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Last week the Board of Directors of Wakamow Valley announced the hiring of a new General Manager, Todd Johnson.

Margaret Moran, who is the current General Manager, says she will be sticking around for the next few months to help Johnson get comfortable in his new role.

"One of the reasons why the board and myself thought that at least a few months' transition would be better for Wakamow Valley, is because there are so many things that only happen once in a year - such as audits, budgeting process and stuff like that. But more importantly, not that we want a flood to happen, but it's 'what happens if there's a flood.'"

Moran says she believes Johnson was the right choice.

"I was really pleased. I think the board made a really good choice. He comes with a lot of experience, board experience, not-for-profit experience, and fresh ideas, which is really important because every few years it's good to have a shake up and have someone new come in and put their spin on any facility, and this is something that is going to happen. I look forward to seeing the changes."

Johnson, who used to live in Moose Jaw, is coming from a position working with Basketball Saskatchewan Inc. in Regina. He says he's excited to get started.

"I'm extremely happy to be back in Moose Jaw and working for Wakamow Valley. As a kid when you're riding your bike through here you don't really realize how much fun it is down here. To be back here and actually working in the park, working for the Authority is a really neat opportunity. It was just an advertised position. I put my name in and they called me. I was lucky enough to be selected and here we are today."

Johnson talks about his past experiences that he believes will help him in his new role.

"I've been involved in recreation before but also 15 years in a non-profit area and also in fundraising. Those are both things that help. Also working with larger groups, smaller groups of volunteers, so the leadership part is also something that I consider an asset."

"For me I'm just hoping to continue on with success of the group that's here now." says Johnson. "Everything seems to be going really well here, so I'm just hoping to be a part of that success in the future."

Moran has served 13 years in the role that has helped to transform the park. She's helped to get the river cleaned up, replaced old play structures, washrooms, and picnic areas, and organized a new bridge and a low-level cross that completely connects the Moose Jaw trail system. She says Wakamow will always be a special place to her.

"I have always said this and I feel very strongly that Moose Jaw is so fortunate to have this urban wildlife refuge down in a valley within walking distance of a lot of people, or a short drive away."

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