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News & Info

Posted on: October 13, 2023

Dallas Park and Recreation Deputy Director Elected to Elite American Academy for Park and Recreation

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DALLAS - Crystal R. Ross, Deputy Director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, has been elected as a Fellow into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.  

Inducted at the Academy’s virtual General Membership Meeting on Oct. 4, 2023, she joins an elite group of 136 distinguished practitioners and educators who are leaders in the parks and recreation profession.  

“I am truly grateful to join such outstanding professionals in the Academy. This is an incredible experience, and I am excited for this opportunity. I’d like to thank the Academy for this recognition and my peers and colleagues for their support,” said Ross. 

Ross oversees the department’s 42 recreation centers, a senior activity center, marketing and communications, volunteer services, community events, senior programs, and special leisure venues Forest Audelia Boxing Gym, Samuell Farm and the Teen Tech Center. She joined Dallas Park and Recreation in 2000 as a recreation coordinator, later promoting to recreation center manager, district manager, and in 2015, she was named assistant director for recreation services. In June 2021, Ross was named deputy director.  

Her work with local and national community groups, corporations, sororities and fraternities to create wellness opportunities for families in communities where health disparities are the most acute has led to the opening of Baylor Scott & White Health Wellness Center at Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center, WellMed Charitable Foundation Senior Activity Center, and three Parkland Healthcare System outreach clinics. 

To be elected to the Academy an individual must have served for at least 15 years in a high level of administration in a park and recreation agency or as a recognized educator in parks and recreation administration or must have managed a park and recreation department for a community with a population of more than 500,000. They must have demonstrated outstanding ability in administration, management or education in the profession and displayed broad interest with a direct service benefit to the advancement of public parks and recreation. 

“The Class of 2023 is a great addition to the Academy,” said President Janet Bartnik, Prince William County Department of Parks and Recreation, Virginia, “The Academy is honored to induct Ms. Ross into its ranks. The Academy represents a diverse group of professionals and educators – all with superior career experience and a dedication to improving the quality of life through the provision of high-quality parks and recreation opportunities. We welcome our distinguished class of 2023 Fellows.” 

About The AmericaAcademy for Park and Recreation Administration 

Established in 1980, the Academy was formed to advance  knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to support and encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators to enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and/or sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, link here. 

About Deputy Director Ross 

A self-proclaimed Parks and Rec kid, Deputy Director Ross gradated with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Virginia State University and launched her parks and recreation career with Seattle Parks and Recreation. Prior to joining Seattle Parks, she was with the Seattle Public Schools as a family support manager. Ross joined the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department in 2000 and is an active member of Friendship West Baptist Church, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and numerous other organizations. 

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