After conducting a nationwide recruitment, the Santa Barbara City Council has confirmed the City administrator’s appointment of Jill Zachary as Parks and Recreation director. Selected from 73 candidates, she was serving as the interim director following the retirement of Nancy Rapp.

As Parks and Recreation director, she will oversee the department’s $23 million budget, 100 regular employees and a few hundred hourly employees.

The Parks and Recreation Department manages numerous recreation and sports facilities and activities; an 18-hole golf course; creeks and water-quality improvement programs; 60 developed parks, beaches and open spaces; and an urban forest of more than 35,000 street and park trees.

Zachary has worked with the City of Santa Barbara for almost 17 years. Since 2007, she served as the assistant Parks and Recreation director where she oversaw parks operations and creek restoration and water quality enhancement programs.

She was also responsible for developing and managing the department’s annual operating budget and multi-year capital improvement program for recreation facilities, park projects and creek and water-quality projects.

She played a lead role in the development of an Urban Forest Management Plan and the Multi-Jurisdictional Front Country Trails Program.

Previously, she held the positions of creek restoration and water quality manager, implementing creek restoration and stormwater treatment projects and regional planner representing the city in community regional meetings.

Prior to joining the city, she managed projects and performed research for the Community Environmental Council, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the State of Massachusetts urban park system.

Zachary received a bachelor’s degree in government and environmental studies from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University at Northridge.

According to City Administrator Paul Casey, “Jill brings an extensive knowledge of parks, creeks and community recreation issues. I think she’s a great fit for the department and I’m confident that she’ll do an excellent job.”

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