986.
The emphasis of Ralph’s practice is on civil litigation, probate law, and adoption law.

Ralph has also been very active in the community, having been past-President of the Stark County Bar Association in 2002-2003, as well as serving on various committees. He is a past member of the Grievance Committee and Executive Committee, and is currently Chairman of the Disputed Fee Committee. He is also a member of the Court Administration Committee, of which he is past-Chairman.

In addition, Ralph has been past-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, where he also served as an assistant baseball coach from 2002-2007.  He received the St. Thomas Aquinas Distinguished Service Award in 2009, as well as receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys.

Ralph is a graduate of Xavier University with a degree in Political Science, as well as the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

In addition to being a member of the Stark County Park District Board of Commissioners, Ralph also serves on Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee and is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Stark County Bar Association, and Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys.

He and his wife Nancy are members of Christ the Servant Parish, and are the proud parents of four children and thirteen grandchildren.

David Regula

David Regula HeadshotDavid Regula has been the Customer Service Manager for the Akron-Canton Airport since 2004, and currently serves as the Vice President of Customer Experience.  He is responsible for all customer issues and touch points throughout the terminal and roadways, as well as handling transportation issues at the facility.  His efforts have resulted in the airport receiving three World Class Customer Service Awards from the SmartBusiness Magazine.  He also maintains a broker’s license in real estate, a professional auctioneer’s license, and is the principal broker for Relocation 1 Realty.

Mr. Regula’s elected and appointed positions have included:

  • Ten years on the Ohio Turnpike Commission, five of which serving as Vice Chairman
  • Eight years as an elected Bethlehem Township Trustee
  • In 2011, Governor Kasich appointed him to the Ohio Department of Transportation, Transportation Advisory Council (TRAC). This board, which he was reappointed to serve on for an additional five-year term in 2012, decides where hundreds of millions of highway dollars are spent on road improvements throughout the state of Ohio each year. He was    reappointed again in 2017.

His extensive volunteerism has included:

  • Vintage Canton; Chairman 2011
  • Government Leadership Academy; Graduate and past board member
  • Board of Trustees of the Ohio & Erie Canal Association, 1996 – 2015
  • FBI Citizens Academy graduate, 1992
  • Regula for Congress, Chairman 1996 – 1998
  • Leadership Stark County Graduate, 1992
  • Fairless Academic Booster Club, founding member and past president
  • Navarre Kiwanis for 40 years, several as president
  • Currently serves as a board member of the First Ladies Library, and the Fairless Alumni Assn.
  • Also serves on the Executive Committee of the First Ladies Library, Governance Chairman.
  • Volunteers as an auctioneer for numerous civic organizations

Mr. Regula earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Mount Union, a Management Certificate from Kent State University in 2010, and attended Dix and Eaton Crisis Communications Training in 2009.

He and his wife Jacqueline and two teenage daughters live on a 140-acre farm south of Navarre, and he maintains a herd of approximately thirty Polled Hereford cattle.

Park Director, Robert Fonte

Bob Fonte has been the Director of Stark Parks since 1995. During his tenure, the park district revenue has increased from $750,000 to $7 million annually.  The park district has been nationally recognized for its innovation and partnerships.

Prior to coming to the Park District, Bob served as a Subdivision Engineer and the Stark County Administrator. Bob holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University.

Bob has been an active community member involved with Ohio Parks & Recreation Association (OPRA), National Association for County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO), and Ohio & Erie Canalway Association (OECA). Bob serves on the Canton Regional Society of Professional Engineers (CRSPE) and chairs the Natural Resource Assistance Council (NRAC) as well as serves on the Executive Committee and is on the Board of Directors for Visit Canton.

In his free time, Bob enjoys riding the trails on his bicycle and walks on the beach.

2022 Meeting Schedule
2021 Meeting Schedule
2020 Schedule and Minutes
2019 Minutes
2022 Meeting Schedule

2022 Board Meeting Schedule

  • Weds., January 19, 2022 at 3 p.m. at the Exploration Gateway
    Special Meeting-Executive Session

  • Weds., January 26, 2022 at 9 a.m. at Baker, Dublikar, Beck, Wiley & Mathews – Conference Room, 400 South Main St. North Canton, OH 44720
    Special Meeting-Executive Session

  • Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 5 2022 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
2021 Meeting Schedule

2021 Board Meeting Schedule

2020 Schedule and Minutes

2020 Meeting Schedule

2019 Minutes

Contact the Park Board

Contact the Board of Commissioners

Members of the Park Board of Commissioners are interested in your feedback and invite residents to attend monthly meetings.