News Flash

City news releases

Posted on: October 7, 2019

New Marysville Parks Director a familiar city, community leader

Tara color

The City of Marysville has promoted Tara Mizell as its new Director of Parks, Culture and Recreation. Mizell joined the department in 1994 and has held increasingly responsible positions there over the years, serving most recently as Assistant Parks Director.

As Marysville has grown over the years, so has the city’s parks program under the direction of former director Jim Ballew, who retired in late September. The city grew the number of city parks from two to more than 30, introduced many popular community events including Touch A Truck and Marysville for the Holidays, and oversaw the development of Bayview Trail and the Ebey Waterfront Park and Trail. With the 2016 acquisition of the historic Marysville Opera House, the department added “Culture” to its name and expanded its cultural programming. 

“With her years of experience and intimate knowledge of the department, Tara will hit the ground running,” said Gloria Hirashima, Chief Executive Officer. “Her demonstrated leadership style and relationships in the community are valuable assets, and we are delighted to have her leading many exciting projects coming in the years ahead.”

Mizell noted some of those include the upgrade of Cedar Fields, development of Olympic View Park in the Sunnyside area, the connection of Bayview Trail to Centennial Trail, and planning for a future park at Mother Nature’s Window.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with our stellar team,” Mizell said.

Mizell, who served as the city’s community recovery director in the aftermath of the tragic Marysville school shooting in 2014, was honored with the American Red Cross Humanitarian Spirit Award for her efforts along with Rochelle Lubbers of the Tulalip Tribes. She is former chair of the Marysville Community Coalition (Marysville Together).  

She also has been long active in the Marysville community where she and her firefighter husband, Jim, raised their two daughters. She is former board member of the Marysville Community Food Bank, where she helped lead the annual holiday toy store that provides coats, books and gifts to more than 1,000 local families in need each holiday season.

Mizell earned a bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation Administration from Central Washington University, minoring in Political Science. She is past president of the Washington Parks and Recreation Administration.

Also promoted to Assistant Parks Director is Dave Hall, the department's Athletic Supervisor since 2006.

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