EDMOND — Edmond's new parks and recreation director, Craig Dishman, wants to get children outdoors and enjoying more exercise.
“I want to update the playground equipment where kids will have to use more muscles,” Dishman said. “I want equipment that requires more skills. Kids need to be healthier.”
He has been on the job three months, replacing former park director Jim Bowlin, who resigned in December after seven years to take a job in Pflugerville, Texas.
Dishman, who has 18 years' experience in the parks and recreation industry, oversees Edmond's 26 parks, Pelican Bay Aquatic Center, eight sports complexes, the cemetery, seven trails covering 14 miles throughout the city and six trails at Arcadia Lake. He also manages about 25 full-time employees and a number of seasonal workers.
Dishman said he wants to refurbish some park equipment that has weathered in the sun and has had heavy use. One area he has in mind is at J.L. Mitch Park near the now-under-construction $22.5 million competitive swimming pool and recreation center.
Dishman, the father of daughters ages 9 and 4, would like to see some shade added to some of the playground areas.
He doesn't have any immediate changes planned for the department or the programs it offers throughout the year. Dishman said he wants to get other people involved in the discussions about what Edmond's parks and recreation need.
“I would like to have an option for kids from the traditional day camps,” Dishman said. “I think different types of outdoor activities and classes would be a great alternative.