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May 31

New parks official brings experience from Kansas City, Mo, other agencies.

Posted on May 31, 2019 at 9:49 AM by Becky Burnside

JCPRD’s first-ever assistant superintendent of parks & golf courses brings a variety of experience in both areas to his new position.

Devin Wetzel of Kansas City began in the new position on May 6. 

“I have a variety of work experience and education directly related to the Parks and Golf Courses Division.  I have been fortunate to be part of renovations and new construction in parks and local golf courses that allows me to have a good understanding of the system as a whole.  I have always been interested in natural resources and JCPRD provides many opportunities.  I have two children who love the district’s parks, and I have been taking them there since they were able to walk.  JCPRD is a regional leader in prairie restoration, and being able to be a part of that is a great opportunity.”

“Devin was previously the superintendent of parks in Kansas City, Mo., and has background in golf operations as well,” added Superintendent of Parks & Golf Courses Bill Maasen. “His experience in the golf industry will be valuable to assist in the management of both golf shops. Devin has a diverse background, and in many ways handled a much more expansive system in KCMO.”

Before coming to JCPRD, Wetzel had been superintendent of parks in the Natural Resources Division of Kansas City Parks and Recreation since February 2017. While there, he was responsible for operation and maintenance of 220 parks covering more than 12,000 acres. He was also responsible for operations and long-term planning of the city’s forestry division, which included the city’s 140,000 street trees; prepared and monitored budgets for 15 operations exceeding $25 million annually; and oversaw more than 60 service contracts, cooperative agreements, and partnership agreements; and worked directly with the city council, park board, neighborhood groups, and other city departments to collaborate on citywide issues and needs. 

Earlier, Devin worked for the Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation Department, where he was superintendent of park operations from 2014 to 2017, assistant superintendent of parks from 2011 to 2014, and Legacy Park supervisor from 2008 to 2011. He also worked as assistant superintendent at the Blue Hills Country Club from 2006 to 2008, and as an assistant superintendent at the Lake Quivira Country Club from 2005 to 2006. 

Wetzel holds a bachelor of science degree in horticulture and turfgrass management from Iowa State University.  He also holds certifications as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional, and as a Playground Safety Inspector.

The need for an assistant superintendent of parks & golf courses is the result of JCPRD’s continuing growth, Maasen said. 

“There continues to be a need to deal with all of the issues and volume of responsibilities in the division,” he said. “There is also a succession-planning component of the position, and when I am away from the office, Devin will act as the superintendent.”

In the new position, Wetzel will be responsible for overseeing horticulture, natural resources, construction, and golf course pro shops.

“With over 10,000 acres of park land, my first goal is to meet each member of the Parks and Golf Courses team,” he said. “I think it is important to visit staff at their place of work to fully understand the system as a whole.”