In the heart of Brownsburg, Indiana, lies a network of parks and trails that serve as the backdrop for community connection, outdoor recreation, and environmental stewardship. Leading the charge is the Brownsburg Parks Director Amber Lane, whose passion for parks and dedication to community engagement have played a pivotal role in shaping the town’s recreational landscape.

The path to parks leadership for Amber Lane began in 2016 when she joined the Town of Brownsburg as the Administrative Services Manager. Coming from a background in childcare, the transition to municipal government was initially a step toward seeking new challenges and opportunities for personal growth. Little did she know this decision would mark the beginning of a transformative journey in parks and recreation management.

Over the past seven years, she has moved through various roles within the department, from Business Services Manager to Assistant Director, before ultimately assuming the role as Parks Director—something she says happened organically.

“This decision started with the choice to pursue the Assistant Director position. I chose to take a chance and put myself out there,” Amber shared. “While in that role, my director told me that I should have the mindset to take over the department one day. He planted the seed early on so that when the opportunity came, I already knew that I wanted to take the position and where I wanted to go with it!”

Thanks to mentorship, support, and some self-confidence, she embarked on this chapter with determination and purpose, knowing that her contributions would make a tangible difference in the lives of residents. Amber also recognizes the critical role that philanthropy plays in bolstering parks and recreation initiatives, particularly the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County (PFOHC).

“As a municipal employee, I see the wide range of needs our community has, but we have limited funds to meet those needs. Through the generosity and support of the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County and their donors, we are able to meet those needs,” said Amber. “The foundation also creates opportunities to network and connect with other park professionals in the county. In my short time as Director, I have already used those connections several times!”

When it comes to her favorite park or trail in Hendricks County, Amber’s answer is a two-for-one—a trail within a park!

“I adore the Maple Ridge trail in Williams Park. The Maple Ridge trail is situated in the back of Williams Park. You can access it from the main park off of Locust Lane. The trailhead is behind the splash pad. The second access point is off Alpha Street, adjacent to the parking lot. The trail itself features an ADA-accessible crushed stone trail. It also features some footpaths off the main trail through one of Brownsburg’s highest-quality forests, featuring a fantastic and diverse plant community. The team has focused its efforts on removing invasive species in these areas to continue to improve and protect this valuable resource in the community,” she explained.

Looking ahead, Amber envisions a parks department that embodies inclusivity, accessibility, and environmental stewardship. Her vision aligns closely with the organizational goal of enhancing the quality of life in Brownsburg and creating a community where everyone feels welcome and valued. From fostering community connections to prioritizing land stewardship and restoration, every endeavor is guided by a commitment to serving present and future generations.

Outside of her role as Parks Director, Amber shares that she has “a healthy obsession with travel!” She is a certified divemaster and loves exploring the depths of the ocean, taking photos of sharks in their natural habitat.

“To date, I have dove with reef sharks, lemon sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks. This fall, I hope to get to see my all-time favorite shark, the hammerhead!”

On land, she and her husband embark on hiking expeditions, immersing themselves in the natural beauty of national parks and community trails across the country.

Through her dedication and boundless enthusiasm, Amber is certainly leaving a mark on the fabric of Brownsburg’s parks and trails.