By Melissa Wharton
Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry was elected in September as president of the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA).
KCMO Parks and Recreation made the announcement in a October 16 media release. McHenry began working at Parks and Rec in 1974. He moved up through the department over the years, becoming director in 2003. McHenry has been the project manager on several large projects, such as the construction of the Kansas City Zoo and the renovation of Liberty Memorial.
“This organization is the cream of the crop for parks directors all over the country,” said Anita Gorman, former president of the KC Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners. “A lot of us have been saying that Mark is the best in the country for a long time, and I think this election proves that.”
McHenry’s appointment will offer greater chances for the development of Kansas City’s parks and recreation areas.
“Whenever there’s an opportunity for you to get federal grants or private donations,” Gorman said, “when you have the president of this organization who is the best parks director making those requests, you’re going to have the best chance.”
Started in 1980, the AAPRA is an organization of leaders in the field of parks and recreation. Members must have served 15 years in high level administration or manage a department in an area with a population over 500,000.
To learn about some of McHenry’s recent contributions to the Northeast, check out Northeast Newscast Episode 12 from May 2017, where he and Managing Editor Paul Thompson discuss a variety of pressing issues: http://northeastnews.net/pages/northeast-newscast-episode-12-park-violence-and-the-ongoing-go-bond-debate-w-kcmo-parks-and-rec-director-mark-mchenry/