This article can be found in the Alumni Magazine.

March 25, 2022

Eden Lamb (BA ’11, MBA ’13) combines her business acumen with her outdoor spirit. She organizes programs and events to promote an active lifestyle, and can’t wait to join in. See that dragon boat race? Not only is Lamb on board steering, but she helps recruit participants to make the annual community festival a success. Ever heard of Margarita Mondays kayaking? That was Lamb’s idea from the first stroke to the last drop.

Lamb’s “get-up-and-go” defines and drives her, ensuring everything she touches turns to gold—or at least a sun-soaked good time.

“Our No. 1 goal is to get people outside and connected with nature,” Lamb said.

Lamb loves sharing her healthy outlook to keep people engaged and connected. As Manager of Salomon Farm, Outdoor Recreation and Boating for Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, she convinces even the most reluctant people to embrace new adventures. It’s her job, but more importantly, it’s her passion. “‘Boating’ in my title reflects my passion for
the water,” she said. “God works in mysterious ways since all of the locations I care for touch water.”

Lamb worked with Fort Wayne Outfitters for a decade while she studied at USF, played on the softball team and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She became the store manager and resident dreamer, which led to Margarita Mondays—the kayaking came first, the margaritas afterward—and Bands on the Bank, a live music event on the banks of the St. Mary’s River.

“That’s what I love about Fort Wayne,” she said. “It’s small enough so you feel like you can make a difference, and everybody can make a difference in their own way. That’s the beauty of Fort Wayne.”

Lamb left Fort Wayne Outfitters for the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department and now oversees events and activities at Salomon Farm Park, Lindenwood Nature Preserve and Hurshtown Reservoir. She also oversees Johnny Appleseed, Franke Day Camp and the Sweet Breeze Canal Boat. The Sweet Breeze is owned by Friends of the Rivers and operated by the parks department.

Lindenwood Nature Preserve is often used by the University of Saint Francis science professors and students. “It feels great to have that connection,” Lamb said. The USF softball team volunteered to help at Salomon Farm Park during its Christmas at the Farm event. “That’s one of our biggest events at the farm, and it was great to have the softball team there,” she said. She also oversees a six-week day camp at Salomon Farm Park in June and July.

“My personal mission is to get people outdoors, and being here at the parks department—whether creating programs for someone else or leading those programs—I’m able to do that,” Lamb said. “Kids’ imaginations grow when they spend more time outside. We’ve had a lot of kids, even at Salomon Farm Park, who don’t know where chicken eggs come from. They spend a week at the farm with us and they’re just amazed.”

Persistence plays a huge part in Lamb’s daily life. A graduate of Homestead High School, she wasn’t accepted into USF immediately out of high school and went to a junior college in Illinois. But USF softball coach Ryan Bolyn kept recruiting her and she ended up as the team’s starting catcher. She graduated with honors in Business Administration before pursuing and earning a Master of Business Administration.

“When I think about where I came from and where I’m going, I always think about Saint Francis as my backbone builder,” she said. “I’m a huge advocate for education and for me and my life story it made perfect sense. At Saint Francis, I was in exactly the right place at the right time.”

Lamb continues to look for new ways to connect with the outdoors and to learn and experience new things. She volunteered with Bolyn’s softball program at USF for a season, coached softball at Concordia Lutheran High School in another season and more recently helped with the success of a local rowing race organized by the Glorious Gates rowing team from Concordia. As a steersman (or steerswoman) for dragon boat races, Lamb travels to different cities for races and steers a 40-foot boat with 20 paddlers and one drummer. She works with Riverfront Fort Wayne on its dragon boat festival race each August. Lamb firmly believes there’s something for everyone outdoors.

“It’s not always about getting out there and kayaking and hiking,” she said. “It could just be about sitting in a park space and being close to the woods, close to the river. People need those things too.”