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Doug Gaynor, Director of the City of Evanston Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, has announced that he will retire effective August 30, 2013. Gaynor will reach his 16th anniversary as Director on July 1, 2013. 

During those years, his department had grown to include the Facilities Management Division and Community Services, which includes the Youth and Youth Adult Division, Senior Services Division and management of the Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market. 

The Levy Senior Center in James Park and the Clark Street Beach Office were built during Doug’s tenure and the accessible “Noah’s Playground for Everyone” was created in Lawson Park. James Park, Evanston’s largest park, was redeveloped from bottom (underground sprinkler system) to top (field lighting). The lakefront also received an extensive renovation and new recreation programs were added, such as boat rentals and kayak fishing trips. 

Under Gaynor’s leadership, the department’s Forestry Division implemented a very successful inoculation program to protect Evanston’s remaining American elm trees (most suburbs lost all of their elm trees decades ago). Gaynor also forged strong working relationships with affiliated groups and several boards and commissions, which improved the quality of life for everyone who lives, works and plays in Evanston. 

“Doug has left his mark on Evanston through improved facilities that will serve the community well into the future.  In addition, he assembled a staff of talented men and women who provide outstanding service to the residents of Evanston, young and old, every day.  The dedicated team of professionals assembled by Doug will be his greatest legacy in our community,” said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.