Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Rec District names new director

Express Staff Writer

Dave Keir

Ending a couple months of speculation about who would fill the shoes of the retiring Mary Austin Crofts, the Blaine County Recreation District named Dave Keir on Monday as the new executive director. The Recreation District oversees the area?s extensive trails system, a swimming pool, and dozens of recreational activities, ranging from youth soccer to creativity programs.

Keir joined the Recreation District two years ago as marketing and development specialist. Previously, he was youth and teen director in Boise at the West Family YMCA and Boise City Aquatic Center.

?Dave was the unanimous choice of both the directors and the staff,? Recreation District Chairman Tim Hamilton said. ?We interviewed several candidates from outside the area, but we felt that he was the best qualified. The fact that he already knows the district, its staff and its programs is a tremendous plus.?

Keir replaced Crofts, who resigned earlier this year to move to Panama after 20 years at the post.

?I think the big focus is to take a look at all the great things we do and how we can continue to do those. Mary was a big vision person and I also think that?s how you get things done. One of my first orders of business is to listen to the public, take positive steps and follow the mission of improving the quality of life in Blaine County. I?m very appreciative of that, for sure. I love the group I work with and am proud to step in with leadership. It?s a great position to be in, a great place. My wife and I are very invested in the community. It?s a long-term thing. Can?t think of a better place to be.

These are big shoes to fill but it?s a personal and professional challenge that I couldn?t pass up.?

Core activities Keir stressed as being ongoing challenges are expanding programs at the Community Campus as well as planning for the Quigley Canyon recreation area.

Keir received his bachelor?s degree in Leisure Studies (?It?s real,? he laughed) at Kent State University in Ohio. He earned his master?s in recreation administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

He has worked for the Ohio chapter of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, the Lake County YMCA in Madison, Ohio, and Heidelberg Youth Services in Heidelberg, Germany. He has been involved with the Idaho Parks and Recreation Yurt Services Project and helped organize an annual trail service camp with teens in the Sawtooth Mountains.

In Boise he was chosen as the 1998 Boise Family YMCA?s Employee of the Year. KTVB Channel 7 selected him as a ?Seven?s Hero? for his work with teens to help raise funds for The Community House in Boise, a transitional residential and services facility for homeless families.

He and his wife, Gadrie Edmunds, live in Hailey.

The Recreation District is partially funded through property taxes, but raises two-thirds of its $2.2 million annual operating budget through grants, sponsorships and private donations. User fees make up only a small percent of annual program costs. For additional information, call 788-2117 or visit the Web site at

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