A career at the park
New parks supervisor to cultivate Eudora’s parkland
The concept of a perfect park is never far away from city parks supervisor Scot Tolson.
To him, it's all about the aesthetic, he said.
The trees, the grass and walking paths all fit into his vision.
So do people. He sees children preschool age and older playing on modern and safe playground equipment, Tolson said.
"I like to see the parents playing with their kids, or on a park bench, and smiling watching what the kids are enjoying," he said.
Tolson will eventually try to bring his vision of a perfect park to fruition in Eudora.
"I want people to enjoy the parks," he said.
For the moment, he's bringing the city's parkland back up to speed for spring and summer activities.
That means weeding. He spent Thursday afternoon at the Eudora West ball fields on a mower.
"It's a lot more hands-on here," he said between mower rides.
He started his position in the Eudora Parks and Recreation Department during the last week of January. He oversees the day-to-day maintenance of all the city's existing parks and will eventually help design future spaces.
His position frees up time for Eudora Parks and Recreation Director Tammy Hodges to organize and oversee the city's recreation programs and monitor the ongoing construction of the Eudora Community and Aquatic Center.
"Everything so far is great. I've got no complaints," he said.
So far, he's been able to comment and make suggestions about the parks program freely, he said.
"Working outside is great," he said.
His interest in parks and forestry management bloomed after his senior year of high school in 1998. He worked for the park department in Overland Park before attending Kansas State University.
"The major at K-State was great," he said. "I truly enjoyed every bit of the major."
He graduated last year with a degree in parks management and conservation and worked in Olathe before coming to Eudora.
He keeps up with his studies and training. He finished a certification course last week to determine the safety of playground equipment, he said.
His love for his job even pervades into his personal time, he said.
"I like to read books on turf," Tolson said.
After a little more than a month on the job, he has his goals set for the rest of the year.
"I would like to bring up as many playgrounds to safety standards as I can," he said.
He has already begun removing spring toys and other pieces of equipment at city parks to make way for more modern replacements, he said.
The department also has plans to revamp Lucy Kaegi Park at 17th and Elm streets next to the eventual location of the new pool and recreation center.
Hodges is on board with his plans.
It's a matter of waiting until the city has funds ready to make those plans a reality, she said.
While working toward modernizing the city's parks and maintaining the city's land, Tolson follows a constant philosophy.
"I like to see people enjoying parks not abusing them," he said.