In Profile: Eatherly brings an affinity for park administration to Arizona
Back in the 1960s, Texas Tech was known for its 'Park Administration, Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Department.' And while a park administration degree is no longer available at Tech, its legacy can still be seen in the program's outstanding graduates.
One of the standouts from those early park administration days is Charles Eatherly ('61 BS and '63 MS, Park Administration), who went on to become a leading Arizona State Parks administrator. During his 50-year career, the Oklahoma native developed numerous master plans for individual parks and park systems.
"When I look at property, I just think about things that could be done to make it useful," Eatherly said.
Eatherly followed his older brother to Tech, and initially studied architecture. But eventually he discovered horticulture and switched to park administration. "In the College of Ag were the kinds of classes I enjoyed," he said. "I really like being outside, and I like seeing beautiful places."
After graduation, Eatherly went to work as a landscape architect and later general services supervisor with the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department in Phoenix. In 1967, he was named superintendent of parks for the City of Norman, Oklahoma, and later he was appointed an instructor in Arkansas Tech University's Recreation and Park Administration Department.
In 1971, Eatherly returned to Phoenix when he was hired as the chief of planning for Arizona State Parks. Later he was promoted to special projects coordinator, then legislative liaison and finally deputy director in 1993. When he joined the agency, the state had 11 parks. Today it has 30. Eatherly, who was named Arizona State Parks Employee of the Year in 1993, officially retired in 1998 as deputy director, but he continues with the agency part-time as an executive consultant on special projects. At Tech, park administration was officially dropped from the department title in 1993.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Charles Klein, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-3771 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editor: Norman Martin
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