Board Member Carol Severin Garners Professional Recognition

June 13, 2014

East Bay Regional Park District board member Carol Severin was recently recognized by her colleagues for her lifetime of service to the California parks and recreation profession. Her accomplishments were celebrated at two recent professional conferences - that of the Society for Outdoor Recreation Professionals, and the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts. At the SORP conference, the Regional Parks Foundation announced the establishment of a scholarship in her honor at her alma mater, San Francisco State University.

Over a sixty-year career, Ms. Severin supported parks and recreation initiatives in California through her outstanding contributions in leadership, strategic planning, partnership building, communications, and as a creator of experiences at the local, state and national levels for various recreation and parks.

Ms. Severin holds a graduate degree from San Francisco State University, where she taught in the recreation department for 40 years, retiring in 2001. Carol Severin taught classes ranging from management, programming, and alpine skiing, to arts and crafts for leisure. 

“I’m endlessly fascinated by Carol as she’s had such an incredible life!” said California Association of Recreation and Park Districts (CARPD) Board member Maryalice Faltings. “Her career has been an inspiration to many. She also has an encyclopedic knowledge of the recreation field, and is able to impart what she knows so clearly.”

The California Association of Recreation and Park Districts (CARPD) awarded Carol Severin the Jim Meredith Award of Distinction. The award was presented to Ms. Severin at the 2014 CARPD conference held in Lake Tahoe, CA, on May 17. 

Earlier that week, Ms. Severin was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the national Society for Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP) at their conference in San Francisco. The occasion also honored Ms. Severin’s legacy in the field with the announcement that the Regional Parks Foundation was establishing a Carol Severin Intern Scholarship fund at San Francisco State University’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism.

Ms. Severin is a former board member of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, and has been on the board of the CARPD for 25 years. Since 1994, Carol Severin has also served on the East Bay Regional Park District board, representing Castro Valley, Hayward, Union City, and portions of Fremont, Pleasanton and Dublin.

 “I’m very pleased to see Carol recognized for her contributions, which have been many. In her tenure here, she’s been instrumental in diligently championing access for all to the parks – especially for youth and seniors,” said EBRPD General Manager Robert E. Doyle. “The new outdoor fitness circuit at Lake Chabot, and the Short Loop Trails guides, are some recent examples. She also was key in developing our internship program. Her leadership will make a difference for years to come.”
“I hope that in my years in the field I’ve been able to encourage access to the parks,” said Ms. Severin. “Saving the land is important. But providing opportunities to enjoy the parks is important too.”

The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 114,000+ acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning. Find out more at www.ebparks.org.


Isa Polt-Jones
(510) 544-2207