Joe and Joyce Mineo have been making a difference at Asbury Woods for over 40 years.
Joe Mineo saw Asbury Woods as a teaching tool from the time he first began his career at Asbury Elementary School in January, 1974. Joe used Asbury Woods as a living classroom to share seasonal changes with his students and to demonstrate human’s impact on the environment. Joe recalls a moment when he knew the concepts of environmental education and conservation were sinking in. Asbury Road had recently been declared a hazardous road which meant students needed to be bussed to Asbury Woods from the school at the intersection of West 38th and Asbury. The student commented, “Mr. Mineo, let me get this straight. We are taking two buses just to cross the street so we can go to Asbury Woods to learn about conservation and our environment.”
In addition to formal education lessons, Joe utilized Asbury Woods and the trail network as part of his role as Intramural Coordinator for the Millcreek elementary schools. Joe recalls being particularly proud securing the funding for the intramural program to purchase snowshoes which could be shared amongst the elementary schools for intramural activities and physical education classes on weekdays and then used by the public at Asbury Woods on the weekends. Joe shared, “I am so pleased that the snowshoe and now cross country ski program at Asbury Woods is still a success after so many years.”
Joe and Joyce are both retired and now have the opportunity to share their values of environmental education, conservation and outdoor appreciation with their children and grandchildren. They are often found on the trails for family walks, attending preschool classes with their grandchildren, attending seasonal festivals and a succession of Mineo grandchildren have enjoyed summer camp for many years.
The Mineos belief in environmental education and nature run deep. They have chosen to honor their children and grandchildren with leaves in the Celebration Garden. Gifts through the Celebration Garden are added to the Asbury Woods Endowment, providing a perpetual source of operating support. Joe and Joyce shared their motivations for this investment in Asbury Woods, “First and foremost, we have honored them with these gifts so they will know how important Asbury Woods, experiences in nature and protecting our environment are to us. We want to model these values in the hopes they will carry that same legacy to their own children and grandchildren. Secondly, Asbury Woods is a community asset with a team of staff and volunteers who have worked diligently to protect this valuable green space for generations to come. We know that financial support is necessary to accomplish this goal and through the Celebration Garden our support carries forward forever.”
In addition to their financial generosity, Joe Mineo gave of his time and talents to shape the future of Asbury Woods, first serving on the School Districts Asbury Woods Advisory Board and then subsequently on the board of the Asbury Woods Partnership when nonprofit status was obtained.
“Nature is important to us because we can fully engage our five senses without interruption from the outside world. In addition, we can open up our sense of being at peace, not only with nature, but within ourselves as well. How can one take a walk through nature and not see the hand of God at work,” says Joe and Joyce.
For information about honoring a loved one with a lasting gift in the Celebration Garden, please contact Carissa Snarski, Director of Development and Marketing, at 814-836-6179 or email@example.com