Saturday, March 2, 2024

We Rise Up for Parks and Recreation: Meet the Community Services Admin and Community Relations Divisions

Administration is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking about a Parks and Recreation department, but it’s crucial in providing world-class community services to our residents. Community Relations goes hand-in-hand with Community Services, and this team handles everything from marketing and communications to community events!

There’s more than meets the eye regarding the Community Services Admin and Community Relations Divisions. The Admin team oversees the administration of Southlake’s biggest department. Led by the Community Services Director, the Admin Division is the primary liaison between our department, other departments, City leadership, and various citizen boards and commissions. People on this team include the Director of Community Services, Deputy Director of Community Services, Assistant to the Director, and Administrative Assistant. The Community Relations Division comprises the Community Relations Manager and the Marketing and Communications Coordinator. These two teams may seem small, but they provide a plethora of services to our community.

Let’s take a look at some of the things these teams do on a day-to-day basis.

Comprehensive Planning and Capital Improvement Projects: The Admin team oversees implementing Comprehensive Plan recommendations, which often turn into Capital Improvement Projects. The comprehensive plans serve as a strategic roadmap to where we want to be as a community. For our department, that includes implementing suggestions from the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan, the Public Arts Master Plan, and the Youth Master Plan, among others. Recent examples of master planning at work include Phase III of Bicentennial Park Improvement and the upcoming Pickleball Complex.

Boards and Commissions and Agenda Management: The Community Services Department serves seven citizen boards and commissions such as the Southlake City Council, the Parks and Recreation Board, the Southlake Arts Council, The Southlake Parks Development Corporation, the Southlake Youth Action Commission, the Senior Advisory Commission, and the Community Enhancement and Development Corporation. Service to these boards and commissions includes providing staff liaisons to each board, agenda management, and public record maintenance and retention.

Organizational Culture: The Administration Division works to create a positive departmental culture. This means managing strategic elements, such as onboarding processes, employee engagement and retention, succession planning, world-class customer service, championing innovation, departmental safety, and professional development.

Marketing and Communications: The Community Relations Division manages all departmental marketing and communications initiatives. Important work like website administration, social media management, media relations, crisis communications, marketing campaigns, and graphic design for the department are managed by this mighty team. This Division ensures we have clear, strong, and transparent communication for our external and internal partners.

Community Relations: As the name suggests, the Community Relations Division is also in charge of community building on behalf of the department. This team facilitates community events, manages the Public Arts Program, and works with our Community Services Agreements partners to provide world-class services to our residents.

This is just a short snapshot of what these Parks and Recreation professionals do to serve the City of Southlake. You may not always see them, but you can be sure they rise up for Parks and Recreation daily!