Since May, Chuck Stifter has been the director of Maple Grove Parks and Recreation; a familiar face in a new role. His unique experience in helping create the new Central Park and pushing the envelope on public spaces, such as destination playgrounds, is a window to the future of our city’s green spaces.
Take It Outside
Stifter spent much of his childhood on baseball diamonds, so he knows how a well-designed outdoor space makes a difference. And a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Minnesota doesn’t hurt.
“I’ve worked for local government for 25 years and the city of Maple Grove for the last 15, as the park planner and the superintendent of parks and planning, so continuing my career in Maple Grove made a lots of sense to me,” he says.
“To use a baseball analogy, my role has gone from player to, maybe, player manager.”
Public Interest “In my previous two jobs I was a producer, getting my hands dirty,” says Stifter. “Now it’s hard to step back and watch others produce. Giving presentations and speaking to [local groups like the Lions Club] takes a lot of time, but I don’t mind the great opportunity…when people are interested, it’s a great thing. We’re pretty lucky.”
“I hope we can continue to build on our fantastic trail system.”
Interesting Maple Grove Facts
0.5 miles: Farthest walking distant for any resident to a neighborhood park (goal).
1 to 3,000: Ratio of parks to residents.