Michael Kirschman Selected as Director of Parks and Recreation for City of Virginia Beach

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

​City Manager Dave Hansen today announced that Michael Kirschman has been selected as director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Virginia Beach. He will begin work March 29, 2018.

Kirschman currently serves as deputy director of Parks and Recreation for Mecklenburg County, NC.  Before that he was division director of Nature Preserves & Natural Resources. Mecklenburg County's $40 million program employs 340 full-time and 600 temporary/part-time staff. It covers more than 21,000 acres and 210 parks that contain 256 miles of trails, 253 athletic fields, 193 playgrounds, 18 community centers, and other facilities.

Prior to his positions there, Kirschman worked as the superintendent of Natural Areas and Interpretation for Geneva Park District in Geneva, IL, as a program manager for the Centerville-Washington Park District in Centerville, Ohio, and as an environmental scientist and consultant for the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency in Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa.

"Michael brings a breadth of knowledge and experience as well as a reputation for collaborative leadership to his new role here in Virginia Beach," said Hansen. "His background in parks and recreation management and nature preservation will be valuable additions to our Parks and Recreation system as we continue to enhance the facilities, parks, programs and services for our residents and visitors." Kirschman's career spans nearly 25 years. He has substantial expertise in master plan development, educational programming, and implementing initiatives that drive increased visitation for parks and recreation facilities.

"I sought out this opportunity because Virginia Beach's Parks and Recreation department is one of the national leaders in this field and I wanted to be a part of it," said Kirschman. "It's an honor to be chosen to lead the department and I'm looking forward to working with City Council, staff, the Commission, community partners, and residents to continue to build on the strong base of offerings."

He holds a MA in Environment & Community from Antioch University and a BS in Environmental Science from Westminster College. He's had articles published in Parks & Recreation Magazine, a publication of the National Recreation and Park Association; and County News, the magazine of the National Association of Counties, among others.

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation manages 293 city park sites, more than 7,000 acres of parks and natural areas, seven community recreation centers, a municipal marina and an athletic complex. In addition to offering year-round recreational opportunities, they are the largest childcare provider in the city, operating before and after school programs, early childhood programs and day camps. Parks & Recreation also provides landscape management and maintenance for municipal buildings, public schools, park sites and designated roadways. The department has 471 full-time and 897 part-time employees, and a budget of $59,330,334.


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