Member Biography

Michael Kirschman

Michael Kirschman, CPRP, is the Director of the City of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation. The department manages 290+ parks, 7,000+ acres, seven large recreation centers, 185 playgrounds, 200+ athletic fields, 14 boat launches, a marina, and the Princess Anne Athletic Complex - a tournament level 16 field complex. The Department is the City’s largest childcare provider through it’s Before and After School program at all 56 elementary schools and also provides maintenance for 512 city buildings, all 91 public schools and athletic fields, and 340 miles of roadway median. The department employs 1,500 staff with a $66.7M operating budget (FY20). It was the first Virginia CAPRA accredited agency in 1999 and is one of only 13 in the nation to maintain accreditation for the past 20 years. 

Prior to Virginia Beach, Michael worked for 12 years at the Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation Department, serving a population of 1 million including the City of Charlotte, first as Division Director for Nature Preserves and the last 6 years as Deputy Director. He also worked for park districts in Illinois and Ohio, consulted for the National Park Service, worked for the American Samoa EPA, and started his career over 25 years ago as a Soil & Water Conservation District educator. Michael received his bachelor’s degree from Westminster College PA and master’s degree from Antioch University WA. He speaks extensively throughout the country on P&R topics, and has instructed at Green School, Supervisors Management School, and currently at Director’s School. 

A native of Pittsburgh PA, he is - of course - a staunch Steeler fan. When he is not touring parks, taking hikes, kayaking, camping, or enjoying the beach with his wife and daughters, you can likely find him playing Scrabble, cards, or racketball (yes, people still play this). Updated 12-14-2019