The Albemarle Parks and Recreation Department was created in March 1963, under the direction of Robert D. Amos, to serve the community with a year round program for teens. Over the years, the department has become a source of recreational programs and facilities for all ages.
Upon Amos’s departure in 1967, Charles Y. “Chuck” Morehead became Director of the Department and served until 1985. During his tenure, Morehead instituted a number of innovative programs, and oversaw the development of Carolina Avenue Park (now Don Montgomery Park) and Northwoods Park. In addition, Morehead oversaw the development of one of North Carolina’s first “rails to trails” projects with the conversion of the old Yadkin Railroad grade through Rock Creek Park into the county’s first walking and jogging trail. The Challenge program, begun by Morehead in the 1960’s was among the first outdoor adventure programs ever offered by a public Parks and Recreation Department. Half a century later, it is still one of the department’s most popular programs. Morehead retired from City employment in 1985, and passed away in 1987. Northwoods Park was renamed Chuck Morehead Memorial Park in his memory in 1989.
Upon Morehead’s retirement in 1985, then-Assistant Director Lindsey Dunevant was promoted to the Director’s position, where he remained until his retirement in 2006. Dunevant was successful in procuring grants from numerous public and private sources, and during his tenure managed the addition of a number of facilities, including the E.E. Waddell Community Center, the Albemarle Soccer Complex, and City Lake Park, as well as developing the initial plans for the Roger F. Snyder Greenway. In addition, many of the existing parks were renovated and improved during this time. Dunevant also promoted the expansion of departmental programs to include all ages and abilities, and built a number of community partnerships which brought programs to more people than ever.
Today, the Albemarle Parks and Recreation Department is made of 16 full time employees and up to 40 seasonal employees at peak program times. The Department maintains nine parks and community center properties within the Albemarle corporate limits in addition to approximately two miles of greenways, and provides year-round recreational programming for youth, adults and seniors.