Manhattan Names New Parks And Rec Director

Eddie Eastes
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The man who's been heading up Manhattan Parks and Recreation on a temporary basis now has the job full time.

Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr announced Friday he appointed Eddie Eastes as the new director of parks and recreation.

Eastes has held the position on an interim basis since May. He first joined the department in April 2005 as a parks superintendent.

Eastes was selected from a pool of 55 applicants. He succeeds Curt Loupe, who resigned in April after six years in the position.

Complete news release from the City of Manhattan:
Eddie Eastes has been named the new Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Manhattan. Ron R. Fehr, City Manager for the City of Manhattan, announced the appointment today. Eastes was selected from an initial pool of over 55 applicants identified through a national search and chosen from four finalists that went through an extensive interview and assessment process. A public reception was held for members of the community to meet the finalists on November 4, 2013.

Fehr said, “I am pleased to announce the promotion of Eddie Eastes as the Director of Parks and Recreation. He brings a wealth of professional experience and knowledge of local conditions, strengths and needs regarding recreation and sports programming and facility needs along with the many other important functions of Manhattan’s comprehensive Parks and Recreation Department. Eddie has strong commitment to advance the Parks and Recreation Department to a higher standard of service and accountability. He will be an asset to the City’s management team in his new role, to the community and region, as well as provide effective leadership to meet the current and future needs of our community parks and recreation activities, while ensuring the high quality of life that our community expects.”

Eastes will assume his new position effective immediately and will be responsible for overseeing the City’s recreation programs and facilities; implementing the park development and maintenance plans for over 700 acres of parks, 32 sports fields, over 10 miles of trails, three outdoor pools, including an aquatic facility and splash park, nine tennis courts, and 10 park shelters; an ice skating rink; two cemeteries; an AZA accredited Sunset Zoo and Zoo Education Center; the Flint Hills Discovery Center; City Auditorium, Wefald Pavilion, Community Building, historic U.P. Depot, Douglass Center, and Annex; and the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter. In addition, Eastes will be charged with coordinating and collaborating with other City departments, outside agencies and community groups in order to establish and maintain effective working relationships with community leaders, public entities and organizations, and the private sector.

“I am extremely proud to be part of a Parks and Recreation Department that has such a positive impact on our community,” stated Eastes. “This is a great opportunity for me to increase my responsibilities with the City of Manhattan and I look forward to engaging with our citizens and expanding quality recreational programs and facilities for our stakeholders.”

Eastes has been serving as Manhattan’s Interim Director of Parks and Recreation since May 2013. His dedicated career with the City of Manhattan started in April 2005, serving as the Park Superintendent and the Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation. Prior to joining the City, Eastes served as the Golf Course Superintendent at Park Hills Golf Course in Pratt, Kansas from 1987 to 2005 and as Recreation Director in Kingman, Kansas from 1984 to 1987. Eastes holds a Bachelor degree in Physical Education and Recreation from Kansas State University. He is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) and certified Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO).