Parks and Recreation Director

McDowell County
March 31, 2021
Marion, NC
First Name
Last Name
Phone Number
Closing Date
April 30, 2021


McDowell County is seeking a dynamic leader for the McDowell County Parks & Recreation Department.  The new director will be tasked with leading the department through a time of transition and growth. 

The department is currently responsible for the management of five baseball/softball complexes, two swimming pools, and a multi-purpose center that includes a gymnasium.  The department is also responsible for the organization and oversight of a youth baseball/softball program and a youth basketball program.  In addition to the existing recreational offerings, the department is growing to include trails and greenways, as well as a public shooting range (opening fall 2021), and a campground/day-use area on Lake James (opening fall 2022). 

The new director will be responsible for continuing the facility and programming improvements that are underway, as well as establishing the new operations at the shooting range and the campground.  


Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. The employee plans, organizes, directs, coordinates, and evaluates recreation programming; manages the selection and evaluation of permanent and temporary staff.
  2. Plans, directs and participates in providing an expanding and flexible program of recreational activities for all segments, groups, ages, and interest levels of the community.
  3. Develops long range plans for recreation programs, parks, and facilities to accommodate according community growth, goals, and parks and recreation needs.
  4. Updates the Comprehensive Parks Plan, including managing consultants, facilitating stakeholder groups, reviewing and editing documents, and presenting to Board of Commissioners.
  5. Coordinates the maintenance of various facilities, parks, fields, and buildings.
  6. Recommends the acquisition, development and maintenance of park and playground areas and of structures and facilities to best serve the interests of the community; coordinates with the county management and grant writers on grant opportunities.
  7. Receives input from community groups, neighborhood groups and individuals regarding parks and recreation needs, utilizes such input for overall planning, programming, program evaluation.
  8. Prepares the Parks and Recreation budgets, submits recommendations to county management; coordinates and monitors the expenditure and receipt of funds.
  9. Develops staff including hiring, training, motivation, performance counseling and evaluation, discipline, and team building.
  10. Advises management and elected officials on department issues.
  11. Interprets the recreational and parks program through press releases and other publicity and through cooperative planning and effective working relationships with other community agencies and groups, public and private.


$62,676 - $92,112


Education and Experience

Graduation from a four-year college or university with a degree in recreation administration, public administration, physical education, or related field, and 10 years of experience in the field with five years of supervisory experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Local government experience preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  1. Thorough knowledge of programs, laws, and processes required in public recreation and administration.
  2. Thorough knowledge of the principles and methods of parks and recreation planning and development.
  3. Considerable knowledge of land use ordinance and resulting recreational and parks needs.
  4. Considerable knowledge of modern and effective supervisory principles and practices including communication, leadership, motivation, conflict resolution.
  5. Considerable knowledge of budgeting, purchasing and personnel policies and procedures and applicable personnel laws and regulations.
  6. Working knowledge of the application of information technology to the work of the department.
  7. Ability to effectively communicate, motivate, hire, evaluate and coach employees.
  8. Ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with local officials, the general public, and employees.
  9. Ability to communicate effectively in oral and written forms.
  10. Ability to write policies, grants, and reports supporting the programs and activities of the department.

Special Requirements

Physical Demands and Working Environment:

  • Must be able to physically perform the basic life operational functions of climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing, and repetitive motions.
  • Must be able to perform light work exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally; and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently; and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.
  • Must possess the visual acuity to prepare and analyze data and figures, perform accounting tasks, operate a computer terminal, do extensive reading, drive a motor vehicle, and be able to inspect work of others.
  • Must have a valid NC driver’s license.
  • Possession of Certified Parks and Recreation Professional from the National Parks and Recreation Association preferred.



Benefited after 90 days
Medical, dental, and life insurance
Sick, vacation, and holiday payMembership in the Local Government Retirement System
Supplemental retirement 401k/457

How to Apply:


APPLICANTS WILL BE GIVEN CREDIT ONLY FOR INFORMATION PROVIDED IN RESPONSE TO THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. No additional information will be solicited by the McDowell County; therefore, persons who submit incomplete applications may not receive full credit for their education, training and experience.

McDowell County is an equal opportunity employer.  It is the policy of the County to recruit, hire, train and promote individuals without regard to age, sex, race, color, religion, political affiliation or national origin. The County will interactively work with disabled applicants and employees to identify reasonable accommodations that will allow the individual to perform essential job functions. 

McDowell County participates in E-Verify.

Applications are available on our website: under “Employment Opportunities