The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is kicking off its search for the next Park Board superintendent.

Local recruiting firm kpCompanies will lead the closely watched search for the city’s new parks leader. Applications open July 12.

Community members will be consulted throughout the search process through surveys and four public listening events scheduled throughout the month of July, according to a news release from the Park Board on Tuesday.

“The Board of Commissioners is excited to begin the process of finding the next leader of our number one park system,” Park Board President Brad Bourn said in the news release. “We’re confident we’ll find the best super­intendent to continue to build upon our work and create an even more inclusive park system for everyone who calls Minneapolis their home.”

The public can access details and updates on the search process at More information about the position and the application process will be available July 12.

The Park Board is seeking to fill the spot left by former superintendent Jayne Miller, who resigned in February to take a job as president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Miller, who was hired by the Park Board in 2010, announced plans for her departure unexpectedly in December after facing criticism from protesters and some incoming Park Board members for the agency’s racial equality plan, one of Miller’s key initiatives.

Former superintendent Mary Merrill, who retired from the position in 2003, is filling the role until October at a salary of $14,278 per month.

Six of the nine Park Board commissioners were elected in November after fierce competition, so the new superintendent will inherit a group of mostly newcomers, in addition to a staff of more than 500 full-time employees and an annual budget of about $111 million.

The new leader will also be responsible for continuing the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Terminal on the Mississippi River and determining the future of the Hiawatha Golf Club.

Here are the times and locations for the listening events: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Lynnhurst Recreation Center, 1345 W. Minnehaha Parkway; 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at Longfellow Recreation Center, 3435 36th Av. S.; 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at Bottineau Recreation Center, 2000 2nd St. NE., and 10 a.m.-noon Monday, July 23, at Webber Community Center, 4400 Dupont Av. N.