Earlier this fall, St. Clair County welcomed Dennis Delor to his new role as Director of St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Commission
. A Marysville resident, Delor brings with him nearly two decades of experience working with St. Clair County parks.
Delor first came to work for St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Commission in 2005 as the Marketing and Volunteer Coordinator. Five years later, he says his role began to evolve when the county acquired Fort Gratiot Light Station
and wanted Delor to focus some of his time on its restoration.
“Overall, we have a great state park system,” says Dennis Delor. “It shows when residents from the Midwest come to Michigan to explore our state parks because of how unique they are.”
“When the Light Station came on board, that for me was when my career started to come full circle,” Delor says. “My first job was at a lighthouse on Lake Superior and now we have a lighthouse here in St. Clair County.”
Delor’s journey of developing his career in parks and recreation began in rural Copper Harbor, Michigan while studying for his degree in Outdoor Recreation and Protected Area Management at Northern Michigan University
. Delor had the opportunity to work at his favorite state park, Fort Wilkins Historic State Park
, where he says he was intrigued by the lighthouse and its historical background.
After college, Delor had the opportunity to work in Skokie, Illinois, and experience parks and recreation in an urban city. There, he learned how important it was for people to have green space and recreational opportunities in a bustling city.
In late 2001, Delor changed course and became the Chief of Programming and Visitor Services at The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier
in Petersburg, Virginia. Also a history enthusiast, Delor was able to explore this career path while still working in recreation.
Even though he enjoyed the colonial history in Petersburg, they decided to move back to Michigan to be closer to relatives as his young family started to grow.
“Overall, we have a great state park system,” he says. “It shows when residents from the Midwest come to Michigan to explore our state parks because of how unique they are.”
In September, Delor was appointed the new Director of St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Commission. He says he is optimistic and ready for a new adventure.
“I’m big about opportunities for everybody in the community,” Delor says. “People have different outdoor activities that they like, so once we know what those interests are, we can develop our parks around what our constituents and users want, creating a more diverse park.”
For more information about St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Commission or upcoming projects, visit stclaircounty.org//Offices/parks