FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2021
Contact: Susan Norton
Chief of Staff
Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Director Connie Edmonston Retires
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.—The City of Fayetteville's Parks and Recreation Director, Connie Edmonston, will retire on July 9 after working 35 years with the City. A celebration honoring her years of service will be held on Thursday, July 8, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Fayetteville Town Center, 15 W. Mountain St. The public is invited to attend.
Edmonston began working for the City in 1982 as an administrative assistant before transitioning to the role of assistant parks and recreation director. She left the City to work for Washington Regional in 1994 but returned in 1998 as parks and recreation director, the role in which she has continued to serve the community for 23 years.
Throughout her 35 years with the City, Edmonston has seen more than 1,700 parkland acres and 40 park properties added to Fayetteville’s parks system. Kessler Mountain Regional Park, Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain, Gulley Park and its 10-acre extension, Mount Sequoyah Woods, Walker Park North, Grinders Skate Park, Brooks Hummel Nature Preserve, Iams Dog Park at Bryce Davis Park and Lewis Avenue Soccer Complex are just a few of the properties added to the system under her leadership.
“I have seen many changes and expansion in parks and recreation,” said Edmonston. “The projects and programs that were achieved during my time with the City were all made possible because of outstanding Parks and Recreation Staff, the Mayor, City administration, our Parks Advisory Board, City Council and of course, our remarkable residents.”
Edmonston advocated for building soft- and hard-surface trails around Lake Fayetteville, served on the first Trails Committee and helped developed the City’s first adopted trails plan. She started the Park Volunteer, Adopt-A-Park and Memorial Bench programs and helped launch several programs for young people, including the Lake Fayetteville Environmental Youth Camp, summer day camps and the Outdoor Fayetteville program.
An active volunteer in Fayetteville and across Northwest Arkansas, Edmonston has served on the United Community Service Board of Directors, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Washington County Red Cross Youth Service Board and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Committee. Edmonston also has received many awards recognizing her contributions to the community. These include the City of Fayetteville’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Brotherhood award in 2009 and Ramay Jr. High’s Outstanding Volunteer Award in 1999. She also served as Treasurer and President of the Arkansas Recreation and Parks Association, along with contributing to the association’s Ethics and By-Laws Committees.
“I am grateful to Connie for her many contributions to this City and our incredible parks, programs and outdoor events,” said Mayor Lioneld Jordan. “Fayetteville’s parks are an important part of what makes this community a great place to live. Connie has worked diligently for the past three decades to help make sure everyone in Fayetteville has access to fun, safe and healthy outdoor opportunities. She leaves behind an impressive legacy of growing and enhancing our parks, green spaces and outdoor recreation programs.”
Edmonston received a bachelor’s degree in recreation from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in recreation administration from the University of Kansas. She also holds a degree in physical and health education. In 1987 she became one of the first recipients of the Certified Parks and Recreation Professional distinction awarded by the State of Arkansas, and she continued that certification for more than 30 years.
Edmonston will retire in Fayetteville. She and her husband plan to continue riding bikes across Northwest Arkansas and enjoying bike vacations throughout the United States and beyond. She also plans to spend more time with family and friends and serve the community and her church.
To learn more about Fayetteville Parks and Recreation, please visit https://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/150/Parks-Recreation.