Home Neighborhoods City of Pensacola Selects Ben Heistein as Parks and Recreation Director

City of Pensacola Selects Ben Heistein as Parks and Recreation Director

Ben Heistein has been selected as Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Pensacola, responsible for spearheading the vision and development of the Parks and Recreation Department ensuring high-quality recreational services for the Pensacola community.


Heistein recently served as Parks Superintendent for the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, where he was responsible for the management and daily operations of 200 parks and 91 miles of trails. While in the role, Heistein also managed a staff of 160 employees and administered an annual operating and maintenance budget of more than $38 million.

Prior to his position with the City of Dallas, Heistein served as Assistant Parks & Community Services Director for the City of Watsonville, California. In addition to managing parks, he has also developed and managed youth and adult recreation programs, dog parks, skate parks, splash pads, capital improvement projects and directed city street tree programs.

Heistein earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is a National Recreation & Parks Association Certified Parks & Recreation Professional and an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist.

“It is an honor to be appointed to lead the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and to have the opportunity to work with an amazing team of passionate and talented individuals,” Heistein said. “I hope to use my experience and expertise to enhance resident and visitor experience at city parks and facilities, while propelling the mayor’s vision for a greater and higher quality of life in the City of Pensacola.”

As Parks and Recreation Director, Heistein will work under the direction of Deputy City Administrator Amy Miller to organize, coordinate and direct the Parks and Recreation Department through the formulation of policy and procedure.

“We are incredibly fortunate to find someone like Ben with a plethora of knowledge and passion for serving communities,” Mayor Reeves said. “His experience managing a city the size of Dallas is something that we can really benefit from as Pensacola continues to grow and become the place that everyone wants to live. I am confident that through his leadership, our city parks and facilities will benefit from fresh ideas and see a great deal of improvement and enhancement.”