Santa Monica Community & Cultural Services Director Barbara Stinchfield has announced that she will retire at the end of the year after 31 years of service with the city.

During her 14 years as department director, Stinchfield has overseen the development and implementation of the city’s first Parks & Recreation Master Plan that has resulted in significant improvements to the city’s parks and recreational facilities, such as the Annenberg Community Beach House, City Manager Rod Gould noted.

With an operating budget of $47 million and approximately 400 full- and part-time employees, Community & Cultural Services oversees the administration, planning and management of the city’s recreational facilities, culture and arts programs, human services, funding for nonprofit grant programs, and public landscape.

“Barbara has been instrumental in more than a decade of improvements to the city’s parks, open spaces and public facilities and has nurtured the growth of the city’s human services and cultural arts programs,” Gould said. “Her legacy is extensive and the impact of her leadership will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for decades to come.”

Stinchfield will step down as the city begins construction of two new parks in the heart of the Civic Center, following a comprehensive public design process conducted under her direction. Both Gould and Stinchfield stressed that the strength and competence of the current department management team will ensure a smooth transition to new leadership.

“Working with this community has been the opportunity of a lifetime – to participate in the civic life of one of the most incredible cities in the country. As I advanced through the organization, I marveled at what each opportunity gave to me and, in return, what I could give to the city,” Stinchfield said.