By Walter Munday
After more than 30 years on the job, Jackie Gardner retired earlier this year. In search for her replacement, Louisville Metro Parks & Recreation cast the nets far and wide as part of a national search, and Tim Fulton, from New Mexico was hired as the new Operations Administrator.
Prior to arriving in Louisville, Tim was the Parks Administrator for the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Las Cruces is approximately 46 miles north of the Mexican border, 225 miles south of Albuquerque, and 48 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces’ estimated population is approximately 101,643, making it the second largest city in New Mexico after Albuquerque. Las Cruces is the home of New Mexico State University.
As the Parks Administrator, Tim oversaw the maintenance and management of over 100 parks, all city trees, about a dozen of sports fields, the city’s trail system, parkways and specialty parks that included a skate park, archery range, model airplane airport and a 640-acre natural area.
“During my tenure in Las Cruces, I introduced the concept of zone management, which provides the park workers with more autonomy which resulted in better maintained parks. In addition, I developed an Integrated Pest Management Program, supervised the development of a tree inventory and forestry management plan. I used my knowledge as a Certified Playground Safety Inspector to improve the maintenance the city’s playgrounds,” Fulton said.
While in Las Cruces, Tim was selected by the city manager to lead a team of city staff in the creation of a city-wide succession plan. In addition, he was chosen to serve on the staff committee to explore and select projects for the city’s general obligation bonds. Under Tim’s leadership, the Las Cruces Park & Recreation partnered with the New Mexico Department of Health through their Healthy Kids Healthy Communities program.
“Our role in this program was to lead the design and installation of way-finding signage and promotional materials to encourage youth and their families to use the city’s trail system,” he said.
Tim also served on the Las Cruces Bicycle Friendly Task Force and promoted cycling among city staff and elected officials through a program called Back on the Bike; a program which teaches participants the basics of safe bicycle commuting.
A native of central Texas, Tim is a big outdoor enthusiast. He graduated from Texas A&M University, and received a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science.
“I enjoy spent my free time outside hiking, swimming and enjoying nature,” said Tim. “That’s simply why I chose a career working parks & recreation. Originally, I wanted to a research biologist, but one of my professors was a wonderful teacher and I realized I had a passion for teaching others about my love of nature. Parks and Recreation provided me with the opportunity to work with communities and develop programs and facilities that connect people and nature.”
Tim’s interest in Louisville Parks and Recreation began about 20 years ago when learned about our Olmsted Parks system.
“I heard great things about Louisville – a city moving in the right direction,” he said. “Everyone I spoke with shared how much they loved this wonderful city, and its parks.”
Tim indicated that he’d been looking for an exciting and challenging new job, and felt confident he’d find that hear.
“All of this, plus the fact that Louisville’s Parks and Recreation department is an accredited agency made me want to be part of this team.”