City Manager Mark Watson announced today the retirement of Josh Collins, Director of the City’s Recreation and Parks Department. Mr. Collins’ retirement will become effective October 1, 2014.

Mr. Collins has enjoyed nearly a 30 year career with the City, having begun his employment with the City in 1985. He manages a department with more than 80 fulltime and seasonal personnel. As Director, 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. He 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.

“I have enjoyed my tenure in Oak Ridge and the opportunities afforded me by numerous City Managers and City Councils,” said Mr. Collins. “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,” Mr. Watson stated. “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.”

Josh and his wife, Patti, have two children and a grandchild.

The City Manager indicated that a search process for a replacement will begin to coincide closely with Mr. Collins’ planned retirement date.

News media contact: Candice Brogan (865) 425-3546 or