Don Rettig named director of Toledo Metroparks

Don Rettig
Don Rettig

From a news release:

Donald R. Rettig, Jr. has been appointed director of Metroparks of the Toledo Area, the agency that oversees 10,500 acres of natural area parks throughout Lucas County. He becomes the sixth person in the park district's 81-year history to serve in the position, which reports to the Board of Park Commissioners.

At a special meeting this morning at Wildwood Preserve, the board voted 3-0 to appoint Mr. Rettig to the park district's chief executive post previously held by Jim Spengler . Mr. Spengler announced his plans to retire effective May 22 after 8 ½ years as director. Mr. Rettig's appointment is effective May 23.

"The board felt that we had the person we wanted already on our staff," said Scott J. Savage, president of the Board. "We have been impressed with Don's leadership of our Operations Division and he has been preparing himself for a director position, both in work experience and education. His appointment will allow us to make a seamless transition and move forward with the business of running the park district for what we expect to be a very busy summer."

Mr. Rettig, 42, is a lifelong user of the Metroparks. He joined the park district staff in 1998 and has held various leadership positions in both programming and park operations. Since 2006, he has served as associate director for operations, overseeing the park district's largest division, which includes the Maintenance, Ranger Services, Planning and Construction and Land Management Departments.

"The top priority of the park district is to enhance the quality of life and inspire preservation efforts by providing visitors with a beautiful trail system in a clean, safe, natural park setting," Mr. Rettig said. "It's an honor to lead an agency that is so important to the millions of visitors who come to walk, run, bike, picnic and enjoy nature each year. Metroparks is a progressive organization that is focused on serving our visitors and ensuring that this and future generations have a world class natural area park system."

A graduate of Anthony Wayne High School, Mr. Rettig holds two degrees from Bowling Green State University : a Masters in public administration with specialization in organizational development, and a Bachelor of Arts in history.

Mr. Rettig and his wife, Barb, a pharmacist with ProMedica, have three daughters: twins Sarah and Hannah, age 12, and five-year old Katheryn. He is an avid runner and also enjoys fishing and canoeing.

"My life long connection to Metroparks is what keeps me at the park district - not just as an employee, but as a frequent user, a member, a volunteer and a donor," Mr. Rettig said. "I grew up in our Metroparks and I know firsthand the impact they have and the memories that are created here."

Since its founding as a park district in 1928, just five other people have served in Metroparks director position: W.W. Farnsworth, J. Max Shepherst, Robert Metz, Jean Ward and Mr. Spengler.

Metroparks of the Toledo area is a regional government agency with 12 parks that has added more than 3,000 acres in the last seven years. The park system incorporates significant natural and historical sites, including internationally rare habitats in the Oak Openings region of western Lucas County, the Stranahan Estate at Wildwood Preserve, and Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site in Maumee.