Lake Forest Announces New Director of Parks and Recreation

After a competitive nation-wide search, the City of Lake Forest is pleased to announce that Michael Wick has been selected as the new Director of Parks and Recreation.

Wick brings over eighteen years of experience in parks and recreation, serving in a variety of roles including Director of Recreation for the Gurnee Park District, Executive Director of the Wauwatosa Recreation Department, Athletics Coordinator at the Elk Grove Park District, and Recreation Specialist at the Waukegan Park District.

“A record number of new families have moved into Lake Forest in recent years, making it an exciting time for Lake Forest Parks and Recreation,” said City Manager Jason Wicha. “Mike’s background makes him uniquely qualified to lead the Department in shaping the future of recreational experiences for our exceptional community.”

At the Elk Grove Park District, he oversaw operations of 23-acre outdoor multi-use athletic field facility, experience that’s directly applicable to ensuring maximum utilization of the City’s new 9.5-acre athletic complex at Deerpath Community Park. In his most recent role as the Director of Recreation at the Gurnee Park District, Wick oversaw a $9.6 million dollar budget and provided oversight for sixteen full time staff and a part time staff that grew to over 350 during the summer months. He managed four community facilities including two fitness centers, a seasonal outdoor aquatic center, and community center. He also provided oversight for comprehensive community recreation programs.

As the Director of Parks and Recreation, Wick will oversee all City parks, trails, facilities, recreation programs, and partnerships. He will work closely with staff to program the new Deerpath Community Park and develop new and innovative programs and activities for Lake Forest residents. He will also serve as a staff liaison to the Parks and Recreation Board.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to serve as the next Director of Parks and Recreation Director at the City of Lake Forest,” said Wick. “I’m incredibly excited to begin working with the community and staff to build upon the department’s strong foundation.”

Wick has his bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional from the National Recreation and Park Association.

Wick succeeds former Director of Parks and Recreation Sally Swarthout, who retired in January after a 30-year career with the City.

View the Press Release.

Contact: Dana Olson, Communications Director
Phone: (847) 810-3672
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