Briefly describe your role at the Summerlin Council.
We all wear a lot of hats at the Council. While my primary role involves managing maintenance issues, working with our landscaping and security vendors, and responding to residents, I also assist with everything the Council does for the community. I love helping with the special events! Sometimes I get to help build a creepy haunted house for the Haunted Campout or participate in the behind-the-scenes magic of the beloved Patriotic Parade!
When did you join the Council and when did you start in your current role of Parks Manager?
In 2019, I was working on finishing my degree in Sports and Recreation Management and became very interested in The Summerlin Council while doing research for a class. I connected with Lezlie Barnson-DeNardin, the Executive Director, and the Council seemed like just the kind of organization I would love to be a part of. I was excited to join the team in April 2021 as Parks Manager.
In your opinion, what sets Summerlin parks from others in the valley?
I am consistently impressed by what we accomplish with our small, but mighty team. The Summerlin Council manages four community centers, three pools, and over 25 parks with a wide range of amenities spanning 400+ acres! That’s a lot of area to cover for a small, private parks and recreation department, but our maintenance team is amazing! I am particularly proud of how quickly they respond to and resolve issues that arise in the parks. That and the cleanliness of our parks are what differentiates Summerlin parks from others in the valley.
What do you love most about your job?
Access to parks, trail systems and opportunities for outdoor recreation are directly related to the overall health and well-being of a community, and one of the things we learned from the pandemic is just how important our open spaces are. I love that I have the opportunity do such important work for this community: helping to provide welcoming, clean, and safe outdoor spaces for people to enjoy.
Some of my favorite tasks of this job are choosing new equipment and updating the amenities in a park. Recently we retired the “vintage” train at Arbors Tennis & Play Park, and I got to help with the selection and design of the new train that took its place. Watching children and families enjoy a piece of equipment that you helped choose is very rewarding. On a side note, I am an outdoor enthusiast so the fact that I get to spend a portion of my workday outside walking parks is a wonderful perk!
Any fun facts about Summerlin Parks residents should know or may not know about?
My favorite park in all of Summerlin is Gardens Park. It has mature trees with plenty of shade and a variety of amenities: a playground, tennis and basketball courts, a hockey rink, sand volleyball, shuffleboard, bocci ball and even horseshoes! But maybe one of the best things about Gardens is that it is wonderful place to experience the change in seasons. There are several rows of pear trees on the east side of the park that are simply magnificent. In the spring they bloom beautiful, fragrant, white flowers, and in the fall, they show off in glorious red, orange and gold. You can take a stroll along the walking paths under the trees and feel like you have escaped from Las Vegas for a few moments. It’s a treat!