Jumper returning to Fayetteville as new parks director

Alison Jumper / Courtesy

Former Fayetteville parks planner Alison Jumper has been selected to lead the city’s parks department now that longtime head Connie Edmonston has moved on.

Jumper is a licensed landscape architect with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. She spent the last three years at the Runway Group where she led the completion of Osage Park and Coler Mountain Bike Preserve in Bentonville.

Before that, Jumper worked in Fayetteville as a park planner and was eventually promoted to superintendent where she was responsible for managing the Park Planning and Urban Forestry divisions.

In her new role, Jumper will oversee parks planning, recreational services, natural resource and open space stewardship, cultural arts planning and implementation, special events and attractions within the city’s parks system.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this role and its new direction,” said Jumper. “I’m honored to have been selected to lead the department, and I see much opportunity to expand into areas that celebrate and promote Fayetteville’s culture and natural resources.”

With Edmonston’s departure, city leaders felt it was a good time to restructure the department to include open space planning, natural resource preservation and cultural arts work when planning for the future.

“In this expanded leadership role, Alison will oversee new programs that integrate stewardship of our natural resources, the development of a new cultural arts program and a new long-range plan for Fayetteville parks that is currently underway,” said Susan Norton, the city’s chief of staff. “We are excited to work with Alison to shape the natural and cultural landscape of the city throughout our parks and open spaces.”

Edmonston retired from the parks department in July after 35 years with the city. She began working as an administrative assistant in 1982 before becoming assistant director of parks and recreation. After leaving the city to work for Washington Regional for four years, she returned in 1998 as parks and recreation director in a role she served for 23 years.