Crook County has a new Parks and Recreation Executive Director, Steve Waring.
“When the community works together, when the board, the volunteers, all the different stakeholders and the organizations in the community value their parks and recreation, amenities and their programs, you usually see the best results. And I wouldn’t have moved from Central Florida to Central Oregon, if I didn’t see that here,” said Waring.
Waring says he has over 30 years of experience both in the public and private sectors in parks and recreation, starting his career in Florida as a YMCA camp counselor in 1994.
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Waring started the job this month.
“Any time you start a new position, it’s a lot of learning, assessing, absorbing,” he said. So just trying to figure things out here and how things are run here and bring my expertise in the industry into this community.”
One of the big projects he’s working on is the Stryker Park playground. The community has raised over $50,000 through grants and donations with a $200,000 goal for an initial first phase.
“It’s a really exciting project that has a 2 to a 5-year-old playground, has an inclusive playground, and some future phases,” Waring said. “We’re also working on putting some musical instruments in that should be in very shortly.”
Waring says the parks district board is working on prioritizing a parks master plan.
“So I’ll be working very hard with the team here to make sure all those best practices are in place, all the policies and plans and procedures that we need, and we’re going to get the master plan implemented moving forward. So you’ll see some improvement to some of the parks, and you’ll see some new growth,” he said.