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Recreation director has big plans for city

November 28, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN

marlob@herald-mail.com

Patty Edleblute said her training as a teacher and love of outdoor activities serve her well as recreation superintendent for the City of Hagerstown, a position she has held since September 2004.

Edleblute oversees Potterfield Pool and the pro shop at Hagerstown Greens at Hamilton Run and is in charge of leases and scheduling at Hagerstown Fairgrounds Park.

But those duties are just the tip of the iceberg as Edleblute continues to broaden the job to include more recreational activities for all ages.

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Edleblute's journey to Washington County from her hometown in a suburb of New York City first began in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

She was looking for colleges and heard about Shepherd, she said. When she first saw Shepherdstown, she said it reminded her of her hometown so she enrolled at Shepherd College, now Shepherd University, in recreation/leisure studies and sports management.

"I wanted to be Michael Jordan's agent," Edleblute said of her early career dreams. At least, she hoped to get into arena management.

A lack of money forced her to postpone her college education for a year, but she returned to Shepherd and graduated in 1997.

Edleblute interned at Harpers Ferry (W.Va.) Job Corps and returned there for about a year after graduation as the senior recreation adviser.

She took a job with Howard County, Md., Parks and Recreation, and it was there she got her first chance to develop programs.

Later, she went to Frederick County, Md., Parks and Recreation, where she held the position of coordinator for four years.

"Last spring, I started a pitch, hit and run competition through Major League Baseball."

That was so successful that two local boys advanced to the state competition at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, she said.

In the fall, a 5K Parks and Rec Trek was held, starting at Hagerstown Fairgrounds Park and ending at Municipal Stadium. With help from First Data, the event benefited United Way, Edleblute said.

"I want to do more and more recreation," she said.

Future plans include setting up 3-on-3 basketball tournaments and additional events at Hagerstown Fairgrounds Park, she said.

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