Moore oversaw parks grow to 600 acres

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Dennis Moore, left, is all smiles as he interacts with attendees of the grand opening of the new playground in Tawasentha Park. Moore says the playground is one of the projects he wanted to see completed before he left.

GUILDERLAND — Dennis Moore, the town’s director of Parks and Recreation for the past 37 years, has retired.

“A lot of the projects I’ve been working on are coming to a conclusion, and things are running smoothly, so I thought this would be a good time,” said Moore this week; he is 62.

He said he has not had a summer off since he began working for the town in 1977 and he plans to use his retirement to spend time with his wife and his grandchildren.

Moore, who is not originally from Guilderland, went to the state’s University at Cortland and received a degree in parks and recreation administration.

He moved to Guilderland to take the job, as the recreation director and, when the parks and recreation departments combined, he became the director of both.

“It was an ideal job for me,” said Moore.

When he first came on the job the town had just purchased Tawasentha Park, and it was the only park Guilderland owned. The town now owns eight parks spread over nearly 600 acres.

“We bought neighborhood parks and pocket parks and installed playgrounds and playing fields,” said Moore.

He has worked for six different town supervisors through his tenure, and said that the current supervisor, Kenneth Runion, is a “parks guy and big on green space.”

Ten years ago, the town bought the Western Turnpike Golf Course, which consists of 290 acres, and 27 holes.

“It caters to a lot of different types of golfers,” said Moore. “It also holds lots of charity events and outings, as well as generating revenue for the town.”

His favorite part of the job was working, hands-on, on the various projects, including putting together playground equipment. He noted that the town did all of the parks projects in-house and didn’t contract out the work.

“I enjoyed the creativity and challenge of it,” said Moore. “It was great fun for me.”

His biggest accomplishment, he said, was catering to so many children through the 125 camps and programs that the town runs.

“Over the years, we’ve probably hired thousands of young people to work in the camps and put a great deal more than that through the programs,” he said. “I always say that, if you think about what would be best for the children, you will make a good decision.”

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