WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Jack Murphy has spent a nearly 43-year career working in parks and recreation, almost 32 of those in Wichita Falls.
"Wichita Falls has been a great employer," Murphy said. "And the people I've had the pleasure of working with have been terrific in making a lot of things happen."
Murphy is retiring on August 31. He will be remembered as the mastermind behind the circle trail, a project that was started in 1987 after construction at the falls.
"Once the trail reached Lake Wichita, it was real easy to find a pathway back to Lucy Park following a number of roads that the public can now see on Seymour Highway east of Barnett Road," he said.
The 24-mile trail around the city is five miles away from being completed. But that is not Murphy's only accomplishment.
"The urban beautification of parks, public building grounds, and street medians has been a central goal for the city for many years," Murphy said. "It's now something that has come to fruition."
Along with increasing the looks of city parks, improvements to the library, and a community garden.
How does he want to be remembered?
"If the citizens feel that the community is a little bit better off than it was a few years ago, as a result of the small part that parks and recreation can do, then that's satisfying to know," Murphy said.
He said the most satisfying thing for him is when people move back to Wichita Falls and notice the changes.
Murphy said he has no particular plans once retirement begins, adding he will just enjoy the change and take it one day at a time.