The city of Fayetteville announced Wednesday (Oct. 6) that Alison Jumper is the new director of parks, natural resources and cultural affairs. She is replacing former parks and recreation director Connie Edmonston, who retired in July.
In a news release, the city said Jumper will be responsible for oversight of parks planning, recreational services, natural resource and open space stewardship, cultural arts planning and implementation, special events and attractions within the city’s parks system.
Jumper will start the new job on Nov. 8. She spent the past three years with Runway Group in Bentonville, where she led the completion of Osage Park and Coler Mountain Bike Preserve.
Before working at Runway Group, Jumper worked at the city of Fayetteville as a park planner and a park planning superintendent, where she was responsible for managing the park planning and urban forestry division. She was instrumental in planning and completing park master plans and capital projects, including neighborhood parks, Kessler Mountain Regional Park and numerous downtown streetscape renovations.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this role and its new direction,” Jumper said in a statement. “I’m honored to have been selected to lead the department, and I see much opportunity to expand into areas that celebrate and promote Fayetteville’s culture and natural resources.”
The city of Fayetteville maintains 73 park properties, 4,078 acres of parkland and lakes and 56 miles of natural trails for hikers and mountain bikes. Fayetteville also offers more than 48 miles of hard-surface, multi-use trails and is continually expanding.
“As open space planning, natural resource preservation and cultural arts become more central to Fayetteville’s identity, we felt it was a good time to restructure our parks and recreation department to include these strategic aspects in our long-range planning,” city of Fayetteville chief of staff Susan Norton said in a statement. “In this expanded leadership role, Alison will oversee new programs that integrate stewardship of our natural resources, the development of a new cultural arts program and a new long-range plan for Fayetteville parks that is currently underway.
“We are excited to work with Alison to shape the natural and cultural landscape of the city throughout our parks and open spaces.”