News Release - August 6, 2018 - Mayor G.T. Bynum announced today that Anna America will serve as the Park and Recreation Director for the City of Tulsa. She is expected to start her new role by the end of August.
Anna America has served as the District 7 Tulsa City Councilor for the past four years and served as the immediate past Chair for the City Council. During her time as councilor and during her entire career, she has been a strong advocate for Tulsa’s park system and building a better life for children.
“Anna America spent a quarter century preparing for this job. Her dedication to Tulsa kids, her work in the non-profit space, her experience with City budgets and policy, and most importantly her passion for Tulsa parks makes her the best person in the world to lead our Parks Department moving forward,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “Anna and I share a vision for a world-class park system in Tulsa, and I am excited to have her on board.”
At the beginning of her career, America served as a reporter and managing editor in the news industry then started her first job in public service in 1993 with the City, working first in Public Works and then the Park Department. Since then, America has served Tulsa in various roles as a member of the Tulsa School Board – District 4, Executive Director for Up With Trees, Executive Director for Communities in School of Mid-America and most recently as the CEO of the Child Abuse Network and District 7 City Councilor.
“Throughout my career, I’ve been privileged to have been involved in many good causes that really make a difference in Tulsa. During all that time, whenever anyone has asked me what I was really passionate about, I’ve said three things: kids, green space and community,” America said. “Nothing brings those three things together better than a city’s parks. It’s tough to leave two organizations I care really deeply about, but I know as parks director I can play a role in making Tulsa healthier, more beautiful, and more livable for all our citizens, not just today, but for generations to come. I’m incredibly honored to be given that opportunity. It’s especially exciting to be doing this when we have a mayor and administrative team that are committed to reaching for excellence in all areas, and a Council that really understands and values parks. We’re going to be able to do great things together!”
With oversight from the Tulsa Park and Recreation Board, the Parks Department’s primary focus is to provide a variety of recreational opportunities to the public.
Tulsa’s Park and Recreation Department has 168 employees and manages 135 parks covering roughly 8,278 acres, including: two nature centers, four community centers, WaterWorks Art Studio, 66 miles of walking trails, two skate parks, two dog parks and five swimming pools. In addition, there are 186 sports fields, 88 playgrounds, 34 tennis courts, 13 water playgrounds, 17 splash pads, 79 picnic shelters, four golf courses and four disc golf courses.
America holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Tulsa and is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Tulsa. America and her husband Michael have two children and have been highly involved with their neighborhood association and Parent Teacher Associations in Tulsa.
In the coming weeks, the Mayor’s Office will work with the City Council in securing a special election for the District 7 City Council seat.