SPRINGFIELD, MO. — The City of Springfield and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board have named Jim Fisher as Interim Director of Parks, following the retirement of Parks Director Bob Belote, effective Sunday, Jan. 28. Fisher will serve as Interim Director until a permanent Director of Parks is named. 

Fisher has served the Park Board as Assistant Director of Administration since June 1, 2015, overseeing the Golf Division, Special Facilities, Business Operations, Park Rangers, Jordan Valley Park and Human Resources.

“We appreciate Jim’s willingness to lead our nationally-recognized parks system as we continue the nationwide search to replace retiring director Bob Belote. We are confident he will do a great job in the interim,” said Jason Gage, Springfield City Manager.

Fisher has spent nearly 40 years in public parks administration, including serving as Director of the Clay County, Mo., Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites. He also worked for Parks and Recreation departments for Independence, Mo.; Smithville, Mo.; Canton, Ill.; and Johnson County, Kan., before joining the team in Springfield. 

During his tenure with the Park Board, Fisher led the department to achieve accreditation through the Commission for the Accreditation of Park and Recreations Agencies (CARPA), awarded in 2016 and renewed in 2021. He also managed creation of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, adopted in 2021, and oversaw operations of the World TeamTennis Championship Springfield Lasers Pro Tennis Franchise through 2021.

Fisher is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional and has been involved with both the National Recreation and Park Association and the Missouri Park and Recreation Association throughout his career. 

Fisher earned a BS in Natural Resources from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1981. He earned a Law Enforcement Commission from the Police Academy of Johnson County, Kan., in 1983. Fisher and his wife, Debbie, have four grown children and one grandchild.                       

For media inquiries, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement at City of Springfield, at 417-380-3352, or Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510.

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