As director of the Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department, Anderson has overseen the department through a time of growth. As population has increased, so have pocket parks and trail miles located throughout the city. With the addition of the Pine Mountain Recreation Area, the city added hiking trails to its list of offerings.
Future plans have multi-use paved trails linking communities to parks, recreation facilities and destinations, such as entertainment, shopping and the Etowah River. In a challenging economic environment, Anderson and his team have utilized grants to help expand recreational opportunities at a time most municipalities are cutting back.
Title:Director of Parks and Recreation for City of Cartersville
City of residence: Cartersville
Family: Married to Kathy Anderson and we have one son, Nick, a freshman at Cartersville High School
Education: Graduated from North Georgia College
What led you to a career in parks and recreation?
A: Sports were always my first love and, in playing as a kid, I was always involved with my recreation department.
What is the most rewarding part of your role in the community?
A: Just being part of our community. I get to meet a lot of people in my job and most of the time I see them or meet them when they are having fun or anticipate having fun.
What are some of your goals for the department to achieve in the coming years and what is your long-range vision for the community’s recreational opportunities?
A: Our goal is to provide everyone a safe and inviting park to visit and use as well as provide quality recreation opportunities for all residents of our community. A short-term goal would be for the continued renovation of Dellinger Park and our existing parks. Long-term we would like to follow our Recreation Master Plan in development of Sam Smith Park and our anticipated northside park land and its development.
What would you consider your greatest personal or professional achievement?
A: I am proud that the city of Cartersville is increasing its trail system. When I started working for the city in 1981, the Dellinger Park Vita Course was the park’s most used facility and I have always remembered that. When the city acquired Sam Smith Park in 2000 the only available grant money was for trail construction. So we kept applying for grants — we built the 2.4 mile Etowah RiverWalk, the Pettit Creek Trail Phase I & II, and have been approved for grant funding for Pettit Creek Trail Phase III and the Leake Mounds-Etowah RiverWalk Link. I think a network of city trails that lead to our parks, and other highly visible areas of the city — downtown, shopping areas, schools, etc.
How do you and others in your profession feel about the popular TV show “Parks and Recreation”?
A: I watched about two minutes of the first show and turned the channel.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: Do my best!
What would most people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I am part of a team with Tom, Bob and Billy, that cooks breakfast for the youth on Wednesday mornings at Trinity UMC.
Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
A: Pine Mountain Trails.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
A: Dependable, honest and stubborn.
If you were not in this line of work, what would you like to do?
A: Can’t think of anything else I would have rather have done, except maybe play a professional sport.