This past weekend, officials gathered to hold a ceremony to rename the Verdugo Recreation Center Renamed Mary Alvord Recreation Center in honor of longtime city employee Mary Alvord.
Alvord is a lifelong resident of Burbank and had a career working for the City, which spanned 38 years. She began her career in 1970 as a Junior Recreation Leader in the P&R Department and rose through the ranks.
In 1991, she was appointed to the position of P&R Director and proudly served in this position for ten years.
Under her leadership in the P&R Department, Alvord oversaw several capital improvement projects. These include new construction of the Burbank Tennis Center, roller hockey rink at Ralph Foy Park, Maple Street Playground, Earthwalk Park, Valley Park Skate Park, and Stough Canyon Nature Center. She also oversaw the renovations and improvements of George Izay (Olive) Park ballfield, Burbank Center Stage, (Betsy Lueke) Creative Arts Center, Starlight Bowl, McCambridge Park, Joslyn Adult Center addition, Robert Gross Park, Providencia Elementary School Soccer Field, and Playground improvements.
From 2000 to 2003, Alvord served as the Assistant City Manager, and in 2003 by a unanimous vote of the City Council, she was named the City Manager. She was the first woman to hold the position of City Manager in Burbank’s history.
In February 2009, Ms. Alvord retired from the City of Burbank. Still, she remained active by serving on the Board of Directors for the Family Service Agency and facilitating the Leadership Burbank Program.
Continually recognized for her dedication to public service and her commitment to the Burbank community, Ms. Alvord was inducted into the “Burbank Athletics Walk of Fame” (2007), awarded the Boys and Girls Club’s “Golden Achievement Award,” named “Woman of the Year” by State Senator Jack Scott (2004) and the Zonta Club (2007), received the Burbank Temporary Aid Center’s “Top Award for Citizenship,” honored by Woodbury University with the “Movers and Shapers Award,” and bestowed the Family Service Agency’s “Woman of Vision Award” (2007).
To acknowledge Alvord’s significant role in the Burbank community, the Mary Alvord Recreation Center was named in her honor during a rededication ceremony held on January 28, 2023.