When Brent Bangel graduated from Marian University with a degree in sports management and business administration, a career in parks and recreation was not on his radar. Like many recent grads, Brent left college uncertain of what to do professionally. Fortunately, a happenstance part-time job as the Recreation Manager at the Town of Plainfield opened an opportunity he hadn’t considered.

Today, more than 17 years later, Brent is the Director of Plainfield Parks and Recreation and couldn’t imagine a better career path for himself.

“I’d never thought of parks and recreation as a career path, but I had experience with all the different amenities growing up playing different sports and being raised on the farm,” said Brent. “The position and community sparked my interest and the next day I came out and applied for a part-time job to get my foot in the door, and I was eventually hired on as the full-time Recreation Manager. I could not have fallen into a better occupation, career and employer.”

In his role as the Plainfield Parks and Recreation Director, Brent oversees the day-to-day operations while also providing strategic direction in planning for the future of parks in Plainfield. He and his team take their responsibility seriously as experts in the industry and always advocate for the best interest of the community. Currently, big plans are underway for some exciting new updates coming to the Plainfield Parks.

Along with supporting Plainfield parks and outdoor spaces, Brent believes in giving back to the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County and encourages other residents to join him.

“I believe it is important to support the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County because they are a local organization that gives back directly to the community,” said Brent. “The Foundation does a great job with bringing all parks departments across the county together with programs and activities.”

For Brent, his involvement with the parks system is much more than a paycheck. It’s part of his daily life; well outside of his working hours, and a passion he shares with his family.

“I am an avid user of the parks in Plainfield,” said Brent. “Most evenings I am in the parks until 8 p.m., as my wife and I have children utilizing programs in the parks. This is important to me as I get to see our parks and operations as patrons do and I also get regular feedback from other users.”

And if you’re looking for some of the best amenities within the Hendricks County parks system, Brent suggests checking out White Lick Creek Trail in Plainfield.

“The connections to the parks, schools and residential areas make it very accessible and no matter what time of year the scenery is great,” said Brent.

Summertime is winding down, but we hope you’ll take Brent’s advice and visit our incredible parks and trails all year long.