NW’s Parks & Rec director is moving on

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 4/3/24

After 18 years of service and leadership, New Windsor Director of Parks and Recreation Matt Veronesi will begin a new chapter in the Town of Clarkstown as their newest superintendent of parks and …

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NW’s Parks & Rec director is moving on


After 18 years of service and leadership, New Windsor Director of Parks and Recreation Matt Veronesi will begin a new chapter in the Town of Clarkstown as their newest superintendent of parks and recreation. Veronesi’s final day in New Windsor will be Friday, May 3.

Growing up and still living in the Poughkeepsie area with his wife and children, Veronesi was hired in New Windsor on May 17, 2006. During his time in New Windsor, he has worked under previous Town Supervisors George Green and George Meyers and now, for the remainder of his term, Town Supervisor Stephen Bedetti. Oddly enough, he shared that the Clarkstown supervisor is another gentleman named George, more specifically Supervisor George Hoehmann.

Prior to his time in New Windsor, Veronesi had gone to school for sports management and had worked in the professional baseball world for both the Florida Marlins and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, later rebranded as the Tampa Bay Rays. He also ran a baseball and softball training center known as Frozen Ropes, which is part of the larger Frozen Ropes franchise. Veronesi has also been a weekly columnist for the Mid Hudson Times, which he started writing for on October 10, 2014.

Veronesi was involved in the creation and development of the annual New Windsor Community Day which began in 2009. Each year since its inception, the event has grown bigger, with more vendors, rides for kids and all kinds of community-oriented events and organizations.

Another highlight of Veronesi’s career in New Windsor was the renaming of the Mt. Airy Sports Complex to what it is known now as Kristi Babcock Memorial Park. Babcock passed away in 2013 and Veronesi delivered her eulogy at her funeral, which he shared was one of his worst days working in New Windsor. In the face of tragedy, Veronesi was able to bring a positive sign to the family.

“I was able to get permission from the town supervisor and the town board before that, that we were going to change the name of the park,” he said. “In my eulogy, there was a little positive note: I could tell her family that you know, we’re going to never forget her because we’re going to name our park after her.”

Another special highlight of Veronesi’s career has been to be a part of the many families and children’s lives here in New Windsor. Whether they were given a first job or taught responsibility, it is a special feeling for Veronesi to be a part of their lives. “Probably 10 to 12 New Windsor Police Officers have worked for me at some capacity. I’ve had kids that have come through as campers, and then counselors in training, as who worked for me and now they’re out in the workforce,” he said. “It does make you feel old, but at the same time it makes you feel good.”

Speaking on the future of recreation in town, New Windsor is in the process of hiring an outside firm to help in the preparation and development of a master recreation plan that will serve as a guide for the town’s recreation efforts going forward. Projects being pursued by the town would be the possible addition of a new indoor gym/field facility at Kristi Babcock Memorial Park. “I definitely see a bright future for New Windsor,” said Veronesi.

The Town of New Windsor has informed the greater public via Facebook that the Recreation Director position is now open for those interested in applying. For those interested in taking on this position, Veronesi advises them to build relationships with co-workers, the town departments and the community since doing so will lead to further success down the line.

Before Veronesi concludes his time in New Windsor, he will be working on preparing the upcoming Memorial Day Parade, the summer concert series, the movies in the park, Community Day and the National Night Out event.

“I’m going to be doing the same thing but for a new community. It doesn’t feel like 18 years, but it’s been a special 18 years and it’s something that I’ll always look back on fondly,” said Veronesi. “I’ve told Supervisor Bedetti and the town board and my staff, just because I’m gone doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a phone. I’m always going to be available to assist and advise.”

“I’ve developed so many great relationships with the community and fellow co-workers and past administrators and co-workers that have retired and moved on. I mean, it’s truly a family-like place, and I know whoever comes in to take my place after I am gone is coming into a great situation, a great town to work for and one that supports recreation 100 percent,” he continued.

Supervisor Bedetti also shared some words for Veronesi as he looks to the next chapter of his life and career. “I’ve known Matt since he came here. It’s going to be a very, very, very tough void to fill. I don’t know a more dedicated person. He literally puts his heart and soul into everything,” said Bedetti. “I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done.”