Robert Dunn retires after 21 years with the City of L.A. Recreation and Parks.

When you are done, you are done!  And this guy is done!  As in Robert is done.  Robert Dunn has retired from his position with City of L.A. Recreation and Parks. Thank you for your service to our community!

View message  from Venice Beach Recreation and Park‘s Superintendent Robert Davis

With our sincerest and deepest appreciation, we Thank and Commend Robert Dunn for his 21 years of dedicated and committed service to the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks and to the communities it serves. Mr. Dunn began his career with the Department in 1999 and retired on March 13, 2021. Mr. Dunn leaves City Service having worked his entire City career as a recreation professional at various recreation centers in the Pacific Region and spent his last three (3) years at the Venice Beach Recreation Center in the position of Recreation Coordinator.

One of Mr. Dunn’s accomplishments at Venice Beach was collaborating with Department of Recreation and Parks staff and the public on the hosting of annual Department sponsored tournaments for paddle tennis and hand ball as well as numerous film productions and special events held in the Windward Plaza section of the park. He also routinely inspected activities occurring in the Venice Boardwalk/Ocean Front Walk vending spaces.

Mr. Dunn retired very proud of his service to the families and communities where he worked during his time with the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department benefitted from his presence and effort here at Venice Beach.

Venice Beach Recreation and Parks.  Pre-Covid 19 © VenicePaparazzi

Here is a message from Robert Dunn, himself!

“I arrived in Venice in 79 after bumping into a NYC buddy, crashing on a boat in the Marina. That seemed like an excellent idea. Without asking, I moved in with him. Next morning after a popcorn and jelly breakfast he said, “Let’s go. It’s Venice time.”  He grabbed his basketball and off we went.  I never believed in love at first sight but when I saw the Venice Boardwalk, I knew it was a done deal.

For the next 30 years or so, I dedicated myself to our self styled Venice Beach Triathlon — play some hoops, jump in the Pacific and swim down to the Marina channel, (yeah, there was a time), and then complete the third and most arduous leg of the Tri, take the long walk back on the sand checking the girls. Brutal.

Along the way, my daughter was born and raised as a Venice loc. I always wished I was her. I remember at a family gathering her cousins were swapping stories about their summer vacations in Orlando or Europe or the Rhode Island shore. Eventually, they turned to her and asked about where she went. I’ll always remember her answer as a 11 year old.  “Nowhere. We live in Venice. We’re always on vacation!”  End of story.

I joined Rec and Parks in 2000, and started at Oakwood Recreation Center.  During my 21 years with the department, I made stops at Jim Gilliam Rec, Robinson Rec, Mar Vista Garden, Green Meadows Rec, Ross Snyder, and finally to where the whole long strange trip began, back to Venice of America for the last three years.

Robert with Team Dragons at Ross Snyder Rec team

I was in the C.L.A.S.S. program for most of my career which put me in what are considered the roughest neighborhoods in the city. My take away from that experience, was not how many of our kids and families have been hurt by that environment, but by how many have thrived and overcome everything that has been thrown their way. I’m here to tell you that the kids are alright!  I have seen so many rise up and beat the odds and grow into fine, fierce people, that I have no doubt, Covid be damned, LA’s greatest days are ahead.
Now my time is up, and I’ll be looking for my next one-man triathlon, but I will take the sights and sounds of the last 21 years of running around the City Of Angels with me.
Armor. Fuel. And a bunch a smiles.
A shout out to all those who walk the Boardwalk.  I…  well…I think I’ll leave that to the master, Mr Bob Dylan.
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
I wish you all endless Venice sunsets!
Vaya con Dios.”

Robert J Dunn


Venice Paparazzi  joined the farewell party, hosted by Pop Paddle Venice, on Robert Dunn’s last day, March 13, 2021.

View the fun video of Robert and friends below!  Fun!
Here is a message from Pop Paddle Venice! Congrats to Robert Dunn who retired from LA Rec & Parks- who has been our wonderful partner with the city. He has been working for 22 years and has touched many lives not only in Venice but many parks in Los Angeles. We are lucky because he says when we have a tournament, when these Covid times are over, he’s going to come back and run them with us. Until then, we wish you the very best Robert!

Robert Dunn. Artwork of Venice by Leslie

Robert with team Pop Paddle Venice

Enjoy your retirement, and see you at the Venice Beach Paddle Tennis courts Robert!

Thank You to Our Partners