Fayette County

Lexington hires state official to lead the city's parks and recreation department

Monica Conrad
Monica Conrad

Lexington has tapped a longtime Kentucky Department of Parks employee to head the city's parks and recreation department.

Monica Conrad, now a deputy commissioner of the the state Department of Parks, will start in June. Conrad has worked for the state parks department since 2004 in a variety of positions.

A native of Morehead, she has a bachelor's degree from Purdue University.

Conrad replaces Brad Chambers, who was fired in November after six months as the city's parks director. Conrad will be paid $95,000. Her appointment must be confirmed by the Urban County Council.

Conrad's hiring comes at a key time for the city and its park system. Mayor Jim Gray has proposed $250,000 for a master parks plan in his proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. In addition, Gray's budget includes $10 million for Town Branch Commons, a new linear park through downtown that would connect the city's core with the Legacy and Town Branch trails.

"I am excited and honored to start a new challenge with Lexington Parks and Recreation," Conrad said in a news release. "I look forward to getting to work and further developing the extensive park and recreational offerings to residents and regional visitors."