The University assumed responsibility for management of the Harrogate City Park on January 1 when the 15-year lease of LMU land to the city expired. Burns will now oversee the operation of the park, as well as its programs and personnel.
Additionally, he will be responsible for coordinating the maintenance and scheduling of the University’s athletic fields. He will also continue in his role as head coach of the Lady Railsplitter softball team.
“I am looking forward to this new challenge. It is not that far from a position I held previously at the University and I am really excited about the programs that we hope to develop at the park,” Burns said. “My goals are to provide new services to our community at the park and I look forward to working with the City of Harrogate Parks and Recreation Committee to accomplish this.”
The University plans to expand the uses of the park to include more regional opportunities for citizens of the area and increase the recreation offerings to the community. LMU already offers the LMU Pool, High Adventure Ropes Course, community tennis courts (adjacent to Tex Turner Arena) and Tex Turner Arena for public use.
Moreover, last fall the LMU Golf Complex introduced a public driving range. The golf complex will also include an executive three-hole course and putting green when it is complete.
“LMU wants to ensure the park continues to operate as it always has and provide access to all citizens. Dan will play a vital role in making sure the University continues to make improvements for those who use the park regularly,” Dawson stated. “LMU is working diligently to continue to enhance our public outreach with our community and its leadership. All events held previously will continue and the community can expect to see new and exciting programs develop under Dan’s leadership.”
The University plans to install gates at the park entrances for safety and security purposes. The park will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. year round.