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Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Update from the National Park Service: Linda Canzanelli Named Superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area

National Parks of New York Harbor Commissioner Maria Burks has named Linda Canzanelli as superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area. Canzanelli will be responsible for the 26,000 acre park, which spans locations in New York and New Jersey, and drew more than nine million visitors in 2009. She succeeds Barry Sullivan, who retired.

Canzanelli, a 33 year National Park Service veteran, is currently associate regional director for park operations for the NPS northeast region which includes 13 states and 78 parks from Maine to Virginia. “With a great background in many phases of park operations as both a superintendent and in her current position, Linda is the right person to lead a complex and magnificent park like Gateway,” said Burks.

“Over twenty thousand acres in America’s most urban area is both a dream come true and a challenge to preserve,” said Canzanelli. “ I look forward to working with many partners and interested citizens to complete our management plan and improve the park for our visitors.

“From preserving the buildings at Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook, to improving the facilities at historic Floyd Bennett Field to serving as the starting gate for the New York City Marathon at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, Gateway is as every bit as diverse and rewarding as the region itself.”

Canzanelli began her career as a clerk typist at Boston National Historical Park in 1977, and worked as an interpreter and supervisory park ranger at the park before transferring to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park as the first unit manager of the French Quarter Unit in 1980. Following a stint as a park manager at Chalmette National Historical Park (now part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve), Canzanelli became chief of interpretation and visitor services at Gateway National Recreation Area in 1985.

In 1989 she became superintendent of Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York, and stayed at the park during the five and a half years of construction at the Wesleyan Chapel Block.  In 1994 Canzanelli was named deputy superintendent of Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, and later served as deputy associate director for park operations and education at NPS headquarters in Washington DC.

From 2000 to 2005, she was superintendent of Biscayne National Park in Homestead, Florida.

Canzanelli holds a bachelors degree in American History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a masters degree in Public Administration from Northeastern University, Boston.

About Gateway National Recreation Area
Established in 1972, Gateway National Recreation Area has more than 26,000
acres of marshes, wildlife sanctuaries and recreational athletic
facilities, miles of sandy beaches; indoor and outdoor classrooms;
picnicking and camping areas, as well as historic structures and military
installations, airfields, a lighthouse, and adjacent waters around New York
harbor. The park offers urban residents in two states a wide range of
recreational opportunities year round. With more than 9 million visitors a
year, it is the third most visited national park in the country. For
information about Gateway’s three units—Jamaica Bay, Staten Island and
Sandy Hook—or to find out about our upcoming public programs, see the
park’s Web site at

About The National Parks of New York Harbor
The National Parks of New York Harbor helps coordinate 10 National Parks
with 22 unique destinations in New York City and northern New Jersey. The
National Parks of New York Harbor includes nearly 27,000 acres and welcomes
more than 12 million visitors each year. The parks offer year-round public
programs, curriculum-based education, recreational opportunities, natural
habitats, historic buildings and museum collections. There are also many
opportunities to become involved in volunteer and stewardship activities.

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