APR Innovators: Kim Turner

APR Innovators is an Asheville Parks & Recreation series highlighting team members going above and beyond to bring huge value to community members through knowledge, connections, and insight that come from a desire to create the best city possible through the power of high-quality recreation programs and safe parks that welcome everyone.


When did you join the Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR) team?

I started with the department in 1995 as a summer camp counselor at Ira B. Jones Elementary. After graduating college, I began working as an APR Afterschool coordinator at Claxton, Vance, and Isaac Dickson elementary schools. 

Then, I became a Recreation Specialist working with older adults living in public housing during the mornings and as an APR Afterschool Coordinator in the afternoons. I was promoted to East Asheville Community Center Director, then Assistant Program Supervisor for Athletics

After that, I became Project Manager in the Asset Management division. In my current role, I manage projects that reinvest and enhance our current parks, community centers, playgrounds, and other assets to keep them safe and welcoming for the community.


What inspired you to apply to join the team?

I graduated with a degree in Physical Education, but had worked summers with APR. Falling in love with the opportunity to directly impact children’s lives, I decided to make a career out of it.  


Which accomplishments are you most proud of in terms of your work with the department?

My biggest accomplishments are:

  • Working in a variety of positions in the department has enabled me to impact different people and populations. 
  • I created Tiny Tykes Day in 2007, an event still held each May that has continued to grow tremendously.


For you personally, what does it mean to work for the department?

It means that everyday I get to make a difference.

How have you grown professionally by working with APR?

First and foremost, I have learned to trust and embrace myself. I have learned to listen and try new things by working in a variety of areas. I learned that you don’t have to do everything yourself when you have a team of individuals who are willing to help if you just ask.  


How would you complete this sentence: “I work for Asheville Parks & Recreation because…”

It allows me the opportunity to be myself and impact people’s lives.


Join Kim and other parks and recreation professionals making significant impact as they work to build a strong, healthy, and happy place to live. Current opportunities to work with Asheville Parks & Recreation can be found online.