New head of Wheat Ridge parks and rec

O'Donnell from Commerce City chosen as department head

Staff report
Posted 8/26/19

The city of Wheat Ridge recently announced the selection of Karen O’Donnell as the Director of Parks and Recreation. Most recently O’Donnell held the position of Recreation Division Manager for …

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New head of Wheat Ridge parks and rec

O'Donnell from Commerce City chosen as department head

Posted

The city of Wheat Ridge recently announced the selection of Karen O’Donnell as the Director of Parks and Recreation.

Most recently O’Donnell held the position of Recreation Division Manager for the Commerce City Parks and Recreation Department that has undergone a major expansion in recent years. She was also responsible for the recreation division budget and served as project manager for the $9.3 million Paradice Island Pool project; and on the project team for the $45.2 million Bison Ridge Recreation Center project and the $14 million Eagle Pointe Recreation Center renovation/expansion project.

As the Director of Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation, O’Donnell will lead the department and participate as a member of the city’s Executive Management Team. She will be responsible for supervising consultants and/or staff in the designing and construction of all capital projects relating to Parks and Recreation. She will also prepare estimates, review and approve contracts for capital improvement programs, and Parks and Recreation-related projects. As the director, O’Donnell will be responsible for reviewing facility maintenance projects and ongoing facility maintenance needs, as well as programs and related activities with the general public and city boards and commissions. Her role also includes preparing grant applications, administering federal and state grants pertaining to Parks and Recreation programs, and preparing, administering, and implementing the annual departmental budget with oversight of revenues and expenditures.

“We are pleased to have Karen O’Donnell join our team of dedicated professionals who serve the City of Wheat Ridge,” stated Patrick Goff, Wheat Ridge city manager. “Karen brings a wealth of park and recreation experience and she will be a tremendous asset as we continue our work to ensure a vibrant and healthy community.”

Wheat Ridge has 20 parks, 300 open space acres and several facilities, including an outdoor water park, and rec center.

O’Donnell is the President of the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association Board, and a graduate of the National Recreation and Park Association Director’s School. She holds certification as a Parks and Recreation Executive and as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She earned her master’s degree in Public Administration from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and her bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Ohio University.

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