Stark appointed South Lake Tahoe parks, recreation director

Submitted to the Tribune
John Stark

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — John Stark has been appointed the director of parks and recreation, effective May 15, South Lake Tahoe City officials announced Monday.

Stark brings more than 12 years’ experience in the parks industry, most recently serving as the director of parks and recreation for the city of Manitou Springs, Colorado.

Assistant City Manager Lindsey Baker said, “we could not be more excited to bring John to South Lake Tahoe to lead the parks and recreation department in a time of transition as we prepare for the new recreation and aquatics center. His experience in collaborative programming, parks maintenance, capital projects, and community outreach are just what we need as we seek to build new and innovative opportunities for our residents.”

Before Manitou Springs, Stark worked for the city of Colorado Springs, running the iconic Garden of the Gods, a 1,341-acre National Natural Landmark. Prior to this, he served as a park ranger supervisor for the city of Colorado Springs where he oversaw the award-winning Trails, Open Space, and Parks Stewardship Program. He has served as a park ranger on Pikes Peak and at various national park service properties, including Denali, Carlsbad Caverns, Redwood, and Western Arctic National Parklands.

“I’m thrilled to come back to my home state of California and to the Tahoe Basin where I made some of my favorite memories growing up,” Stark said. “I understand the challenges of operating in a mountain environment where it is critical to balance the recreational needs of the community while protecting our sensitive eco-system. I look forward to working with my new team and getting to know the residents, business leaders, visitors, and other stakeholders.”

Stark holds a master of environmental and natural resources law and policy from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Stark is a certified park and recreation professional through the National Recreation and Park Association and serves as an executive committee member on the Colorado Open Space Alliance. Stark enjoys the outdoors, snowboarding, exploring new areas, hockey, and baseball.

His wife Deanna and children, Sofia and Jake, look forward to putting down roots in their new home.

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