Patrick Kenney has been named the new superintendent of Shenandoah National Park as well as Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.
Kenney will fill a vacancy announced in early March after Superintendent Jennifer Flynn accepted a position as the associate director for visitor and resource protection at the NPS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Flynn had held the position since January 2017.
Kenney, who recently helped lead operations at Yellowstone National Park, has plans to implement more local programming, he said in a Friday news release from the National Park Service.
"Exceptional projects, programs, and partnerships are underway, due in large measure to the vision and the dedication of the park staff,” Kenney states in the release.
“I look forward to working on efforts to preserve the park's natural and cultural resources and enhance the visitor experience of our public lands. Shenandoah National Park has an extraordinary legacy that is in place for all seasons and for all peoples."
Kenney will also manage Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Middletown, a partnership park that started in 2002.
"I look forward to working with staff and outstanding partners to tell the complex stories of Cedar Creek, Belle Grove, and the Shenandoah Valley,” he states in the release.
Kenney was appointed to the position by National Park Service Regional Director Gay Vietzke, the release states.
"Shenandoah is one of the most iconic of our national park sites," Vietzke said. "Its vast size is both a treasure and a great responsibility. Shenandoah will be in good hands with Patrick, who has the experience of managing sizable operations at large parks. He will be up to the task of handling new projects that are possible thanks to the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act."
Kenney had served as the deputy superintendent of Yellowstone National Park since January 2017, managing the operations of 2.2 million acres, a staff of approximately 800 and an annual base budget of $35 million.
Before that, he had been superintendent of Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina since 2011. There he improved access to the park through the awarding of a ferry service contract, established two gateways and the opening of the Beaufort Visitor Information Center, the release states.
Beginning his park service career in 1990 as a natural resource manager at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida, he later became the planning branch chief at the NPS Denver Service Center. He obtained funding for and completed numerous natural resource restoration projects, also working on various planning issues within the preserve, the release says.
Kenney has a bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute — Leadership for Democratic Society and is a Project Management Institute certified Project Manager.
He and his wife Dyanne are looking forward to exploring the park and becoming engaged with the community, the release states.