Jared Beasley to lead Pumpkinvine board

Jared Beasley says he’s not a trail expert but an expert user.

He regularly runs on the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail with friends and family. Sometimes that’s casual and conversational and other times he’s training for marathons or triathlons. He also walks the family dogs on the trail.

He loves this trail and looks forward to helping guide its future as the new president of the Friends of The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail. Phil Mason, who had been the president since 2022, recently moved out of the area, and retired from the board.

“I feel strongly about the value of a trail in a small town like this,” he said, noting that he can recall Middlebury before the trail. “The safety of being on the trail instead of the road is a big deal to me. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say trails save lives.”

After graduating from Manchester University, Jared started his career as an emergency room nurse. He has a master’s in business administration from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and has had leadership roles in healthcare organizations and is currently executive director of Community Health Clinic Inc. in Shipshewana. “I like to build organizations. I find a lot of value in that,” he said. He also loves this trail. “I spend a lot of hours on this trail.”

He sees how it’s used by the Amish community, by commuters, people seeking wellness, and by athletes who are training intensely. He also saw how advocates worked to complete the Pumpkinvine to connect communities.
“I want to see that legacy grow into more trails in Elkhart County,” he said.

The Friends of The Pumpkinvine has expertise and can help spur growth. “Combining the horsepower of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County with the name recognition of the Pumpkinvine, as well as the goodwill earned, can spark change,” he said. “The next iteration of this could be a much shorter process now that we have some expertise and even more collaboration.”

The Pumpkinvine reflects the heart and soul of those who worked on it and those who cherish it. “Few things have touched as broad a group of people as this trail,” he said.

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