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City of Colorado Springs / Mayor's Office / News

Mayor announces Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services


Mayor Steve Bach announced this morning the appointment of a new Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, pending confirmation by City Council on Tuesday, April 24.  After a comprehensive two-month recruitment and interview process with over 120 nationwide applicants, Karen Palus was selected by the Mayor and will begin her position with the City of Colorado Springs on Monday, June 18, 2012.  Ms. Palus will earn a salary of $128,000 per year.

“Karen's extensive experience in park and recreation, as well as her leadership at the local, state and national levels will be a great asset to Colorado Springs.” said Mayor Bach.

Karen brings over 20 years of parks and recreational experience with both city and county government.  Most recently she served as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Tampa where she worked for seven years.  During that time, Karen successfully attained National Accreditation by the Commission of Accreditation (CAPRA) for the City of Tampa's Parks and Recreation Department.  Ms. Palus developed a park in the downtown core of the City of Tampa, after which time the park received numerous awards and was named one of the top ten new parks in the country for 2011.  She was the recipient of the Fellow Award, Achievement  Award, Outstanding Service Award and  Agency Excellence Award from the Florida Recreation and Park Association.

Ms. Palus began her career in Recreation for Brevard County Government in Florida.  She also worked in recreation for Martin County and Orange County.  Karen has a Bachelor's Degree in Education and a Masters in Public Administration. She is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional as well as a Certified Youth Sports Administrator. She served as the Florida Recreation and Park Association President in 2004 and has been on their board of directors since 1997. She currently serves as the Head Faculty and Chairwoman for the Joe Abrahams Leadership Academy and is a trustee of the Florida Recreation and Park Association Foundation.