The City of Milford recently welcomed a new Parks and Recreation Director after Gary Emory announced his retirement after serving the city in that capacity for more than 36 years. Brad Dennehy, who has worked for the City for 11 years, five years as Public Works Director, will step into the role.
“As much as I liked Public Works, the opportunity arose to transfer to Parks and Recreation with Gary’s retirement,” Mr. Dennehy said. “Having worked with Gary over the years with my tenure with the city, I knew his role as Director was very much “hands on” type of position and that appealed to me. By living in town and having my kids in the Parks and Recreation programs, I have seen, firsthand, what a quality department it is and I am thankful to be given the opportunity to continue those traditions.”
Some of the challenges Mr. Dennehy expects to face this year relate to the addition of extra park lands in the city. He says that extra maintenance for the Goat Island Nature Trail and the dog park will add additional duties for the department, but says that he is confident that Parks and Recreation will arise to the challenge.
“I am looking forward to these challenges,” Mr. Dennehy said. “I am also looking forward to the next chapter in the department.”
Mr. Dennehy said that his main objectives are to continue the youth recreation programs, maintain the park system, Riverwalk and other lands entrusted to the department as well as continue to be involved in the many community festivals that are held each year. He also hopes to implement the vision of the Mayor and Council while also working with many civic groups, such as the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, Milford Little League, Milford School District and others, who rely on the city parks for their event and recreation.
“Moving forward, I would like to listen to the public to see what other programs, events or activities they would like to see offered,” Mr. Dennehy said. “Personally I want to look at how we can further utilize the Mispillion River, which is such a great asset, and see how we can promote additional water-based recreational opportunities and eco-tourism.”
Filling the shoes of someone who has been in a position for over three decades, especially one as energetic and dedicated as Gary Emory, will be difficult, Mr. Dennehy said.
“I take my hat off to Gary for what he has done over that time frame and he has built the department from the ground up,” Mr. Dennehy said. “He implemented a diverse range of recreational programs and established some key festivals, built an amazing Riverwalk, was instrumental in getting the Boys & Girls Club get relocated and the Can-Do Playground built. He got our first solar powered bathroom constructed, recently completed the nature trail at Goat Island, and established a dog park, among many other things.” Mr. Dennehy said that he is lucky to have had the opportunity to train with Mr. Emory over the past few months and he is very grateful for the wisdom given to him and for the quality staff he left behind.
An avid sportsman who enjoys running, surfing, skiing, kayaking, sailing and camping, Mr. Dennehy says that he grew up playing a variety of sports and has completed 13 full and half marathons. He has two sons, ages nine and five, that are in karate, play baseball and soccer, but also love to go camping, swimming and fishing. The Dennehy’s live in town so they often walk their dog “Kipper” to the dog park and frequently hike along Goat Island.
“Having worked for the city for 11 years, I am very familiar with how Milford operates and what is expected by our citizens in order to provide a high level of service,” Mr. Dennehy said. “My wife, Yvette, grew up in Milford and we feel lucky enough to live in a town we both care about and are passionate about. We believe we are surrounded by good people.”