Orinda Welcomes a New Parks Director

Orinda Welcomes a New Parks Director

Julia Hass and Katie Hoskins

Starting in January, Michelle Lacy took on the position of the new director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Orinda.
The Orinda Parks and Recreation department covers all the facilities in the Orinda parks, including the Orinda Community Center and all sport fields.
“My control is over any place where there’s a park and people gather,” said Lacy. As the director, Lacy is also responsible for the classes offered at the Community Center for ages ranging from newborn to  senior citizens.
One of the biggest projects that Lacy will spearhead in the near future is the opening of the Wilder Sports Park, complete with two new all-weather turf fields and lights, scheduled to open June 1st. The park will be available to all residents of Orinda and frequently used by sports teams including baseball and soccer.
The department will also be upgrading the Orinda Sports Field. Plans include the addition of a “tot lot” playground for young kids.
Lacy also plans to improve the recreation opportunities for teens in Orinda by hiring a new youth coordinater. This new position entails thinking up new clases and activities to get Orinda’s youth more involved in the communities will start this summer.
Lacy’s previous locations, her department has successfully gotten youth more involved through classes specifically geared towards teens, like yoga and cupcake making.
Lacy also hopes the new coordinator will incorporate fun service projects into the available activities like making baby blankets. Everthing from group trips to interesting locations and recreation activities like glow in the dark capture the flag will also be considered.
After working as a camp leader in her teen years, Lacy knew she wanted to work with youth.
“At first I wanted to be a teacher,” Lacy said. “But after working with Parks and Rec, I found that was a better fit for me.”
Lacy has previously worked at the Danville Parks and Recreation Department but was only in charge of the Parks Department. Now, in Orinda she gets the best of both worlds as director of both parks and recreation.
While Lacy admits that the life of a Parks and Recreation director doesn’t exactly match the hilarious escapades of Leslie Knope on the hit show Parks and Recreation, Lacy agrees that the staff planning portions of the show are realistic.
However, there was a paralell between reality and fiction when a friend of Lacys found a hobo sleeping in a slide.
“Crazy things do happen,” said Lacy. “Just not as often as they happen in the show.”