Town Manager Announces New Vision for Parks and Recreation

Post Date:09/29/2017 1:57 PM

Town Manager Roger Stancil has introduced a new vision for the Parks and Recreation Department to support a broader vision of community wellbeing and connectivity.

To strengthen the Town’s focus on these issues, Parks and Recreation Director Jim Orr will expand his leadership of the department as the acknowledged champions and stewards of open space.

“We are excited to have an opportunity to look at open space in a new way that will engage the entire community and many Town departments,” Orr said. “We will work toward a shared vision of designing and implementing new places even as we continue to develop and maintain our parks, greenways, cemeteries and urban spaces.”

This includes place making strategies, sustainability principles, and connectivity – including bicycle and pedestrian connections. Because beauty and function are integral parts of a well-built urban environment, Orr will bring together teams to identify opportunities to incorporate both in the landscape.

 “Our Parks and Recreation Department enlivens our community by providing exceptional service, creating opportunities for inclusive experiences by nurturing beautiful, sustainable spaces,” Stancil added. “Providing active and natural public spaces will encourage connections in our community and showcase our natural and cultural resources.”

Orr will work with other department heads to support the broad vision of community well-being and connectivity, focusing on:

  • Caring for parks and green spaces
  • Supporting community-wellness
  • Providing inviting spaces
  • Developing connections with natural resources
  • Enhancing connectivity to neighborhoods and other destinations

“The Town of Chapel Hill has always provided excellent core service to our community,” Stancil said. “We strive to become more strategic and collaborative in our thinking about how we provide that service consistent with the community’s Vision as expressed in Chapel Hill 2020 and the Council’s Goals.”

Orr has worked as the Parks and Recreation Director for the Town of Chapel Hill since 2014, and previously served as Assistant Director since 2010.

Orr has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the State University of New York at Brockport and an associate’s degree in math science from Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y. Prior to coming to the Town of Chapel Hill, he worked in parks and recreation leadership positions in North Carolina at the Town of Black Mountain and the City of Asheville, and in Florida at the City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton.

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