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Appleton Parks & Recreation struggles with staffing

The Appleton Parks and Rec Department is still hiring for summer 2022.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 12:28 AM CDT
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APPLETON Wis. (WBAY) - The Appleton Parks and Recreation Department is facing a mountain of summer duties... but less staff to complete them all.

“Typically we hire around 18 seasonals every year starting mid-May with some college students and then into June with some high school students... this year we’re really struggling to get applicants,” Greg Hoekstra, a City of Appleton grounds manager, said.

Hoekstra said he had eight hires as of Tuesday.

City officials need to prioritize projects based on the level of traffic an area receives.

“We’re looking at concentrating our efforts with mowing and pruning and litter picking more around the pavilions, around the swimming pools, around the sports courts.”

Tuesday the department posted to Facebook about the struggle to find summer staff. The post let the public know public bathrooms might not get as much attention if employee numbers don’t increase.

“This is kind of what we were trying to do here with this post to Facebook. Just kind of try to get out in front of it and let people know, hey, this is a possibility this year so if you do see this happening, this is why.”

Hoekstra also said park goers shouldn’t be surprised if the grass is just a little bit longer than usual.

“We do have some big mowers for covering a lot of area but we still need that seasonal help to help us trim in the tight spots.”

The parks department is still hiring. Anyone 16-years-old or older can apply.

Usually, the department hires about 18 new employees each summer. This year, only eight applied.

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