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The Parks and Recreation Commission advises the County Board of Supervisors and the Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services on recreational programs, facilities, and parklands within the unincorporated area and outside the boundaries of the four special recreational districts of the County of Santa Cruz.
Commission meetings are scheduled at least quarterly on a Monday at 7:00 PM.
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Parks & Recreation Commission Members:
Learn about Santa Cruz County Parks & Recreation Commission members by clicking their district below!
Katherine Lee grew up in a rural town in northern California and moved to Santa Cruz 8 years ago. She deeply respects what nature provides to the human heart, mind and spirit and how open spaces are crucial for all beings. She was with State Parks in trail restoration and assisted in propagation work with native plant nurseries, including local Central Coast Wilds Nursery. Recently she trained with the Savory Institute’s Ecological Outcome Verification Monitoring program. That time gave her much knowledge of ecosystem processes and how forests with diverse flora/fauna can improve areas even in its outermost surroundings. She strongly believes parks can do the same for neighborhoods and advocates in their favor. As the First District Parks Commissioner, Katherine is dedicated to listening to what people wish to see in their local parks and to give each voice a chance to express its ideas, visions, and solutions. She believes parks and open spaces are the great balance to urban life and people need access to its beneficial presence now more than ever.
Tricia Wiltshire is the newly elected Commissioner for District 2. Her interest in county parks began in 2013 when she had a vision for creating a park space for children of all abilities. This idea led to her developing a successful public-private initiative between county government, the parks department, and community organizations to design, fundraise, and build LEO’s Haven at Chanticleer Park. This fully inclusive playground opened in the Live Oak neighborhood in 2020. LEO is an acronym for her children: Lauren, Evelyn, and Oliver. Tricia is a project manager with experience in long-range visioning, adaptive problem solving, improving organizational efficiency and effectiveness, and innovation with application. She lives in the Aptos Hills with her family, two livestock guardian dogs, and a ridiculous amount of chickens
Maggie Duncan-Merrell is a lifelong resident of Santa Cruz and currently resides with her husband and daughter on the Westside. Maggie is a Landscape Designer, specializing in sustainable, drought tolerant gardens that focus on functional landscapes with edible plantings as well as selections that attract and feed birds, bees and butterflies. Maggie graduated from SLV High, Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz. Maggie has served on the Santa Cruz City Parks and Recreation Commission, sat on the Board of The Friends of the Parks and Rec and as a dog owner is a daily user of our parks. Maggie’s daughter enjoyed 10 years as a City Junior Lifeguard and her entire family has relied on City recreational programs for decades for child care as well as personal fulfillment. Duncan-Merrell is dedicated to ensuring that Santa Cruz’s recreational programs are affordable and accessible to our community and advocates for maintaining safe, clean and fully functioning parks and beaches for all.
Martha Victoria Vega is a lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County. She was raised in Watsonville and attended all the local schools to include Cabrillo College. Martha has worked in the law enforcement community and education for over 27 years. Martha has a passion for helping her community and making positive changes that would benefit our current and future generations in the area she lives, works, and plays in. Martha has fond memories of family and community gatherings since her childhood to adulthood in the county parks and would be honored to serve in the Parks and Recreation Committee for District 4.
Biography coming soon.
Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except holidays
Our physical office is open, but staff availability is limited.