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Grady Spann Named Director of State Parks

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Grady Spann has been named the new director for Arkansas State Parks, the state Department of Parks and Tourism announced Friday.

Spann will replace the retiring Greg Butts, whose last day will be Dec. 31. Butts spent 42 years with Arkansas State Parks, the last 25 as director. Spann serves as Region 5 supervisor for state parks and has worked with the agency for 23 years.

He’d previously served as superintendent of the Ozark Folk Center State Park, Historic Washington State Park and Parkin Archeological State Park from 1993 to 2002.

Parks and Tourism Executive Director Kane Webb, who was selected in October by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to lead the department, said Spann has a proven track record in state parks. 

“He inherits a parks system that is the envy of the nation, thanks in large part to his predecessor, Greg Butts, and mine, former ADPT executive director Richard Davies,” he said. “I am confident that, under Grady’s direction, our parks system will continue to thrive, be innovative and attract visitors from all over the world.”

The Arkansas State Parks director is responsible for leading the operation of 52 state parks and central office divisions including administration, planning and development, marketing and revenue, program services and five regional offices, according to a news release. The director also oversees the Outdoor Recreation Grants Program.

“I look forward to this opportunity to lead Arkansas State Parks following the incredible career of Greg Butts,” Spann said. “Our state park system is recognized across the nation as one of the best and I plan to build upon that reputation.”

Spann is a 1995 graduate of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy and a certified law enforcement officer/park ranger.

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