County of Marin - News Releases - Acting Parks Director

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2016

County Appoints Acting Parks Director

Max Korten previously served as superintendent and acting assistant director

San Rafael, CA – Max Korten, who has been serving as Marin County Parks’ Acting Assistant Director, has accepted the job of Acting Parks Director for the next six months.

Max Korten, Acting Marin County Parks DirectorMax Korten
Korten, a County employee since 2014, starts May 9 in his new role as Acting Director. The Board of Supervisors will reevaluate the permanent appointment in November. 

“We’ve been impressed by Max in his previous roles and we’re looking forwarding to him leading the department to accomplish many important projects,” County Administrator Matthew Hymel said. “We are fortunate to have someone with his skills and abilities to step in and lead the department.”

Korten will be charged with the completion of Parks’ Vegetation and Biodiversity Management Plan, implementation of road and trail projects, development and implementation of park infrastructure improvements, adaptation to a new financial software system, and rolling out new signage projects and website improvements.

“We have an outstanding team at Marin County Parks and an exciting program of work including improving our road and trail system, updating facilities at our parks, restoring the unique ecosystems in our preserves and providing park programming to our communities,” Korten said. “I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to engaging with County staff, community groups and our partner agencies in the stewardship of these special places and in continuing to improve access to healthy outdoor recreation opportunities.”   

Korten joined the County as a Parks and Open Space Superintendent, overseeing the operations and management of selected preserves, landscape sites, community service areas, park units, volunteer program and the vehicle fleet. Prior to his work at the County, Korten was the Director of the Natural Resources Program and Contracting at Conservation Corps North Bay and worked for both the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Korten earned an environmental studies degree from UC Santa Cruz and a master’s in natural resource science from Humboldt State University.

Pat O’Brien steps down as the Acting Director on May 9. O’Brien, a 24-year Marin resident, has led the department since October 2015. An award-winning and nationally respected parks and recreation leader, he led the East Bay Regional Park District for 22 years before retiring in 2010 having expanded the district to become the largest regional park system in the country.

"It has been both an honor and privilege to serve as the Interim Director over these past months,” O’Brien said. “The quality and commitment of the professional staff is outstanding. I'm most pleased about the selection of Max Korten because he brings a wealth of experience and commitment to the mission of our parks and open space system. I look forward to continuing to support him and the staff as I return to my role as commissioner."

Marin County Parks is comprised of 34 open space preserves, four regional parks and more than 30 other parks facilities. The County has acquired hundreds of undeveloped parcels from willing sellers in recent years as Parks has grown to more than 20,000 acres. Parks has 76 full-time employees plus as many as 46 seasonal and extra-hire workers each year.


County of Marin

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903