2004-09-03 / Community

Queens Parks Commissioner Retires To Nassau Post

Queens Parks Commissioner Richard Murphy at this week’s opening of the Rockaway Skate Park. Murphy will soon retire to take a post with the Nassau County Parks Department.
Queens Parks Commissioner Richard Murphy at this week’s opening of the Rockaway Skate Park. Murphy will soon retire to take a post with the Nassau County Parks Department. Parks & Recreation’s Queens Borough Commissioner Paul Richard Murphy today announced his retirement to accept the position of First Deputy Commissioner in the Nassau County parks system. Commissioner Murphy has worked for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation for 34 years.

“It’s been an honor to spend more than half my life at the Parks Department,” said Commissioner Murphy. “I always look forward to Mondays to begin a new week. The last two years have been the most fulfilling of my entire career and I am grateful to Commissioner Benepe for his support, and I will treasure all of the friends I have made.”

“Richie has been the heart and soul of Queens parks for so long, it’s hard to imagine the borough without him at the helm,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Whenever something needed to get done in Queens, Richie was there not only to see that it happened, but that it was done well. He has enjoyed a sterling career in public service, and Nassau County is lucky to get someone with his record of achievement. All of us in Parks & Recreation wish Richie, his wife Gina and children Ricky and Gianna the best as he embarks on a new mission.”

A Vietnam War Veteran, Richard Murphy served in the US Marine Corps from 1966 to 1968.

He began his career at Parks & Recreation in 1970 as a Climber and Pruner in Queens. Through hard work and determination, Murphy rose through the supervisory and management ranks, including serving as Parks & Recreation Manager and Deputy Chief of Operations. In 1995 he took charge of the Queens Parks Operations and has led the borough ever since. Murphy also oversaw preparations for enormous events in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, directed the largest Forestry operation in the City and organized park improvement projects in all corners of the borough.

Known for his hands-on management style and personal attention to detail, the “Murphy cut” vista clearing technique and comfort stations painted “Murphy brown” with neat trim became signature elements. Among his memorable accomplishments were the humanitarian efforts he led to assist the victims of hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Murphy’s leadership abilities, his forestry knowledge, and his fluency in Spanish made him a natural to lead a team of New Yorkers who cleared roads and opened access to critical infrastructure elements that helped speed the movement of food, clothing and medical supplies to areas devastated by storms.

Commissioner Murphy’s integrity and credibility earned him the respect and admiration of elected officials and community leaders. He has been recognized with countless awards and proclamations over the years and recently made his debut as a guest conductor of the Queens Symphony Orchestra.

One of his great accomplishments was advocating for and seeing to completion the renovation of the Kissena Park Velodrome in 2004.

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