In 2017, the Stunson Nature Trail was dedicated to the life and vision of longtime Oakland Park City Manager and resident John Stunson. John was an avid outdoorsman and nature lover instrumental in the development of the property known as Whispering Lakes into Royal Palm Park in 1978. The nature trail includes a five-acre natural wetlands wilderness, adjacent to one the City’s largest parks, is an important wildlife habitat that will provide environmental education opportunities for future generations.
About John Stunson:
John Stunson served as City Manager of Oakland Park from 2001-2014 and under his dynamic direction the City made numerous improvements and began its downtown Renaissance.
With John at the helm, the City of Oakland Park carried out a carefully crafted plan to grow and prosper. John’s extensive experience in public service included a previous tenure as City Manager of Oakland Park from 1974 through 1983 when he played a major role in the creation of Royal Palm Park on property that was proposed to be part of the Whispering Lakes residential development.
John resided in South Florida since the late 1950’s (graduated from Miami Edison High School and Florida Atlantic University) and served in the United States Air Force. John was actively involved with numerous professional and community organizations, including Broward County Management Association, Shepherd’s Way Ministries, Economic Development Task Force, House of Representatives, Harris Chapel Life Enrichment Center and many others. John was affiliated with the International City Management Association, Florida City and County Management Association and received a Public Policy Leadership Award from the Broward County Management Association.
John and his lovely wife Shelly were longtime residents of Oakland Park, where they enjoyed tennis, fishing, hiking and nature.