Scientist joins parks commission



The newest commissioner on Ottawa County’s parks and recreation panel will bring environmental assessment and consulting experience to the job.

County commissioners selected Kelly N. Rice to fill a vacancy on the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission.

The appointment

Rice officially begins her duties today and her three-year term will end on Dec. 31, 2018. She replaces Bobbi Jones Sabine, who served on the parks panel for a dozen years, including the last three as president.

John Scholtz, director of Ottawa County parks, said Rice’s experience will be beneficial to the county parks system.

“(Sabine) offered extensive natural resource knowledge from her work as an environmental consultant,” said Scholtz. “(Rice’s) equally significant knowledge and field experience will continue to support our mission and vision for the parks system.”

Her background

Rice has nearly 25 years of environmental assessment and consulting experience and currently serves as a senior project manager with GEI Consultants Inc. She also is a wetland scientist specializing in wetland assessments and delineations, wetland mitigation design, wildlife and protected species surveys, and large-scale project management.

Prior to her role with GEI Consultants, Rice worked as a senior ecological resource specialist with Cardno JFNew, a senior environmental scientist with LPG Environmental and Permitting Service Inc., and served as president of the Ecological Consulting Organization Inc.

She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology with an emphasis in wildlife ecology.

The commission

The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission has oversight of management and operation of the county-wide parks system. Since in 1987, the commission has worked to provide residents and visitors with recreational and educational opportunities, as well as park facilities.

Other members currently serving on the commission are David Van Ginhoven, vice president; Philip Kuyers, secretary; Tom Werkman; James Holtvluwer; Roger E. Jonas; Joe Bush; Ray Statema; Matthew Fenske; and Tom Elhart.

Parks commissioners will nominate and select a new president on Jan. 6.

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