County Parks Board announces interim director

The St. Joseph County Parks Board has named Steve Slauson as interim director for the County Parks following the retirement of current parks director, Evie Kirkwood.

Steve Slauson has worked with the County Parks in various roles for over 20 years overseeing the facilities, construction and maintenance operations activities within the parks. He will move into his new role effective May 2. “Steve’s expertise in facilities and infrastructure will be important as the department evaluates its backlog of deferred maintenance,” says Kirkwood, “and at a time where there is much uncertainty related to COVID-19, Steve’s appointment brings confidence and stability to the overall park system. He will be able to guide the department well.”

He will be the fifth County Parks director in the 53-year history of the department. Previous directors include Harold Gentry, Billy Hankins, John Berkebile and Kirkwood.

Evie Kirkwood has been with the County Parks for over 40 years and served as director for the past 16 years. She announced her retirement to the parks Board in November, and to the public in early February. Her last day is May 1.

Visitation at the St. Joseph County Parks averages 300,000 annually. The department manages 1300 acres including Bendix Woods, St. Patrick’s and Ferrettie-Baugo Creek County Parks, as well as Spicer Lake Nature Preserve.

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