City of Tucson hires new head of parks and rec from Miami

Florida News

Lara Hamwey

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Lara Hamwey, who has 16 years of experience working in parks and recreation, will take over at Tucson Parks and Recreation.

A new director has been hired for Tucson Parks and Recreation.

Lara Hamwey, who worked as director of the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department since 2019 and as the deputy director for five years prior, will takeover the Tucson post, the city announced this week.

City Manager Michael Ortega selected Hamwey after a national recruitment and competitive selection process. She will start as director on Jan. 10.

Hamwey showed a “blend of technical and interpersonal skills necessary to ensure optimal customer experiences, sound management of our human resources, and keen stewardship of Tucson’s beloved parks and recreation resources,” Ortega said in a news release Monday.

Her salary is $180,000, according to the city manager’s office.

Hamwey has 16 years of experience working in parks and recreation. While in Florida, she introduced a Needs Assessment Heat Map that showed all repair, replacement and renovation needs sorted by district, funding eligibility and benefits to the community. She managed a $5 million investment in Miami over the past two years that included replacing playgrounds, new facility roofing and ADA-accessible walkways, according to the news release.

Hamwey led the Miami department’s effort to be accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies for the first time in 2011 and then again in 2016.

Meanwhile, Tucson Parks and Recreation recently earned that accreditation again. Certification requires documentation that a department is in compliance with 151 standards, according to a news release from the department on Tuesday.

Contact reporter Curt Prendergast at 573-4224 or cprendergast@tucson.com or on Twitter @CurtTucsonStar.

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