As of March 10, Ronnie Young Sr. has joined the Sandy Springs staff as director of Recreation and Parks.

He fills the void left by Brad Chambers, who is currently answering the call of duty to serve his country in Iraq.

Young comes to Sandy Springs with more than 40 years of experience in dealing with recreation. He worked as the director for the city of Carrollton, Ga., Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts department for 35 years. After retiring in 2001,Young directed the city of Bremen, Ga.’s department for five years.

He has led these two departments to recognition by the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association, Carrollton six times and Bremen once. Both were named agencies of the year in their population class. The Carrollton department received the Gold Medal award in 1987 signifying a top agency nationwide.

He was also recognized as “Professional of the Year” by the Georgia Recreation and Park Association in 2001

Sandy Springs City Councilwoman Ashley Jenkins, Dist. 4, is glad to have Young in the position and looks forward to his leadership as the city prepares to enhance several of its park facilities.

“He will bring a vision and creativity to the city,” she said. “We’ve gone 13 months without a director; we’re ready to step our parks and recreation programs up a notch.”

Both Councilwoman Jenkins and Councilman Doug MacGinnitie, Dist. 1, have begun meeting with Young to discuss how the city can continue to improve its current facilities and programming.

“We want him to know that we’re hear to listen,” Jenkins said.

Young comes into the position in the midst of an attempt by the city to redevelop both Hammond and Morgan Falls parks.

Sandy Springs City Council issued a request for proposals March 31 to hire a consultant to create a master plan for Hammond including a state-of-the-art gymnasium facility.

Additionally, the city is working a three-phase plan to make vast improvements at Morgan Falls Park as well.