There’s a new leader in charge of the City of Powell Parks and Recreation Department as Melissa Hindman began her new managerial role on Nov. 8.
Prior to coming to Powell, Hindman worked in the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and for the city of Worthington in several positions. Most recently, she served as the marketing and community outreach supervisor in Worthington. Hindman called her departure from Worthington, where she worked for 25 years, “bittersweet,” but said the opportunity to come to Powell was something she couldn’t pass up.
“I’m just very excited,” Hindman told The Gazette. “Powell is an amazing community, and we are going to bring some fun programs and events to the city. There are beautiful parks and lots of things to do, and I am just excited to jump in and get started.”
Hindman said she was drawn to the open Powell position because of the city’s vision for increasing programs, facilities, and the current park system. “It was just a great opportunity to kind of come and bring my knowledge to the position, and I know the residents of Powell are excited and ready to have programs, facilities, and events in the community,” she said.
After just two weeks into the role, Hindman has already identified particular projects she hopes to spearhead for the community. Hindman pointed to the lack of a community center or a similar facility in the city, saying it will be a top priority to look into the feasibility of bringing one to Powell. Hindman added that with pickleball being one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, she would like to add courts in Powell so that residents don’t have to leave the city to play.
Moving forward, Hindman said community connectivity will be one of the “four pillars” she plans to bring to the role, as well as surveying and figuring out what residents like about current programs, and what they’d like to see in the future.
“I may just show up at a playground with some coffee for everybody, and if there are some families there, we may sit down and chat about what they like about the playgrounds and what they wish we had to offer,” Hindman said. “I would like to do some focus groups through the community, whether it’s with our older adult population or younger families, or our teens and schools. That’s a big priority moving forward for me in 2022, just to touch base with all members of the community and find out what they are wanting us to provide … We want to be good stewards of our residents.”
Asked specifically about having a focus on creating more programs for the adult residents in Powell, Hindman said it’s important to offer programming not only for the adult population but the elder adult population as well.
“That age group is so different from kind of the older adults of the past,” Hindman said. “They’re so active. A lot of them are still working, so some of those daytime programs you would see in the past don’t really fit for the up-and-coming older adult population because they’re still in the workforce.
“It’s going to be a matter of talking to that 55 years and older population here in Powell and asking them what they are looking for. Are they looking for social programs, fitness programs, traveling … There are a lot of options out there, but I think targeting what your population is really wanting and looking for is important.”
Whatever programs she ultimately chooses to pursue for the city, Hindman said she is excited to be working in a community where continued growth should generate ample opportunities for advancement.
“That is really what excited me and drew me to the position,” she said. “It really is kind of an open, blank canvas. I’m really excited to work with the staff that’s here and bring some staff on board and start growing and creating some things that are going to benefit our residents and the surrounding communities as well. We don’t want the residents of Powell to leave to find leisure activities, but we also want to be a destination to those communities that surround us. We really want to make Powell a destination. It’s going to be a great place not only to live and work, but also to play.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.