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City of Manhattan News

Posted on: July 19, 2023

Parks and Recreation Director announces new ‘Park & Rec It’ small group discussions

Aaron Stewart picture

(MANHATTAN, Kan. – July 19, 2023) — Parks and Recreation Director Aaron Stewart announced today that he will offer a series of small group discussions this summer and fall, offering an opportunity for citizens to talk directly with him.

These “Park & Rec It” open discussions twice a month will offer Manhattan residents a chance to engage with Stewart about recreational programs, parks, trails, facilities, or any other Parks and Rec-related topics of interest or concern. Access the event flier here for more information.

“Manhattan has a strong passion for parks and recreation, and I would like the opportunity to engage directly with as many citizens as possible,” Stewart said.

“This discussion series will allow participants to voice their ideas and concerns, ask questions, all within a small group setting. I would encourage anyone to register, even if they do not use our services and facilities, because it is important for us to hear their voices, too.”

To make your voice heard, register today at or Either morning or afternoon sessions are available on the following days, at the recreation center locations listed below:

  • 8:30 AM Friday, August 4 at Anthony Recreation Center, 2415 Browning
  • 4:30 PM Thursday, August 17 at Anthony Recreation Center
  • 8:30 AM Friday, September 1 at Eisenhower Recreation Center, 2850 Kirkwood Drive
  • 4:30 PM Thursday, September 21 at Eisenhower Recreation Center
  • 8:30 AM Friday, October 6 at Anthony Recreation Center
  • 4:30 PM Thursday, October 19 at Anthony Recreation Center
  • 8:30 AM Friday, November 3 at Douglass Activity Center, 925 Yuma St.
  • 4:30 PM Thursday, November 16 at Douglass Activity Center
  • 8:30 AM Friday, December 1 at Eisenhower Recreation Center
  • 4:30 PM Thursday, December 21 at Eisenhower Recreation Center

The City of Manhattan’s Parks and Recreation Department (MPRD), which is overseen by Stewart, provides numerous recreation opportunities for the Manhattan community, including park facilities, recreation centers, pools, an ice rink, an animal shelter, Sunset Zoo, and the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

Stewart is a Kansas native with more than 25 years of parks and recreation experience in a municipal setting. He previously served as parks and recreation director for Garden City, taking over here in Manhattan in April.

His prior experience included four years as superintendent for the Garden City Recreation Commission, two years as sports coordinator for the Carbon Valley Parks and Recreation District in Colorado, and a total of six years with the City and County of Broomfield, also in Colorado.

Stewart is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional who holds a bachelor of science degree in parks and recreation administration from Kansas State University, graduating in 2003. He is also a Manhattan native.

The Director of Parks and Recreation is responsible for leading, planning, and managing all activities and operations of the department, its six divisions, and a nearly $10 million annual budget. Stewart currently oversees a team of 105 full-time employees and an additional 600-plus seasonal workers.

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