Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Trailblazers: Healing Growing Pains

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Trailblazers: Healing Growing Pains

Article excerpt

Under Sharon Plunkett's direction, an Atlanta park district has more than quadrupled in size.

Name: Sharon Plunkett

Title: Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Director of Operations

NRPA Member since: 1983

Director of operations is an understated title for Sharon Plunkett. She's been in the position at Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation in Atlanta since 1988, when the department had about 1,800 acres managed by a staff of 80. Nineteen years later, that parks system has grown to 8,400 acres and employs 350 people. While tending to a growing department, she has served on the Georgia Recreation and Park Association Board of Trustees and was recognized by the association with Presidential Citations for professionalism and dedicated leadership in 1979, 1982, 1996 and 1997. She was also the recipient of GRPA's top honor, the Roy A. Hammond Leadership Award in 2001.

Most Proud Moment:

In partnership with our citizens, Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation has been acquiring thousands of acres of greenspace, developing a large number of active and passive parks and providing and maintaining quality parks and recreation services at a phenomenal rate. I am most proud for the citizens, volunteers, community groups and businesses, leadership of Gwinnett County and the parks and recreation staff for being recognized nationally as a Gold Medal finalist last year by ACPRA/ NRPA. For the citizens and staff in Gwinnett County to achieve this national recognition of excellence in parks and recreation is truly my most proud moment. And my sincere appreciation to the thousands of people, many of whom I don't even know, who had a hand in this accomplishment. …

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