A Marion business owner who spurred improvements to Matter Park’s fishing pond is seeing results and will see more take place later this summer and fall as the project evolves.
Atlas Foundry owner, Jim Gartland, who routinely takes walks at the park, noticed the pond and its steams needing significant maintenance. In 2019, he approached the Parks Department and shared thoughts on improving the pond system, cleaning up the creek, and adding plants. The park board approved his initiative, and they began working on it.
Gartland donated his time and resources, and the help of his family toward the project. “When crews began working,” Gartland’s wife, Janet, shared, “he bought boots, rakes, and gloves for himself and our grandkids, and helped the crew get the job done along with the community.”
There are visible improvements to the pond, and more are on the way later this year.
Janet said she and her husband are thankful to see ‘the squeaky wheel getting the grease.’ She explained, “The Park is pretty…why stop at the Gardens? We have a good thing started and just need to work to keep it maintained.” Janet said she is proud of her husband for many things with the pond being one example. “He cares for Marion and wants it to be the best it can be.”
Marion Parks Department Maintenance and Operations Assistant and pond project leader, Taylere McCoy, expressed gratitude for Gartland’s time and resources to help the pond be the best it can be for everyone. “The renovation of the pond and connected streams will have a significant positive impact on the park. It will not only improve recreational fishing, but bring more life and beauty to the area. Native birds, fish, and more will thrive there, and our community will have more opportunities for outdoor education and wellness. We are grateful to Mr. Gartland for his passion and commitment to our parks, and for being the driving force behind this project.”
Jim Gartland is a Marion native who graduated from Bennett High School, then St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN, before working for the family business that his great-grandfather began. Gartland is active to improve Marion in many ways. He has served on many boards including the Grant County Economic Growth Council, currently serves on St. Paul Catholic Church’s finance board where he is a member, and recently joined the board for Meals on Wheels. He is also active with enriching the lives of Marion’s youth through the Kinwell Academy.