For more than five years, Nathan Unsworth has worked to promote and improve the parks system in Newton. He’s dedicated countless volunteer hours to the community. Friday will be Unsworth’s last day working in Newton as he takes the position of director for Lee County Conservation.
Through his work as parks administrative superintendent, president of Young Professionals of Jasper County or co-chair of Newton Fest, Unsworth has been a leading advocate for the City of Newton.
He’s led efforts to revitalize and expand Newton’s parks system, including new playground equipment at Maytag Park and Aurora Park, the upcoming boulder park at Aurora Park and continued work on the hike and bike trail connecting Newton to neighboring communities.
Summer park camps, the Fourth of July celebration in Newton and events at the Maytag Bowl bring the community together and attract outside visitors to the city. Unsworth, always with a smile and a few minutes to chat with locals, was their leading advocate. The city is moving in a positive direction because of the work Unsworth has accomplished during his time with the parks department.
Outside of government, Unsworth has made an impact through volunteerism on multiple city and county-wide organizations, including the Newton Wellness Coalition, Jasper County Pheasants Forever, Red Pride Service Day, Project AWAKE, Friends of Newton Parks, Newton Fest and Young Professionals of Jasper County. He is also a founding member of the Newton Fest committee leading to its inception in 2015.
Unsworth recently received the Central Iowa Young Professionals Amy Jennings YP Impact Award. The award is given to a young professional who demonstrates a dedication to creating a vibrant community that attracts and retains young professions.
On a basic level, Unsworth helped Newtonians to get out and experience their community. He led by example, taking part in Red Pride Day, projects with Friends of Newton Parks and Project Awake.
Newton’s loss is Lee County’s gain and we wish Unsworth all the best as he moves on to the next stage of his life and career. He leaves Newton a bit better, healthier and more active than he found it, and we thank him.