Brookfield Parks and Recreation Director Karen Grant’s last full-time day was Friday, March 30.
The longest serving Parks and Recreation Director in Brookfield history is retiring after 22 years, but will work closely with the department as the incoming director settles in.
Grant worked for Brookfield Parks briefly before taking on the role of director in 1996. Since then Grant has completed a couple major projects, which include the construction of the Brookfield Aquatic Center and the construction of the Brookfield ball fields. Grant was also instrumental in the passage of Brookfield Ordinance No. 14-06, a half-cent sales tax, which benefits Brookfield Parks and Recreation based on all business done within the city of Brookfield.
According to Grant, the things she will miss the most are not the big projects she completed.
“The people is what I will miss,” Grant said.
Grant is currently waiting on news regarding her grant for the restoration of Brookfield’s Tormey Park. The park is named after a Brookfield pastor from the 1920s. Since Tormey Park was constructed in 1925 it has not been renovated. This likely final project for Grant would be a total overhaul for the park.
The new park director is Zandy Larson, who has previously worked as the assistant manager at the Aquatic Center. Larson will take over as full-time parks and recreation director April 16. Grant started work Monday as a part-time parks employee and continue to work for the next two weeks alongside Larson.
According to Grant, it’s fulfilling to have worked this long, but it’s time for a fresh face and some.
“I feel really lucky to have worked a job that I really love,” Grant said.
As for her connection to the community, Grant will continue to support Brookfield.
“Someway, somehow I’m going to find a to give back to this community. I’ll be around,” Grant said.