|JCPRD's Maasen Receives Distinguished Fellow Award|
For contributions at the local, state, regional, and national levels, Johnson County Park and Recreation District Planning and Development Manager Bill Maasen was recently presented with a Distinguished Fellow Award by the Midwest Regional Council of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The award, which is the highest honor given by NRPA at the regional level, was presented on April 26 during a Midwest Regional Council meeting in Dickenson, North Dakota.
Maasen was nominated for the award by Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) President Janice Pankratz of Salina.
"Bill's grasp of the real estate market has greatly benefited the District," Pankratz wrote. "He has been instrumental in acquiring land for a new regional park, two future regional parks, and has added acreage to two older regional parks. His expertise has contributed to the purchase and lease of major outdoor recreational facilities, including two softball complexes, a major retreat and event facility, and two horse-boarding operations."
Since starting with the District in November of 1986, Maasen has been responsible for the purchase or lease of almost 7,000 acres for the District. This has tripled the agency's land holdings and brought the District to over 9,200 acres as of the end of 2005. Maasen was instrumental in the completion of the first Streamway Trail, the Gary L. Haller Trail, which winds south 17 miles from Nelson Island in the Kansas River, through the cities of Shawnee and Lenexa, to Olathe. Pankratz notes that Maasen's success in trail development and land acquisition has depended upon his ability to work cooperatively and nurture relationships with cities, school districts, private and public agencies, and landowners.
In the metropolitan area, Maasen has been the primary liaison for Kansas in the development of the Metro Greenway Plan, a master plan meant to coordinate trails and greenways on both sides of the state line. From 2003 through 2005 he served as president of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association, where he has also served on various committees and task forces. In late 2005, Maasen was elected to a three-year term on the Board of the National Society for Park Resources (NSPR), which is a branch of the National Recreation and Park Association representing NRPA members working in natural resources, parks, and conservation.
Maasen holds bachelor's degree in forest management from the University of Missouri - Columbia, and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. His duties include land acquisition and oversight of the District's planning and development department.