What started out as a summer job for Mundelein Park District’s (www.mundeleinparks.org) Superintendent of Parks became a 40-year career; and, it’s still going strong. This October marks Jerry Cleaveland’s big anniversary. When he started out cutting grass for the Park District, things were really different. “A buddy and I were looking to earn some money and responded to an ad in the paper; we got the jobs, and I never left.” Since those early days, Mundelein Park District has grown with new neighborhoods, now hosting more than 785 acres.
Cleaveland’s responsibilities grew over the years from a member of a staff of two. Now, he oversees the maintenance of 33 parks and manages a staff of 12 full-time as well as seasonal employees.
What has kept him with Mundelein Park District all these years? “It was fun and interesting working here and still is.” Another aspect that keeps Cleaveland in Mundelein is his deep roots in the area. Both he and his wife, Eileen, attended high school in Mundelein. Together they raised daughter, Rachael, and son Ryan in this tight-knit community of avid park-goers.
“Mundelein has really grown into an outstanding Park District, and there is plenty to keep me busy.” If there is much spare time, you’re likely to see him taking advantage of one of the Park District’s gems, teeing up at Steeple Chase Golf Club (www.steeplechasegolf.com).