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May 01

Director of Parks in Allentown Headed to Idaho


Mike Moore

            Communications Coordinator

            Office of the Mayor

            610 437-7653 office

            610 437-8730 fax

            Mike.Moore@allentownpa.gov

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

April 30, 2012

 

 

 

WEITZEL HEADED TO IDAHO

 

The City of Allentown will be in the market for a new Director of Parks & Recreation.  Greg A. Weitzel is leaving the job that he has held since March 2007 for a similar position in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure in Allentown and I am proud of what we have accomplished,” said Weitzel.  “It has been my goal to eventually return out west, and the City of Idaho Falls has an extensive recreation program, park and trail system as well as an aquatics center, indoor ice rink, a recreation center, a zoo and three golf courses.  On top of that, Idaho Falls is the gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.  For someone who loves recreation, nature and the outdoors, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

 

Weitzel’s tenure has been marked by improvements to Cedar Creek Parkway, including a widely successful destination playground and restoration of the Rose Garden and establishment of the LifeTrail system; renovation of West Park; the development of the Arts Walk; improvements to Keck Park; an ecological restoration project on the nearly 1.5 miles of Trout Creek in Trout Creek Parkway; improvements to Lil-Le-Hi Trout Nursery; Jordan Park tennis court renovations; creation of the Connecting Our Community trail network plan, Swimming Toward the Future aquatic plan, dog park master plan and establishing a new park signage and way finding system; cementing an award winning partnership with Wildlands Conservancy; establishing the non-profit Friends of the Allentown Parks; publishing the award-winning Adventure Allentown guides and significantly increasing summer playground program participation.

 

In 2011, Allentown was named a Playful City USA community for the third consecutive year.  The designation comes from KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play.  Allentown was one of 151 cities and towns across the country and five in Pennsylvania to earn the distinction.  Allentown was among 29 communities that had been honored for the third time.

 

Following numerous improvements to Allentown Municipal Golf Course, it has been voted best golf course in Lehigh Valley Magazine.

 

“I would like to thank Mayor Pawlowski and all the city staff, City Council, the Trexler Trust and especially the residents of Allentown who supported improving parks and recreation in Allentown,” Weitzel said.  “They have been the real reason for our success, and I will be forever grateful to them for their support.”

 

“Greg refocused our efforts on rebuilding our parks and increasing our recreational facilities and activities,” said Pawlowski.  “He did a great job securing grants to help pay for projects and planning studies.  They have established the blueprint for where we would like to go in the future.”

 

Weitzel was tapped as the first Parks, Recreation and Trails director for the City of Allentown.  One of his first accomplishments was to helping to merge the Parks and Recreation bureaus into one cabinet level department in 2008.

 

In addition to his local efforts, Weitzel served on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, serving as chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee.  He also worked closely with the National Recreation and Park Association, speaking on a variety of topics and recently serving as chairman of the stewardship committee for the Conservation Task Force.  He has also been an active member of the governmental affairs team.

 

Weitzel has a bachelor of science degree in Recreation and Park Management from Penn State University and a master’s of science in Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Park Management from Illinois State University in Bloomington.

 

Before coming to Allentown, Weitzel served as executive director of the Lewisburg Area Recreational Authority.  He was responsible for developing, securing and managing the first multi-generational destination park in the nation and raising more than $3 million for capital improvements.

 

Weitzel’s last day with the city will be Friday, May 11.  A search for his successor will begin immediately.

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  1. May 2012 CAR-FREE eNews | CAR-FREE CAT - Coalition for Appropriate Transportation

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