The City of Wichita is pleased to announce Amanda Alessi as the new Director of the Great Plains Nature Center (GPNC). Alessi served as the interim director after the retirement of former director Jim Mason in 2017.
Alessi joined GPNC in 2009 as a naturalist. During her tenure, she has championed a strategic planning process, developed new funding pipelines and worked on community outreach.
She has served as the interim director of GPNC in 2020, leading the organization through the reopening process and directing staff during COVID-19 and one of the most challenging times for the organization.
“Amanda is uniquely qualified to lead GPNC,” said Wichita Park and Recreation Director Troy Houtman. “The Nature Center is an essential community asset, and Amanda has already helped innovate the way we engage and reach out to the community.”
Alessi holds a Master of Public Administration from Wichita State University with a certificate in Nonprofit Management. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Biology from Emporia State University.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center and the Wichita Department of Park and Recreation jointly operate GPNC. Their goal is to provide opportunities for the public to investigate, understand and develop an appreciation for wildlife and the environment, while promoting sound stewardship of natural resources.