Pat Gallavan, who served the city of Denver for more than 30 years as an arborist, forester, zoo manager and both superintendent and director of parks, died on Tuesday, three days shy of his 90th birthday. The Durango native served in WWII before studying botany at the University of Denver. His career was spent cultivating. He began work for the Denver forestry department as an arborist in 1950. He joined the Colorado Forestry and Horticulture Association, which grew into the Denver Botanic Gardens, editing the venerable Green Thumb magazine and hosting the Green Thumb radio and television shows.In 1960, he was hired as director of Denver Mountain Parks, where he helped grow the city’s stable of high country parks and developed a nationally renowned work program that diverted wayward boys in “creative labor” as an alternative to jail. “His vehicle inventory was old police cars. They built their own sign shop. He used prisoners all the time. He would go down to the jail and find masons and steel workers and take then up to Newton Park or Daniels Park,” said his son, Greg. “He had an attitude that was ‘We will get this done any way we can.’ “In 1970 he took on added duty as manager of the Denver Zoo. In 1984, then Mayor Federico Peña named him deputy manager of parks. He retired in 1986. “Denver will have a difficult time finding someone with the skills and knowledge equal to yours,” Peña wrote in a letter marking Gallavan’s retirement.During his career he raised a family in southwest Denver and tended large garden plots as a leader of local 4-H clubs. “All the neighborhood kids were in the 4-H club,” said Greg, describing how a collection of 70 different tree leaves he gathered from city parks earned him a trip to Chicago in a state forestry championship. Gallavan led Boy Scout troops, served in his church and was president of his local Optimist Club.In his retirement he became a master wood carver, carving ornate sculptures of of bighorn sheep, birds and buffalo. When he built a cabin in Winter Park, across … – Click Here To Visit Article Source