City of Colorado Springs / Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services / News

Director of City's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department announces retirement.

Paul Butcher, director of the City of Colorado Springs' Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department, today announced his retirement.  His last day on the job will be April 30.  Butcher has served as department director for 16 years and had been a City employee for nearly 26 years.           

 "We are going to miss Paul.  We'll miss his professional 'can-do' attitude; we'll miss his dedication to the job; we'll miss his commitment to community partnerships," said Steven Cox, interim city manager. "In particular Paul has shown a remarkable ability to partner with community leaders to create tangible facilities we can all use such as the El Pomar Youth Sports Complex and the Southeast YMCA."

Butcher was named parks director in 1994.  Under his leadership the City's parks, recreation and cultural services have flourished:
  • more than 4,600 acres of open space have been added, including Red Rock Canyon, Blodgett Peak, and Corral Bluffs;
  • 48 neighborhood parks, encompassing 300 acres, have been developed;
  • the Julie Penrose Fountain at America the Beautiful Park and the Uncle Wilbur Fountain at Acacia Park were constructed;
  • a 40,000 square-foot Skate Park in Memorial Park was constructed;
  • the urban forest has expanded, growing in excess of 123,000 trees; and
  • the Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center was constructed.

 As a volunteer, he was instrumental in the passage of the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) taxes in 1997 and 2003, raising more than $77 million dollars for park and open space acquisition.           

Butcher began his career with the City in 1984 as a contract administrator.  He served in a variety of positions, including as Capital Improvements Program coordinator and interim assistant city manager.  Prior to his employment with the City he worked for Penrose Hospital.           

Butcher says he will remain in the community and will spend time with family and in doing a variety of volunteer and community service work.