Cathy Metz, longtime parks and recreation director for the city of Durango, is set to retire in July.
Metz worked for the city for 25 years. Most recently, she and department staff members received a national re-accreditation for the parks department and tackled projects such as extending the Animas River Trail north to Oxbow Park and Preserve, maintaining trails and open space and addressing wildfire mitigation needs.
“Cathy’s impact on the city will be felt for generations,” City Manager José Madrigal said in a news release Friday. “When you look around Durango, you see the outstanding recreation amenities and programs that have made us well-known not only in Colorado but nationwide.”
Metz announced her retirement last week with plans to leave July 2. She could not be reached for comment Monday.
The city has started the initial phases of the recruitment process for the director of Parks and Recreation position.
Madrigal expected the city would recruit from the region and nationally. He hopes to end the search process by Metz’s last day, but it could take 30 to 45 additional days before someone arrives and starts working, he said in an interview with The Durango Herald.
The city plans to prioritize previous leadership experience in parks and recreation departments that include recreational opportunities similar to those offered in Durango, such as trails, open space, a recreation center and recreation programming, he said.
Madrigal also said the ideal candidate would have a strong commitment to providing excellent customer service and a successful track record with public-private partnerships.
“I am very happy for Cathy but sad to see a great director and teammate leave the organization. She will be sorely missed, but I appreciate her offer to help us transition the Parks and Recreation Department to a new leader,” Madrigal said in the news release. “I hope the community will join me in sending a huge thank you to Cathy for her service, dedication and commitment to excellence.”