Former City of Raleigh Parks Superintendent to Head State Parks Operations


Kathy Capps, a 20-year employee of city of Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department, is the new state parks deputy director for operations, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. She succeeds Adrian O’Neal, who retired as a 30-year state employee in late 2019. Capps assumed her new role with the division Dec. 23.

The deputy director for operations provides direction and leadership to the N.C. state parks system including statewide management of all lands and waters administered by the division to include parks, recreation areas, trails, rivers, lakes and natural areas encompassing over 250,000 acres.

Capps will be responsible for overseeing resource management, environmental education programming, law enforcement, safety and facility maintenance for the state's system of 34 state parks, four state recreation areas, 24 state natural areas and seven state lakes as well as other system units.

"We are thrilled to welcome Kathy to this important leadership role with state parks. Her demonstrated leadership in several sectors of Raleigh’s large, complex parks and recreation system will allow a smooth transition to managing state park operations," said John Fullwood, interim state parks director. "Her experience and skills will serve our field staff well as our parks adjust to increased visitation, manage new facilities, and tackle critical projects.”

Capps has resided in North Carolina for over 24 years and served the City of Raleigh as recreation superintendent, grants and risk manager, learning development and risk management manager and adventure program manager. She holds a master’s degree in natural resources from N.C. State University and a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management from UNC-Wilmington.

About North Carolina State Parks
North Carolina State Parks manages more than 250,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina’s state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 19.8 million visitors annually.

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