The Open Space Council would like to congratulate current board member, Mike Oppermann on being chosen for the Retirement Service Award from the Missouri Park and Recreation Association. Mike is very worthy of this award as evidenced by his long and successful career.
In 1994, Webster Groves began the boom of Recreation Complexes and water parks in the St. Louis area under Mike’s directorship, with construction of the Webster Groves Recreation Complex. Mike then spearheaded the effort for a multi-million dollar addition and renovation to that recreation complex and saw the completion of the park master plan, renovating Webster Groves’ most utilized parks.
Mike worked with the City Council, Park Board, and the citizens to develop and plan for the continued future of the parks in Webster Groves, update the Park Master Plan, and attain the 1/2 cent sales tax for park improvements.
He has worked with Project Evergreen, a neighborhood group and the Conservation Department to preserve the Shady Acres Nature Sanctuary. In 2006, Mike worked with Great Rivers Greenway, the cities of Brentwood and Maplewood to provide a connecting recreational trail –the Shady Creek Greenway Project. He is currently working with GRG again to plan and implement a 2.9 mile connecting and loop trail within the city.
Mike has generated over $2 million in grants, accomplishing improvements in our community parks unparalleled. He personally raises approximately $25,000 in corporate donations annually to pull off the city’s 4-day Community Days event and serves as its chairman. He negotiated with several telecommunications companies for transmission towers in one of Webster’s parks in return for improvements, including new ballfield light poles, batting cages, back stops and dugouts, street lighting, a new playground, a Zamboni garage, building, and marquis signage.
Mike serves as Director of Community Development, allocating tens of thousands of dollars each year in home improvement, accessibility, programs for disadvantaged youth and area improvements in the City.
He has chaired and worked on various MPRA and NRPA committees, including the inaugural Gateway to Success Facility Design School committee and currently serves as the Planned Giving chairman for MPRA. He has shared his wealth of knowledge with others as a presenter at MPRA and LDI, Missouri Municipal League and Athletic Business conferences
As if that isn’t enough, he served as Rotary President and Exchange Chair; is a long-standing member of the Missouri Humane Society, serving on the Nominating, Personnel and Building committees, and is on the committee to review and recommend allocations of the municipal park grant. He is also past President of the Webster Groves/Shrewsbury Chamber of Commerce, active on the Open Space Council board and Animal Rescue.
He assists his co-workers in seeking out opportunities for growth and development in the field of parks and recreation and supports us in every activity in which we’re involved, challenge or endeavor that comes our way.
We are proud to know that someone as involved and effective as Mike Oppermann sits on the Open Space Council’s board of directors. Way to go Mike!