The Waverly Parks and Recreation Department was formed as a professional Department in 1976. Prior to that time, recreation services were provided on a volunteer basis with supervision from a policy-making Recreation Commission.
The Golf Course was started in the late 1920’s with a private four-hole course. A full nine-hole course was completed in 1939. In the early 1950’s, more land was acquired and the city became involved in developing the current 18-hole golf course.
Waverly has acquired 350 total acres of land over the years which has been turned into a variety of park facilities. The year 1835 is the first recorded burial in Harlington Cemetery. By the end of November, 2003, 7,730 burials have taken place in Harlington Cemetery.
Until 1979, the Park, Golf, and Pool maintenance divisions were under the supervision of the Superintendent of Public grounds. In 1979, the Department of Public Grounds was divided into new, separate divisions, and placed within the Parks and Recreation Department. Parks/cemetery and pool maintenance was placed under the Parks and Cemetery Superintendent and Golf Course maintenance placed under the Golf Superintendent.
In July of 1999 the Parks/Cemetery/Pool Maintenance position was further divided and made the Parks Superintendent responsible for Parks and Pool and the newly created position of Cemetery Supervisor for the Cemetery division. The Department continues to grow and improve through changes in all aspects of programming and administration.
In June of 1992, the City of Waverly offices including the Parks and Recreation Department moved out of the old City Hall and into the new City Hall/Civic Center located at 200 First St. N.E. The Parks and Recreation Department took over the responsibility for programming and scheduling the Civic Center. The ground that the Civic Center is on was donated by the City Water and Electric Departments.
In September of 2007, Wartburg College took over all of the youth and adult recreation programs and learn to swim programs. The Parks and Recreation Department was reorganized and is now the Leisure Services Department. Leisure Services is in charge of Parks, Golf Course, Pro Shop, Civic Center, Municipal Pool, and Harlington Cemetery.