MILTON, Ga. - Local parks advocate Jim Cregge was named the City of Milton’s interim parks and recreation director July 26. He starts work Aug. 7.
Cregge, a familiar face to a number of Milton residents, has spent the last 17 years as a volunteer, board member and former president of the Hopewell Youth Association (HYA), the non-profit group that schedules baseball activities at Bell Memorial Park.
Additionally, he has spent the last nine years on Alpharetta’s Parks and Recreation Commission, where Cregge has served as chairman for the last six years.
“I want to build successful partnerships with other cities and parks and recreation assets that highlight the unique character of Milton,” said Cregge.
Cregge came highly recommended from Alpharetta. Mike Perry, Alpharetta Recreation and Parks Department director, said Cregge is energetic and passionate about recreation.
“He’s visionary about partnerships and the power of working together,” said Perry. “You won’t find anybody who will outwork him.”
Cregge was also recommended for the position by Scott Stachowski, a member of the Milton Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and president of HYA.
“Jim Cregge is uniquely qualified to represent Milton in any future discussions or negotiations regarding park access or sharing of resources with surrounding cities,” said Stachowski in a recommendation to Milton City Manager Chris Lagerbloom. “He could provide insight and leverage based on his many ties to the community.”
The reasons for such high praise are numerous. During his tenures at Alpharetta and HYA, Cregge oversaw: The acquisition of Bennett House and the construction of new parking, a new playground and field four at Bell Memorial Park; the merger of Wills Park’s and Webb Bridge Park’s baseball programs into the volunteer Alpharetta Youth Baseball Association; the reorganization of Alpharetta’s Ambush soccer program; the construction of Cogburn Road Park and phase three of Webb Bridge Park; and the expansion of the Alpharetta Greenway.
Prior to Milton’s incorporation, Cregge served on the Parks and Recreation Subcommittee of the City of Milton Interim Government Commission and participated in Fulton County’s citizen committee that ultimately produced the Birmingham Park Master Plan.
In 2005 he was named the Georgia Parks and Recreation Association’s Volunteer of the Year after being nominated by Fulton County for his work.
Cregge said he is ready to jump into the operations of Milton’s Parks and Recreation Department, which launched more than 30 new programs over the past year and is beginning the expansion of Bell Memorial Park as prescribed in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The city has been able to experience this success without a huge cost to taxpayers by utilizing public private partnerships with providers and facility use agreements with schools for existing field space.
“We need to take advantage of those partnerships and the regional knowledge available to Milton while continuing the short term leases on available field space and planning for the future,” said Cregge. “We have a chance of creating the new model for parks and recreation departments, and I feel blessed to have this opportunity.”