City parks director receives top state award

Chris Bundy

Chris Bundy, director of parks and public spaces for the City of Mt. Pleasant, is the 2018 recipient of the Park Resource Leadership Award.

Presented by mParks – Michigan Recreation and Park Association – the award is among the highest of individual honors granted by the statewide organization and recognizes professionals who demonstrate outstanding contributions in the area of maintenance practice, equipment management and resource development.

Chris has served the City for nearly 30 years, beginning his career as the director of recreation, and later assuming the role of director of parks and public spaces.

Throughout his tenure, his leadership has resulted in extensive growth and improvement within the City parks system. Chris was instrumental in the original build of the Timber Town playscape at Island Park in 1994, as well as the rebuild of the playground in 2017, working with the volunteer committee to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and coordinate hundreds of volunteers.

In 2009, he led the design and construction of the Access to Adventure Trail, which is part of the GKB Riverwalk that connects five of the City’s parks along the Chippewa River.

In 2013, Chris spearheaded the Green Maintenance Bike Initiative, reducing the use of motorized carts and introducing bicycles with trailers for the daily maintenance tasks in City parks. This effort produced a significant cost savings, reduced noise and air pollution, and gained statewide recognition.

“The list of opportunities and facility improvements Chris has made is extensive, but more impressive is his ability to plan, maintain, and think to the future sustainability of projects that will impact future generations,” said City Recreation Coordinator Steve Hofer.

Chris has also dedicated much of his career to preserving the community’s natural resources, specifically the Chippewa River and the riverbank corridor. In 2016, Chris worked in coordination with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe to obtain Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds to improve the corridor connected to City park lands. These efforts protected much of the riverbank during the flood in June of 2017.

“Chris strives to set a good example and be an out-of-the-box thinker,” said City Manager Nancy Ridley. “He is most certainly deserving of recognition for the tremendous support and exemplary leadership he provides for all things related to parks and recreation in our community.”

Chris was honored at the 2018 mParks conference earlier this month. He is also the 1994 winner of the mParks Recreation Leadership Award.

Award recipients are selected based on their development of innovative programs and services, community affiliations and volunteer experiences, contributions to the profession, and more.


mParks created the video below as a tribute to Chris!

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