On a night where many residents from the area had come to express their concerns with the Township board, the board meeting was filled to capacity, but the meeting started on a positive note.
In a room filled with Meridian Township residents LuAnn Maisner stood out in her yellow blazer as she accepted Meridian Township’s Commitment to Excellence Award.
Michigan Recreation and Parks Association (mParks) president, Brett Kaschinske began Meridian Township’s board meeting on Tuesday, March 17 by presenting the Commitment to Excellence Award to Meridian Township’s Director of Parks and Recreation, LuAnn Maisner. Kaschinske said her high levels of success were deserving of the award.
“You have the trails, and parks mileage that you have you have expanded, and done so much for the community,” Kaschinske said. “It is for that reason that LuAnn is this year’s Commitment to Excellence award winner.”
Previously, Maisner served as the first parks and recreation director of Dewitt for six years. Maisner has worked as the first ever parks and recreation director for Meridian Township since October 1999, marking 2018 Maisner’s 19th year. Maisner said she’s spent 36 years in private and public parks and recreation cherishes the position.
“The profession of parks and recreation is a very noble one and it’s one where you can really make a difference,” Maisner said.
Maisner said providing parks as well as programs that bring the community together is the best reward.
“There’s so much personal satisfaction with the recreation piece of bringing people together,” Maisner said.
Meridian Township Park Commissioner Michael McDonald approached the podium following Maisner. McDonald said he has only great things to say about Maisner and has been very satisfied with her work over the years.
“Meridian Township has done so many things over the years for parks and recreation,” McDonald said, “and quality of life is a term we use a lot nowadays but [Maisner’s work] means a lot in parks and recreation as well as in [Meridian Township’s] quality of life.”
Maisner said they’ve built or improved many parks including Wonch, Ferguson, Cedar bend Heights, Orlando, and Hillbrook park. (see below for a map of parks) These are just some of the many improvements she has made said Kaschinske and McDonald.
“There was literally only a trifold brochure of recreation programs when she started and now there are so many more,” Kaschinske said to Maisner. “You have the trails, and parks mileage that you have you have expanded, and done so much for the community. It is for that reason that LuAnn is this year’s commitment to excellence award winner.”
“We have so many parks I couldn’t name them all but we do have over 900 acres,” McDonald said.
Maisner said she didn’t expect to receive anything for her hard work but welcomes the recognition.
“No one ever expects to receive an award for it,” Maisner said. “It’s nice to be recognized by your pears, but when you receive an award like this you don’t do it alone. It’s a team of people. I’ve just been very fortunate to have a lot of great influences.”
With what she has accomplished over the years, Maisner said she truly appreciates her job.
“This is a great job, and I love it,” Maisner said.
“Each and every place that LuAnn has gone, she has made those changes and made her community better,” Kaschinske said.