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The Leslie And Mark Question That Still Haunts Some Parks And Recreation Fans

Thanks in no small part to its hilarious cast, the beloved sitcom, "Parks and Recreation," has no shortage of side-splitting moments. The critically-acclaimed NBC comedy introduced a vast array of memorable characters over seven successful seasons, and fans continue to speculate about each persona, especially the ones that left so abruptly.

Of all the characters to come and go on "Parks and Recreation," the most noticeable absence throughout the majority of the show's run — including the finale — is that of former Pawnee city planner Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider). According to IMDb, he appeared in 30 episodes over the first two seasons, first showing up in the pilot and making his final appearance in Season 2, Episode 24 ("Freddy Spaghetti").

Ultimately, Paul Schneider left because he felt the character got sidelined, and there wasn't much room for Mark in the future of "Parks and Recreation." After his exit, Brendanawicz is pretty much forgotten, never to be mentioned again. While showrunner Michael Schur told the LA Times he would return at some point, it never happened. Longtime followers of the Emmy-nominated sitcom would have liked to have seen more of him in later seasons, with some even coming up with a dark theory about the fate of his character. Despite the erasure, there is one thing Mark Brendanawicz did before he left that continues to plague the curiosity of fans.

Why did Leslie never use Mark's plan for her park?

In the Season 2 finale, Mark Brendanawicz gives Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) plans for her park. He couldn't fit in the roller coaster or shark tank, but in his mind, it was a good start. Though she would go on to build the park, there was no indication Leslie even considered any part of Brendanawicz's design.

Several fans were baffled by this. Redditor, u/The9thHuman, asked fellow users, "Why didn't Leslie use Mark's plan for the future park?" Another user, u/Koala_Guru, also found the lack of Brendanawicz puzzling, stating, "It's very weird how the show just completely pretended he didn't exist after he left." It is bizarre to think someone as sentimental as Leslie would forget a lovely gesture from a dear friend, but the show never brought it up again. 

On the podcast "Parks And Recollection," writer and producer Alan Yang talked about the unused plans saying, "Mark gives plans for a park, and we never mention those plans again like those plans never come, I mean she does build a park there so you can fill in the blanks. But we never specifically mention those plans, but it's still a sweet moment." According to Yang, the character served his purpose, and the show moved on. 

Brendanawicz's park plans may not have been part of Pawnee's future, but his legacy in the series, including the heartwarming moment with Leslie, will always be cherished by fans.