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Omaha Parks Director Brook Bench resigns

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 17:08:53-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — After 24 years with the Omaha Parks and Recreation Department, director Brook Bench has resigned.

Update: Stothert names new parks and recreation director

Mayor Jean Stothert announced she accepted the resignation on Saturday in a press release.

"Brook loves every city park like it's his own backyard," said Mayor Stothert. "From small neighborhood parks and playgrounds to our largest parks, Brook has led a transformation of our park system that provides recreation, leisure and sports opportunities for everyone."

Bench was promoted to Director of Parks, Recreation and Public Property in 2013 by Mayor Stothert.

He manages more than 250 city parks, 18 swimming pools, 11 splashgrounds, eight public golf courses, 13 community centers, 150 miles of walking and biking trails, the Hummel Park Nature Center and the Harry A. Koch Trap and Skeet Range.

Additionally, Bench expanded summer day camp programs that more than 4,000 elementary-age students enjoy annually.

Bench also worked with Mayor Stothert to create the Way to Work program, created the annual Memorial Park Veterans Shine On lights display and ceremony, acted as a member of the Riverfront Revitalization Committee and worked to mitigate flood damage to city parks and develop restoration plans.

He plans to leave the Parks Department later in the summer and will lead a new philanthropic organization for park development.