Josh Collins, Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department director, will retire October 1, City Manager Mark Watson said Friday.
Collins has worked for the city for nearly 30 years. He started in 1985 and now manages a department with more than 80 full-time and seasonal personnel, a press release said. Collins oversees the city’s park system, greenways, recreational programs, the Senior Center, and activities ranging from summer camps, aquatics, and the Secret City Festival.
Collins also serves as the staff liaison to the city’s Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, which has been instrumental in completing projects such as the Pavilion on Melton Lake, the release said.
“I have enjoyed my tenure in Oak Ridge and the opportunities afforded me by numerous city managers and city councils,” Collins said. “I am leaving the department in the capable hands of a well-trained staff that is focused on providing a quality recreation experience for the citizens of Oak Ridge and their visitors. They understand their role in the city organization and are prepared to face future challenges.”
“There are very few people these days that have had as much of an impact on Oak Ridge as Josh Collins,” Watson said. “For the past 29 years, he has renovated the community park system one step at a time on a limited budget. From building Cedar Hill Park twice, to renovating Oak Ridge swimming pool, to adding the PetSafe dog park to our park system, Josh Collins has been instrumental in shaping Oak Ridge today. We honor his professionalism and 29 years of dedicated service.”
Collins and his wife Patti have two children and a grandchild.
Watson said a search process for a replacement will begin to coincide closely with Collins’ planned retirement date.