Fred Poppe Returns To Palm Bay As New Parks and Recreation Director
By Yvonne Martinez, City of Palm Bay // May 12, 2015
will begin work on May 18
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Fred Poppe spent most of his life in Palm Bay and most of his career here creating, designing and building the city’s 17-plus parks.
After about 10 years with Brevard County, Poppe is now returning to the city he loves and to what he calls his dream job as Palm Bay’s new Parks and Recreation Director.
City Manager Gregg Lynk appointed Poppe to the position saying he is the right man at the right time. Poppe will begin work on May 18.
Poppe worked with the Palm Bay Parks and Recreation department from July 1974 until September of 2005.
“I’m confident that Fred is going to be a great asset to the city,” Lynk said.
“Our vision is to grow quality programs, acquire new facilities and bring in high caliber events that will help with our overall objectives to bolster the economy while improving the great quality of life we all know and love here in the city. I’m excited about what Fred is capable of bringing.”
During his 31-year tenure he had a hand in realizing nearly every city park and major facility that is open today from the funding to the land acquisition to the design and building of each.
He says he is most proud of his role in building Fred Lee Park in 1989 mostly because of the challenges he and the team overcame.
“We did a lot of the work in house because we didn’t have a lot of money,” Poppe said.
“That park and the ball fields were pretty much home grown with a community work day to lay more than 270 pallets of sod.
“It pretty much set the tone for how we did things. But moral was high and in spite of funding challenges we had a great time and were very creative. I’m looking forward to bringing that tone back and doing even more great things.”
After leaving Palm Bay Parks and Recreation in 2005, Poppe began working for Brevard County Parks and Recreation where he made a positive impact in building and improving facilities there including Viera Regional Park, Palm Bay Regional Park, Rhodes Park and improvements at Wickham Park.
“His expertise in grant writing, park design and recreational programs will be a great asset to the city,” Lynk added.
As for returning after ten years away, Poppe couldn’t be more excited.
“’Who wouldn’t be,” he said. “I get to come back to my hometown to finish a career I am still passionate about. I’m looking forward to changing the culture, improving moral and getting back to the goodness of what we do.”