Helped Oversee the Renaissance of Queens Parks, especially Juniper Valley Park

The man in the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation most responsible for overseeing the renaissance Queens Parks is retiring effective September 15, 2004. Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Richard Murphy, a good friend of the Juniper Park Civic Association and one of the most effective leaders in Parks is set to take an assignment in the Nassau County park system as First Deputy Commissioner.

Of course here in Middle Village we particularly thank him for his unwavering support in the transformation of Juniper Valley Park over the past decade.

I called him recently to ask him his thoughts on leaving the job and if he has any parting words to the Juniper Park Civic Association. Richie very generously made this statement: ”If I were a resident of Middle Village I would be happy and thrilled to have Bob Holden and the Juniper Park Civic Association represent my best interest.”

“Commissioner Murphy understood that the JPCA was on the same side as the Department of Parks, he more than anyone, helped us in reaching our goals in Juniper Valley Park,” said JPCA president, Robert Holden.

We are saddened to hear of Richie’s retirement because his years as Queens Borough Parks Commissioner have been very productive ones for the Juniper Park Civic Association.
Richard would be the first to tell you and I can verify, it hasn’t always been easy. The JPCA has very definite ideas about Juniper Valley Park, a park that sits right in the middle of our residential neighborhood. However, through compromise and mutual respect from Commissioner Murphy and the NYC Park Department we have managed to groom the park into the very beautiful recreation area we have today. We will miss Richard Murphy and his expertise and we wish him well in his future career.

Richard has been in the NYC Parks since 1970. He started out in forestry and worked his way up the ladder 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. Richard’s job was varied and touched every aspect of park operations including being in charge of preparations for large events in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. He organized park improvement projects in other parts of Queens and he directed the largest forestry operation in NYC. 

Nassau is lucky to get him and they will discover what we already know, that he is a tireless, hands-on worker who has great vision and instinct and a healthy spirit of compromise.

Richard Murphy is a VietNam veteran, having served from 1966-1968 in the U.S Marines. He has a wife, Gina and two young children, Ricky and Gianna.

Good luck, Richie, we will miss you and we look forward to working with your successor. We hope you will feel free to visit us here in Juniper Valley Park at any time.