Placer County welcomes new Department of Parks and Open Space director

Published on April 21, 2022

Placer County this month welcomed Steve Gayfield as the first director of its new Department of Parks and Open Space. 

“Steve’s outstanding qualifications paired with his effective leadership style are precisely what our new Department of Parks and Open Space requires in order to advance the county’s parks and open space initiatives and all related efforts,” said Placer County Executive Officer Todd Leopold. “I have tremendous enthusiasm and confidence in Steve’s capacity to build on our many valued relationships and network of community partners including local and regional parks and recreation teams, public works and public utility districts.” 

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Gayfield comes to the county with more than 30 years of experience working in parks and recreation; previously serving as executive director at Sulphur Parks and Recreation District in Louisiana and superintendent of parks and recreation for the City of Lancaster in Ohio. 

“I am impressed with the forethought and planning going into what looks to be continued rapid growth in the county and the need for park services for the county residents,” said Gayfield. “Having worked in rapidly growing communities during my career I am familiar with the opportunities and challenges that such growth can bring to an organization.”

Gayfield also said that he’s looking forward to exploring Placer’s trail systems, highlighting his passion for mountain biking and trail running. 

Last year, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance creating the new Department of Parks and Open Space, which will better position the county to accommodate its expanding park management responsibilities, increased service demands, and ensure the long-term financial viability of the county’s parks and open space operations. 

The Department of Parks and Open Space manages and maintains over 35 parks and recreational facilities throughout the county, including Hidden Falls Regional Park, Loomis Basin community parks, Sterling Point equestrian staging area and trail, and Speedboat Beach, to name a few.

Learn more about the Department of Parks and Open Space at