City names new head of Parks and Recreation Department

City officials announced Tuesday that Yvonne Wise has been chosen as the new director of the Parks and Recreation Department. She begins her new position on Monday, June 27.

Wise ran the Port of San Diego’s Parks and Recreation for the past five years. Her jurisdiction spanned five cities and included the 34 miles around the San Diego Bay. She oversaw public access to 22 parks, piers, athletic fields, two cruise ship terminals, and an aquatic center.

She also has experience in partnerships with large event organizers, including the organizers of the annual Big Bay Boom Fourth of July Fireworks, Holiday Bowl Parade, and Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival. 

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Before her time in San Diego, she was public art director for the city of Philadelphia where she served as steward of the city’s municipal art collection.

With her experience in an area with a huge amount of tourists, City Manager Justin Clifton says he’s confident in the city’s pick.

“Yvonne Wise’s 20 plus years of municipal experience leading parks and recreation and public art programs will serve her well in Palm Springs,” said Clifton. 

Wise said she is excited to join the city’s executive management team.

“For someone truly passionate about people, parks and placemaking, the culturally rich city of Palm Springs offers a vibrant canvas,” she said.

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