Sugar Land Director of Parks and Recreation Jim Browne named Director of the Year

SLDirectorsThe Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) named Sugar Land Director of Parks and Recreation Jim Browne its “East Region 2014 Parks and Recreation Director of the Year.”

Browne was recognized for professional leadership, public service and quality-of-life enhancements in Sugar Land. The award was presented Jan. 25 at the East Region TRAPS Workshop.

Under Browne’s leadership in Sugar Land, the city opened the Imperial Park Recreation Center, a facility that includes a full gymnasium, an exercise room, two multipurpose rooms, a video gaming room, a kitchen and a beautiful patio/garden area.

His team was also responsible for doubling program space for senior citizens at the newly renovated T.E. Harman Center. The building includes a computer room/library; game rooms; an arts and crafts room; a teaching kitchen; and multipurpose rooms for classes, movies, exercise, dance, bingo and other forms of entertainment.

Other accomplishments include the following:

• The City opened the first phase of Sugar Land Memorial Park with walking/jogging/biking trails; picnic pavilions; a playground; the City’s first dog park and mountain bike trail; and a lake stocked with Florida Large Mouth Bass, Bluegill and Channel Catfish. Voters recently approved the second phase of development that will include parkland, canoe launches, a festival site and more.

• Sugar Land Parks and Recreation implemented a Senior Ambassador program that averages more than 400 volunteer hours a month.

• The City’s Hike and Bike Trail Master Plan was updated to encourage transportation choices that promote a healthy, active lifestyle and well-designed, well-maintained infrastructure that is safe for residents. More than 10 miles of interconnecting trails and bridges were approved by voters last year.

• The department greatly expanded its award-winning special events with offerings that include New Year’s Eve, Halloween Town, Cultural Kite Festival, Memorial Day and more.

Browne brings more than 35 years of progressive parks and recreation management experience to Sugar Land. Approximately 50 of his park projects, recreation programs, special events, master plans, designs and professional service as an administrator have been recognized by professional organizations as state and national award winners — 17 as national or international award recipients.

Browne currently serves as TRAPS president-elect and will be sworn in as president at the TRAPS Annual Institute and Trade Show later this month.

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