Meet the New Recreation Director

By Kaileigh Deacon

There’s a new face in the City of Calais, that of Recreation Susanne Kynast. Kynast started as the Recreation Director on November 3 hitting the ground running right into the start of the basketball season. 

Kynast is a graduate of the University of Maine at Machias and was a Marine Biology Major as well as Recreation Management. Recreation Management wasn’t the first course of study that Kynast was interested, first she was focused in Biological Sciences. As she studied she found that she was taking more and more classes in Recreation Management so she had enough credits to receive an Associates Degree in Recreation Management and after getting to know people in the program went for the Bachelor’s Degree. 

For the last seven years Kynast has been living and working in Florida working for a recreational boat sewage company. After the business expanded and her employer outsourced the management of the company, Kynast started to look for work. 

Prior to living in Florida Kynast lived in Maine even after her graduation from the University of Maine at Machias. Kynast worked with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to ban commercial harvesting of snapping turtles and protect the turtles. She spent a great deal of time studying the turtles and helping Maine become a leader in research and information on Snapping Turtles. Kynast has also worked on Maine Search and Rescue. She has also worked as a Maine Guide, at Sunday River, Greenland Point, and many other places. 

“I basically grew up in Machias. I went to college here but I have a lot of my firsts here,” Kynast said. “I knew I wanted to come home to Downeast Maine.” When Kynast isn’t working she liked to be outside doing something or working on her house in Machias. In the summer you may even see her riding her pink skateboard to the store.

Since her appointment as the Recreation Director Kynast has made an effort to find out what people would like to see the Recreation Department offer. Kynast has been using the Department’s Facebook page to reach out to people and see what their interests are. “I’m getting parents telling me what their kids like, but I want to know what they like too.” Kynast has plans to start offering more programs for people of all ages and not just programs for kids. She also wants to expand from more than just the athletics and make the Recreation Program one for everyone, not just people who want to play sports. 

Plans have already begun to reinstall the ice rink up next to the pool on Calais Avenue. Kynast has also been working with the CDRC to bring another smaller ice rink downtown. Several people have expressed interest in having ice skating and hockey lessons available at the rink and Kynast is working on a way make that possible. 

Kynast has stated that something she is dedicated to is making sure that the pool is operational for the people of Calais. She wants to find ways to make the pool more accessible for people. “People have said they want to keep the pool and that’s what I want too,” Kynast said. 

 

With all her ideas and hopes for the future of the Rec Program Kynast stated there was one thing that she would never do. She said she refuses to limit enrollment on any of the programs offered by the Rec. “I’m never going to turn a child away.”