Laura Baird is the Interim Director for Polk County Parks and Recreation. Her educational background is in Marine Science, Environmental Science, and Park/Recreation Management. She has worked as a counselor in aquariums and directed Polk County’s summer day camp. She will be shifting to the county' first "Outdoor Programs Coordinator" once a permanent director is in place. She currently leads outreach programming to the schools' afterschool children, has a ""Preschool Park Playtime" program for kids ages 6 and under, and manages the "big picture" for the department. She understands how powerful hands-on learning can be to children and adults alike, and strives to provide opportunities for people to have fun together (in the outdoors if possible).
The Polk County Trails Coordinator position was founded for Polk County Parks & Recreation through a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation as a partnership with the Project Conserve/AmeriCorps Program. The position is now funded by the county as a full-time position. The Trails Coordinator manages trail work days, various partnerships and other trail related initiatives in the county.