The City of Fairview Parks Department is pleased to announce “We are fully staffed!” The city is also hosting a meet and greet with new parks staff this Saturday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Bowie Nature Center.
Fairview Parks Director Keith Paisley has been busy in recent years, wearing many different hats as the parks department staff dwindled in recent years. Now, Paisley is excited to see what the parks department’s future holds as new faces and new ideas fill long-time vacant positions.
The hiring began with Tommy Peterson, who joined the staff as a part-time park ranger last summer. In October, Bre Bailey became the new full-time program director. Zena Wileman joined the staff in early January as Bowie Nature Park’s full-time naturalist. The newest member on the Fairview Parks staff is Levi Heatwole, who will be working as full-time park maintenance.
Park staff diminished starting in 2019 due to budget challenges and then continued in 2020 amid the COVID-19 shutdown. As staff members resigned or retired, they were not replaced. For over two years, Fairview’s parks department operated with a bare bones staff of two full-time employees and one part time employee. Those being Parks Director Keith Paisley, Park Ranger Larry Hill and Maintenance Supervisor Justin Tomlin.
Early in 2023, the City began the process of developing a new Parks Master Plan. Once the plan was passed, staffing the parks department became a priority.
The new hires have some continuity with the three staff members who stayed on through the parks department’s lean times. However, much of the programming plans will need to be built from scratch. Bailey and Wileman have been working on a day camp with a theme of art in nature. They have scheduled a few weekend events as well, and plan to have four week-long day camps this summer.