Johnson, Robert D.
Robert D. Johnson, a native of Hoople, ND, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from VCSU in 1957. As a VCSU Viking athlete, Johnson was an All-Conference performer in basketball and baseball. After graduating from VCSU, he taught and coached at Tower City for two years. While there, his basketball team made their first appearance in a State Class C tournament in over 40 years. Johnson completed his career at Tower City with an impressive 55-5 record. In 1959 Johnson retuned to school to work on his master's degree at the University of North Dakota. In 1961 he assumed the duties of head basketball and baseball coach at Bismarck Junior College. From 1967-70 prior to accepting his present position in Fargo, Johnson served as director of workshops and seminars in the Division of Continuing Education at UND. Johnson has received wide acclaim for the job he's done as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation in Fargo, a position he's held since 1970. When he first assumed his duties, Fargo had 22 parks, including about 700 acres of land. Today the system has expanded to 36 parks and 1,150 acres. The Fargo Park Board has received several national awards, including five plaques signifying Merit of Excellence from the National Parks and Recreation Association which are largely attributable to Johnson. During his tenure as Superintendent, Johnson has promoted and overseen the successful completion of a number of projects including two bicycle bridges between Fargo and Moorhead, the Southside Sports Arena (a four-diamond softball complex), a clubhouse and maintenance building at Prairiewood Golf Club, a mini-recreation center at McCormick Park, renovation of the Edgewood Golf Course clubhouse, lighting for tennis courts at Island Park, major improvements at Trollwood Park, the Island Park Swimming Pool (one of the larges pools in the tri-state area which features eight lanes 50-meters long), and the latest project, the Metro-Rec Center. This center will house hockey and soccer arenas in addition to providing additional space for park district cocker and volleyball. The rec center will, in the future, provide for a much needed teen center.