Director, Department of Recreation and Parks
Bill Vondrasek leads the Department of Recreation and Parks, the city’s provider of affordable, year-round leisure and recreational activities for citizens of all ages and abilities. The agency’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of Baltimore citizens through quality recreational programs, preserving parks and natural resources, and promoting fun, active lifestyles for all ages. Bill, a Chicago native, understands the value of quality recreational services. He fondly remembers childhood summers spent as a Chicago Park District day camper, and later served seven years as a lifeguard at Rainbow Beach on Chicago’s lakefront.
Bill’s career started in the private sector helping to run a wholesale florist nursery in Chicago. He also worked in the non-profit sector, running a community gardening program for the Chicago Botanic Garden, and raising funds for the Camden Children’s Garden. Bill has served the Department of Recreation and Parks for 15 years, assuming progressively greater levels of responsibility and leadership. He was Supervisor of the Druid Hill Conservatory, Chief Horticulturist, Chief of the Parks Bureau and Deputy Director.
In his current leadership role, he has oversight of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks’ diverse inventory which includes:
- 41 recreation centers
- 4,600+ acres of parkland
- 23 pools
- 270 parks
- 120,000 trees
- 120 playgrounds
- 170 athletic fields
- 110 tennis courts
- 101 basketball courts
- 18 picnic groves
- 12 pavilion groves
- 3 dog parks
- 25 miles of biking & hiking trails
- 3 boat launches & 1 rowing facility
- 2 ice skating rinks
- 2 indoor soccer arenas
- 1 boxing center
- 1 campground
- 1 conservatory
- 32 historic mansions & structures
The Department has 270 full time and 600 seasonal staff and an operating budget of $39 million. In 2016 BCRP became only the third recreation and parks agency in the state to earn national CAPRA accreditation. This is a measure of an agency's overall quality of operation, management and service to the community.
Bill holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and a Master of Science in Public Horticulture Administration from the University of Delaware. He and his wife Anne are the proud parents of two teenage sons.
"I will work with Mayor Pugh to provide the highest quality parks, programs and facilities for all ages. When Baltimore thinks of fun and fitness they will think of Recreations and Parks."