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Carlyon’s tenure nearly complete in La Crosse

Mitch Reynolds

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Just about the time to lock the gates for the final time for La Crosse’s parks and rec. boss.

Steve Carlyon’s end-of-the-year retirement date is just around the corner.

His send off in City Hall this week featured a cake and tacos.

Before that sendoff, Carlyon talked with WIZM about how he managed to transform several city parks over the 11 years at the department’s top job in La Crosse, including Grandad Bluff Park, Veterans Freedom Park, Poage Park — to name just a few on the list.

“I am able to listen and bounce things back and forth,” Carlyon said. “All the parks, that we do, involve the neighborhoods.

“Poage was supposed to be something different but, by the time we got the neighborhoods involved, it became something really different.”

Carlyon, who told us he only planned on working in La Crosse for five years, originally started thinking about retirement in January but wanted to wait until funding was secured for the new All-Abilities Trane Park. He called it his most important project.   

Carlyon has spent 40-plus years building parks. As for his legacy in La Crosse after 11 years in La Crosse?

“My whole legacy is: I will go away from working at city hall knowing that what I’ve done has made it better,” Carlyon said, “whether it’s softball players, fishermen, boaters, hikers or tourists going up to Grandad or folks in the neighborhood.”

Carlyon officially retires at the end of the month.

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