Robert Tooley


Service to the parks and recreation industry is one of the cornerstones of the mParks Hall of Fame, and with his extensive professional accomplishments and mParks involvement, Robert Tooley is an undeniable representation of that quality.

Tooley’s journey in parks and recreation began in Wisconsin, where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Sociology and began an early career as a senior recreation counselor, then as a recreation leader for the Department of the Army. In 1968 he joined the vibrant parks and recreation industry of Michigan, beginning a Master of Arts degree in Recreation and Parks Services at Wayne State University and accepting a position as the assistant recreation director for the City of Hazel Park. Later, Tooley became the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Berkley, where he helped foster impressive department growth through efforts like the planning and construction of a Community Center and Indoor Ice Arena, and a partnership with the local school district to enhance and upgrade park properties.

Tooley also maintained an ongoing commitment to personal growth throughout his career, attending the National Recreation and Park Association Revenue Sources Management School and completing a degree in Landscape Design from Oakland University in 1979.

Beyond his work as director, Tooley became a major contributor to the statewide parks and recreation industry through his many years of involvement in mParks. From early in his career, Tooley began serving the Association in nearly every imaginable capacity, joining committees for Research, Publicity, Building, Finance, Senior Citizen, and Special Projects. He later joined the mParks Board, serving two non-consecutive terms as treasurer and one term as president.

Tooley showed a relentless commitment to serving the profession and Association. He pioneered the amusement park ticket program, which continues to provide revenue and promotion for mParks member agencies today. He also compiled the first-ever history of the Association, creating an invaluable record of the work and progression of the parks and recreation profession.

Through the years, Tooley’s many contributions have been recognized through prestigious honors such as mParks’ Fellowship Award and Presidential Award, and the Association is now proud to continue that recognition of excellence as we welcome him to the Hall of Fame.


2017 mParks Hall of Fame Reception & Induction Ceremony

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Summit on the Park  |  46000 Summit Parkway, Canton, MI

6:00 pm Cocktail Reception & Hors d'oeuvres6:30 pm Dinner and Induction Ceremony Dessert and Hall of Fame unveiling to follow
$60 per ticket

Limited seats still available. Call the mParks office to purchase - 517.485.9888.