Getting to Know Jeremy Thorpe of the Urbana Park District

Aug 2021

Jeremy Thorpe is no stranger to the community and enjoys the many opportunities that the park district offers in regards to recreation and athletics. In this month’s blog post we sat down with Jeremy to learn more about him, and his plans for supporting the Park District now and into the future.

What interested you in coming to work at the Urbana Park District?

I grew up in Champaign and used park district programming and parks on a regular basis. To know that Urbana is in the middle of fundraising for a new facility and has such a long history of great spaces, it felt like the place to be. Being back home and being able to take part in working on projects that my family will utilize feels great.

You’re from the Champaign-Urbana area and a recognized high school athlete (amongst many other really cool roles you’ve held within the community!) Tell us about that and how does it feel to be back in town?
I have great memories from Centennial High School track and football, so it has been great to finally see a new track and football field at the school in addition to the building expansion. Of course, I enjoy going back to see the school’s only Track and Field Conference Championship banner hanging in the gym. That was from my senior year of high school which was some of the most fun times of my life. It’s also a good feeling to reconnect with folks in the community who I worked with or who listened to me on the Q96 morning show. I worked there for three years and still think it is fun to hear people say “oh wow I recognize your voice!” 

Something that I am looking forward to is partnering with some friends of mine to mentor and help young men in the community. Prior to leaving Champaign in 2018, I worked with local schools and businesses for D.A.P.P.E.R University to provide positive male role models and host a back to school giveaway. We have plans underway for more events and opportunities moving forward. Stay tuned!

As the District’s Development Manager, what is one goal you have for the next few months in your new role?
My immediate goal is to build relationships with local businesses. We can all help each other grow and make Urbana an even better city.

What makes you excited for the future of Urbana Parks?
The potential! There is so much room for growth and meeting the needs of the community. If we can connect with the residents and meet as many needs as possible, it’s a win for us all!

What are your three favorite aspects of Urbana Parks?
Outdoor spaces (there are so many), the upcoming health and wellness facility, and of course, Meadowbrook Park. So many people use it for morning/evening walks and I remember taking field trips there as a kid. 

When you’re not at work, where are people most likely to find you? 
Recently, I have only been working on home projects! Outside of that I love to spend time with family, working out – especially outside, and probably a little too much time shopping for new suits!

To reach Jeremy you can email him at jmthorpe@urbanaparks.org or by calling 217-367-1536.