Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Announces Resignation
January 18, 2017
Administrator to Leave Post in June 2017 to Focus on National
Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart has announced her resignation effective June 20, 2017. Hart has
led the department since 2010, overseeing the operations of 56 parks, trails
and beaches and a staff of 200 full-time and seasonal employees.
In a Jan. 18 letter to employees
and the Board of Supervisors, Hart said her decision was based on several
factors, including a desire to help national non-profits and federal
representatives deal with the threats to parks
and the environment posed by Trump administration policies.
tenure, Sonoma County’s parks system grew by several thousand acres with the
opening of Taylor Mountain, North Sonoma Mountain and the Laguna de Santa Rosa
Trail and the expansion of several existing parks.
adopting a more entrepreneurial business model for the department, Hart oversaw
a 60 percent increase in day-use and camping revenue and encouraged strategic
marketing of the park membership program, which has grown nearly 50 percent to
Hart also created
the department’s first natural resources division, supported expanded
recreation programming and community outreach, and most recently led the
campaign for Measure J, a sales tax measure on the November 2016 ballot that
fell just shy of the two-thirds approval needed. Hart has volunteered to lead a
potential second ballot measure in 2018.
Hart is a former member of the California State Parks Commission,
appointed by three successive governors and serving from 2000 to 2013. She led
the Commission as chairperson for seven years. During the state budget crisis,
Hart co-founded a local alliance of environmental leaders to innovatively
the state’s plans to close numerous parks in the
county. She successfully negotiated for Regional Parks to manage Annadel State
Park for a year, sparing it from temporary closure. She was appointed in 2013
to serve on the Parks Forward Commission, evaluating the future of California
Hart has a doctorate in environmental policy management and
science from UC Berkeley and a law degree from the University of San Francisco.
She lives in Occidental with her husband.
For more information, contact Communications Manager, Meda Freeman at (707) 565-2041.
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