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Ryan Woods named Parks and Recreation Commissioner

July 5, 2019

Mayor's Office

Published by:

Press Office

A veteran of the department, Woods has served in the department since 2007.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today appointed Ryan T. Woods as the next Commissioner of Boston Parks and Recreation.  A veteran of the department, Woods has served in the department since 2007 and will continue his service as the new leader for the department. 

"Boston is a great parks city, and Ryan brings a wealth of internal and external experience to the role of Parks Commissioner,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am confident he is the right person to build on the department's mission of access, equity, and excellence, and look forward to his continuing leadership.”

Ryan Woods
As Commissioner, Woods will oversee more than 2,600 acres of neighborhood parks, playgrounds, tot lots, athletic facilities, city squares and urban wilds, as well as the City of Boston's inventory of public street trees. The Department also has jurisdiction over three active cemeteries, 16 historic burying grounds and two golf courses.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity to continue to work with the men and women of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to create fun, safe and well maintained open spaces for Boston's residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Woods. 

During his tenure with the Boston Parks and Recreation department, Woods has held roles as the Public-Private Partnerships Coordinator, Program Manager, and Director of External Affairs. Recently, Woods served as Deputy Commissioner where he oversaw more than 800 free annual programs for residents, department communications, and parks operations. 

A graduate of St. Michael's College, Woods also holds a Master Degree in Public Administration from Suffolk University. He is a lifelong resident of Dorchester, where he lives with his wife Lauren, a Boston Police Officer, and their two boys.

Most recently, the Parks and Recreation Department celebrated the opening of Martin’s Park, a first-of-its-kind inclusive, climate-resilient park at the Smith Family Waterfront. The department oversaw the project honoring Martin W. Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings. Following continued investments in the parks system in Boston, last fall Mayor Walsh announced that Boston reached a major milestone in our accessibility to parks, with all Boston residents now living within a 10-minute walk to a park. 

The previous Parks Commissioner, Christopher Cook, was elevated last year to Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston.