By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
The Plainville Recreation Department welcomed Courtney Hewett as the new director, effective Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Hewett’s career in parks and recreation began at the age of 15 when she became a lifeguard in Wethersfield. She rose through the ranks in Wethersfield, holding the positions of pool supervisor and then aquatics director. Five years ago she made her way to Canton, where she eventually became the recreation director.
When the Bristol resident learned of the recreation director position in Plainville, she said that she knew it would be the right fit. “It’s a great community and I knew that,” she said, “so I knew that it would be a good transition for me.”
Hewett said that she has three main goals for the department: building upon the current programs, bringing new and diverse programs and activities to the community, and maintaining the extensive network of parks scattered throughout the town.
She said that there’s a lot of opportunities for Plainville’s parks, including the Tomasso Nature Park and the facilities at Norton Park and its public pool.
“Oh my goodness it’s stunning,” she said about the Norton Park facility. “I only know of one other parks and recreation department in the state that has a water slide. The shape of it is so unique, and I’m really looking forward to working the pool, especially because my background is in aquatics.”
Hewett said that she hopes to update the roster of programs by adding enrichment activities such as a youth theater camp and additional programs—not just sports programs—that will appeal to a wider range of residents. She said that she wants the community to get involved in the process.
“I would just love for everyone to know that, if they have any new ideas for programs, I’m always interested to them,” said Hewett. “I very much try anything once [to] see if it works because what works in one community might now work in another, and you won’t know unless you try it in that community.”
Even though winter’s chill is settling in, the department still offers a wide range of programs and activities, including Red Cross lifeguard training, an adult swim club, Ethel yoga, a golf clinic, youth dance and gymnastics, youth zumba, youth swim team, and the ski and snowboard program operated at Mt. Southington. A full list of winter programs will be available in December, and registration will begin on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. To learn more about each program, visit www.plainvillect.recdesk.
In February the department will turn their attention towards the spring and summer preparation process, including hiring summer staff.
“I feel so welcome. So far the department is great,” said Hewett. “[People] will be seeing me around town, and I look forward to meeting everybody.”
The Plainville Recreation Department, 50 Whiting St., is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday. The department can be reached by calling, (860) 747-6022, and Hewett can be reached directly via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.