New Recreation Superintendent Mark Dorow to Manage City & County Recreation Facilities & Programs

Written by Jamie Polley

Mark Dorow joined the Wausau & Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department in March 2021 as the Recreation Superintendent following the retirement of longtime Recreation Superintendent Karyn Powers (read her farewell article reflecting on her 30+ years of public service with the County here).

Mark Dorow, Recreation Superintendent for Wausau / Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department.  (Photo courtesy of subject.)

Mark comes to the PRF Department with over 11 years of experience providing recreation programs with an emphasis on aquatic programming. His most recent position was the Aquatics Director at the Grand Lodge Waterpark and Hotel. Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management from UW-La Crosse. After college, Mark spent 8 years in Colorado working for both the Town of Berthoud and the City of Longmont as the Recreation Coordinator. Mark has family in Wisconsin, which is what brought him back home. He has a passion for being outdoors, snowboarding, and spending time with his family on their small hobby farm outside of Wausau.

Recreation Superintendent Mark Dorow fishing at Comanche Lake in Colorado. (Photo courtesy of subject.)

When our residents are searching for activities to participate in, special events to attend, or recreation facilities that provide safe and healthy opportunities, they look to the PRF Department. The mission statement of our department is to:

adaptively manage our park and forest lands for natural resource sustainability while providing healthy recreational opportunities and unique experiences making Marathon County the preferred place to live, work, and play.

A key responsibility of the Recreation Superintendent is to provide healthy recreational opportunities and unique experiences through programs and events such as swimming lessons, playgrounds, tennis, the annual Children’s Festival, and Splash Into Safety (all of which you can read about in our online 2021 Spring/Summer Recreation Guide).


In addition, the Recreation Superintendent oversees and operates 3 outdoor Aquatic Centers for the City of Wausau, Sylvan Tubing Hill, Marathon Junction, and the Marathon County Splash Pad and train.

Marathon Junction train in Marathon Park. (Photo courtesy of PRF Dept. website.)

And the programming doesn’t stop there…

Mark is energized to try new things and increase the programs PRF offers. Already, he is collaborating with Wausau Area Pickleball to offer pickleball classes and a tournament at the newly renovated Marathon Park pickleball courts.

Pickleball courts at Marathon Park. (Photo courtesy of Marathon PRF Department website.)

The tasks of the Recreation Superintendent directly relate to Goal 4, Goal 5, and Goal 6 of our 2020–2024 Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. It is with this position that we can enhance the recreation programs and outdoor recreation opportunities that contribute to the County’s ability to be a recreation destination.

Mark is always looking for new ideas — and people willing to lead those ideas as instructors. The possibilities are endless, and Mark is just beginning!

If you have program ideas and/or would like to reach out to Mark, please contact him at

Jamie_PolleyJamie Polley

Director  |  Wausau / Marathon County Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department

Jamie Polley is the Director of Parks, Recreation, & Forestry for the City of Wausau and Marathon County. She is a native of Marathon County and after living in Minnesota for 11 years, she made her way back home in 2018. Jamie is excited to lead this unique City/County department forward and tell the story of what the Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department is and does so that all citizens know of the opportunities available to them. Jamie has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science and a master’s degree in Sports Management. Outside of work, Jamie is an avid runner and loves to spend time with her family enjoying the outdoors.  Email Jamie Polley.

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