Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Director Michael S. Golden announced recently his plans to retire, effective April 1. His career with the county has spanned nearly 37 years, including serving as parks and recreation director since 1992.
Under Golden’s leadership, the county has seen significant progress with the facilities for youth sports, historical sites and conservation areas on the James and Appomattox rivers. The county parks system has grown to accommodate more than five million visitors a year. Through his philosophy of working with regional partners, the county has also experienced an increase in sports tourism.
“Mike is clearly passionate about Chesterfield County and has devoted his entire career to public service,” said Sarah Snead, deputy county administrator for human services. “He leaves a strong legacy of strengthening the parks and recreation system beyond what we could have even imagined years ago. That work is positively impacting hundreds of thousands of people each year. It has been a privilege and pleasure to work with Mike and his staff over the years, and he will be greatly missed.”
Chesterfield has seen an expansion of bikeways and trails throughout the county parks system. The Parks and Recreation Department offers numerous programs in history, nature, outdoor adventure, summer camps, youth sports and 50-plus active lifestyles with more than 220,000 people yearly participating. Most recently, Golden has been actively involved with the acquisition of land to create a conservation area and historical park at Falling Creek on the James River.
“I couldn’t be more proud of all that the Parks and Recreation Department has done to make Chesterfield County a great place to live and raise a family,” Golden said. “I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to grow my career as well as a park system that residents of the county can enjoy.”