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Upon Retirement, Jodie Adams Reflects on Changes Within Park Board

She’s been with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board for nearly four decades, and she’s been a score keeper, tennis instructor, day camp counselor and most recently, director of the park board.  But after bringing national awards to the area’s parks and facilities, Jodie Adams is retiring.  KSMU’s Jennifer Moore interviewed Adams this week.

[Note: to hear the entire interview, click on the MP3 link above]

“We were at around 66 parks way back in the actual ‘70s,” Adams said. 

“Now, we’re at 102 park locations that we manage,” she said.

In addition, the park board manages 100 miles of greenway trails, the Dickerson Park Zoo, and many classes and activities.

“Just to see all of this come together as a full community effort…that’s what parks are all about,” Adams said.

She credits the community for putting a plan together to develop the park system.

Adams said the bottom line of her decision to retire is that she’s ready for a new chapter in her life, and wanted to leave during a time when the system was in good financial shape.

Two other factors, she said, were that she wanted to retire while she’s still in great health, and that she wants to spend more time with “new babies” in her family.

Until this year, Adams was the president of the National Recreation and Park Association, a post that took her to Chicago and New York City, among other places across America, to help improve the nation’s parks.  Adams says she intends to stay in her hometown of Springfield, and looks forward to continuing her work on the US Olympic committee from here.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.