Richardson’s Parks and Recreation Department Director, Michael Massey, has announced he is retiring from the City of Richardson effective Aug. 28, 2014.
Massey joined the City in 1985 as a Park Planning Intern, then became a full-time employee in May of 1986 as Park Projects Planner. He was appointed to the Director’s position on Dec. 1, 2001. Since then, he has been a part of, or led, Richardson’s major park projects including:
- The Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan;
- Creation of Keffler Ball Park, Huffhines Ball Fields, Durham Park, Galatyn Plaza with fountain;
- Prairie Creek Park projects including Discovery Point, Waterfalls, and two pedestrian bridges;
- Creation of Santa’s Village;
- 22 years of the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival;
- Replacement of the Huffhines and Heights Recreation Centers;
- Replacement of Arapaho Pool which was turned into the Heights Family Aquatic Center;
- • Development of Breckinridge Park;
- Development of the Spring Creek Nature Area;
- Expansion of the Central Hike and Bike Trail;
- Expansion of Richardson’s 42 miles of hike and bike trails;
- Transformation of Cottonwood Park.
“Working for the City of Richardson has been such a blessing for me and my family,” said Massey. “Richardson is a fine community with first-class leadership in City Council and City Management. Leaving the City of Richardson was a difficult decision because the City employees are like my family and the citizens are intelligent, caring individuals who value the services provided them. I am so grateful to have had a long career here!”
Now, with nearly 30 years working with Richardson, Massey says he is looking forward to taking his experience and helping to bring similar such facilities to other communities. “I enjoy park planning and city planning, where a vision becomes a good idea, and a good idea becomes public consensus, and public consensus becomes a community goal. Goals lead to great projects, which make a community better. That is what I will be doing with Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture (BRS) as the Texas Regional Director, helping to plan community projects from a vision to an achieved goal, thus making a community better. In my experience, BRS is the best at helping communities improve their services.”
During Massey’s tenure, the City of Richardson has achieved many awards for its festivals and park development projects. In 2011, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department was awarded the Gold Medal from the Texas Recreation and Park Society. The award honors communities that demonstrate excellence in long-range park planning, park and recreation resource management, and agency recognition.
Massey has been a leader in the state and the region by serving as president of his professional associations, the Texas Recreation and Park Society and the Southwest Park and Recreation Institute.
"Michael is one of the best in the business and has brought a level of experience that our community will benefit from for years to come," City Manager Dan Johnson said. "Michael has a mastery of both the art and science of great Parks and Recreation services. On behalf of a grateful community, we wish him the very best in this next phase of his career."
The search for Massey’s replacement will begin immediately, but will take several months to complete.
Richardson’s Parks and Recreation Department’s responsibilities include care of 1,700 acres of land, park planning, recreation and events, recreation and older adults, athletics and aquatics, community events, and the convention and visitors bureau. Activities for the department include: the Wildflower Arts and Music Festival, Cottonwood Arts Festival, Huffhines Art Festival, Richardson’s Family Fourth of July Celebration, Santa’s Village and the Annual Christmas Parade.