Aaron Stewart (courtesy photo)

The City of Manhattan announced on Friday the hiring of Aaron Stewart as its next Parks and Recreation Director.

Stewart, a Manhattan native, has more than 25 years of parks and recreation experience in a municipal setting, and currently serves as Parks and Recreation Director in Garden City. He spoke about the prospect of returning to his hometown at a public reception last Monday.

      0310-Stewart dreamed of

In Garden City, Stewart has led a department that operates 11 parks, an aquatics facility, all recreational programming, an accredited zoo and a nationally ranked golf course. His resume also includes stints in Carbon Valley and Broomfield County in Colorado.

      0306-Stewart experience

Stewart replaces Eddie Eastes, who retired in May 2022, after more than eight years leading the department. Assistant Director Wyatt Thompson has served as director on an interim basis since.

In addition to overseeing Manhattan’s Parks and Recreation Department, the city says Stewart will also be responsible for leading, planning and managing all activities and operations of the department, its seven divisions and a nearly $10 million annual budget.

Stewart is expected to start with the city on April 17.