Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs director Jeff Bowman is retiring at the end of the month after working for the city
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs director Jeff Bowman is retiring at the end of the month after working for the city for 30 years.
FARMINGTON — By the time one of Farmington's most dedicated employees retires at the end of the year after 30 years of service, city officials and staff say he will have left an indelible mark on the city's history.

Jeff Bowman, the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs director, was involved in countless city projects and community events over the past 30 years.

"I think what has driven me is my great staff and the community support," Bowman said. "This is a giving community, and I hope it continues to be that."

The Pinon Hills Golf Course, Sycamore Park Community Center and the Animas River Trail are examples of his department's dedication to serving the city, he said.

When Bowman was hired in 1982, Farmington's landscape was far different. The golf course would not be built for another seven years and the river-trail system was in its infancy.

Having Pinon Hills Golf Course rated the fourth-best municipal course in the nation, and the Animas River Trail named a National Recreation Trail are signs that the quality of life in Farmington is steadily improving, he said.

"It's not just the big projects," Bowman said.

His department worked to install restrooms at a number of city parks, put landscaping in street medians and a developed number of smaller projects, he said.

Bob Hudson, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs director from 1982-1999 and city manager from 1999-2007, hired Bowman to be the city's parks superintendent in October 1982.

"He's always been the man on the ground," Hudson said. "Jeff was the one that made sure it all got done. He was just instrumental in being a member of the team. I believe that 95 percent of all the community events in the last 30 years have his fingerprint on them."

Bowman's coworkers and friends say that his humility is an integral part of his dedication to the city.

"Knowing Jeff, he's probably wishing this isn't happening," said Mayor Tommy Roberts at the Dec. 11 city council meeting during a short recognition of Bowman's career. "He's very humble, but he got out and did the work. He didn't delegate those tasks. That's the kind of leadership that demands respect."

After three decades, Bowman's work ethic is still evident. His office is lined with project plans, maps for river trail expansions, drafts, papers and booklets.

"My favorite part is being able to get things done," he said. "I believe that we've made additions to (Farmington's) quality of life."

He is confident that similar improvements will continue in his absence.

"Nothing gets done by one person," he said. "I'm just the cheerleader. (The staff is) still going to be here."

After his last day, Dec. 31, he plans to spend more time with his wife Kathy and the rest of his family.

"For 38 years now she's put up with my crazy schedule," Bowman said. "She's scheduling the next 38 years."