County Commissioners announce the appointment of Alexander Wisniewski as the new director of the Kitsap County Parks Department. He begins service on Jan. 19, 2021. He will manage the county's more than 60 parks, greenways and open spaces, totaling nearly 11,000 acres, in addition to the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Events center and other community recreation facilities.
Commissioners are excited to bring new leadership to the Kitsap County team to take over the helm of the Parks Department. With experience in parks systems large and small, Wisniewski will be well positioned to build upon successes in county parks, as he joins other Parks staff in serving the community. He has a deep background in parks administration, maintenance, planning, development and community involvement.
Wisniewski, a resident of North Kitsap, has worked for Port Townsend's Parks, Recreation and Community Services since 2014 and as director since 2017, managing a $2 million operating budget and staff of over 30. During his tenure, he led the update of the city's parks, recreation and open space plan, oversaw maintenance for city hall and other facilities, and supervised community volunteer projects and partnerships.
He previously worked for the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District as horticulture supervisor and serves on its Parkland Acquisition Advisory Committee and Trails Advisory Committee.
"My career has taken me across the country and allowed me to work for national forests and state, county, and city parks. My approach to leading a parks and recreation department is rather simple: I am community-centered," Wisniewski said. "I listen to what the community is saying they want and then do my best to align those desires with mission, resources, and funding to make them possible. I am very excited to work with the great staff and team in Kitsap County Parks and to serve the residents of Kitsap County!"
Prior to his career in Washington, Wisniewski served as maintenance and operations manager of Coconino County Parks and Recreation in Flagstaff, Ariz. There he led strategic and master planning, private-public partnerships, resource management, community volunteer projects and multi-agency collaborations. He has also worked as an assistant park manager and park ranger with Arizona State Parks.
He earned a bachelor's degree in parks administration from Michigan State University and a master's degree in business administration from Western Governors University. He is certified as a parks and recreation professional through the National Recreation and Parks Association. His hobbies include mountain biking, landscape photography, backpacking, disc golf and cross-country skiing.
"I am a lifelong parks and recreation lover, dating back to my childhood experiences," he noted. "Today, as a parks professional, I certainly have an obligation and desire to ensure parks and other public areas and programs are safe and up to the best standards possible. But these are merely a means to an end – my true passion is creating experiences and memories for others through the enjoyment of parks."
Wisniewski replaces Jim Dunwiddie who retired this month after leading the Parks Department since 2009.
Kitsap County's new Parks Director Andrew Wisniewski
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