Andy Jennings

Parks director, fisherman

Posted 9/25/17

A life in the park

I’m South Suburban’s director of parks and open space. I’ve been with SSPRD since January 2016. Previously, I was manager of parks and golf in Thornton for 26 years. South Suburban is a great system — it’s the largest …

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Andy Jennings

Parks director, fisherman

Posted

A life in the park

I’m South Suburban’s director of parks and open space. I’ve been with SSPRD since January 2016. Previously, I was manager of parks and golf in Thornton for 26 years. South Suburban is a great system — it’s the largest special district in the state.

I went to Texas Tech in Lubbock, and graduated in 1981 with a degree in park administration and landscape architecture. I worked for the city of McKinney, north of Dallas, for about eight years. I always wanted to live in Colorado, and landed the job in Thornton. I helped build Thornton into what it is now.

Then I saw this job open, and saw an opportunity to advance up to the director level and continue to expand in the field. We have an excellent staff that’s doing an amazing job, and we get fantastic support from the public. It seems like all the surveys that come in show people love the parks and trails and services we provide. I’m proud to be part of this team.

Colorado on my mind

When I started in Thornton, there were six employees and 300 acres of property. By the time I left, we had 15 full-time employees and 60 or 70 seasonal staff and 1,200 acres of developed property and a couple thousand acres of open space. South Suburban is responsible for about 3,600 acres.

I was drawn to Colorado by the mountains and the better climate. I always came camping and hiking here in high school and college, and I couldn’t wait to move here. I love fly fishing. Trapper’s Lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness is my favorite. It’s a native cutthroat fishery and the scenery is amazing. Nearby, though, we’ve got South Platte Park, which at 900 acres, is a jewel in the city. Then there’s Waterton Canyon and some of the spots going up Highway 285. Rocky Mountain National Park is just a couple hours away.

I’m single, and I’ve got four kids. A couple of them are in Texas, and a couple are here.

My iPod is loaded with Jimmy Buffet and anything country.

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