The Kansas City, Mo., Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners voted at its June 22 meeting to appoint Deputy Director Roosevelt Lyons as the Interim KC Parks Director. A national search is underway to find a replacement for Director Terry Rynard, who is retiring effective July 6, 2021.
“As I prepare to retire from KC Parks I could not be more proud of this team and happy with the Board decision to appoint Roosevelt Lyons as the Interim Director,” Rynard said.
Lyons’ professional background includes stints in the Mayor’s Office, political organizing, youth programming, and personal training. While serving Mayor Sly James, he worked on several initiatives including an ordinance mandating a Citywide youth advisory panel, creating a program for youth who were interested in careers in public service, and the development of a summer program for youth in partnership with the Parks Department.
He joined KC Parks in 2014 as a manager of recreation and was promoted to community services division manager in 2016. He has served as the Deputy Director of Operations since January of 2019 and advocated for helping provide virtual learning sites to many in KCMO during the pandemic.
Lyons has also led the effort to create the Quality of Life Investment District (QLID) that focuses on improving park facilities in the six Life X zip codes. Lyons is the youngest and first African American to serve as Deputy Director for Kansas City Parks and Recreation and now, as Interim Director. He will take over as Interim Director for KC Parks effective July 6, 2021.