East Grand Rapids appoints new parks and recreation director

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Derek Melville Courtesy city of East Grand Rapids

The city of East Grand Rapids hired Derek Melville as its new parks and recreation director.

In this role, Melville will oversee operations and strategic planning of the parks and recreation department. He also will work with the city manager and fellow directors on the overall enhancement of the department, which provides enrichment, educational and sports programming for both residents and nonresidents of all ages to promote healthy lifestyles, family interaction and a sense of community.

The department also manages the maintenance and enhancement of the city’s 10 parks and natural areas in addition to five East Grand Rapids Public Schools playgrounds.

With more than 16 years of experience, Melville most recently served as parks and recreation superintendent for Traverse City. Prior to that, he served as recreation director for Byron Center Township and director of sports, fitness, aquatics and school-aged programs for the Mahaska County YMCA in Iowa. Melville has extensive training in volunteerism, healthy lifestyle principles, child abuse and neglect prevention, and asset development. He also has experience working in the mental health field.

“East Grand Rapids is known for its many beautiful outdoor spaces, which attracted me to the position and this community,” Melville said. “I look forward to using my background and experience to lead the department in its mission to serve the community by providing accessible programming for residents and nonresidents alike and inspiring healthy, active and fun lifestyles.”

Melville succeeds Fred Bunn, who retired in January after leading the department for 20 years during his 30-year tenure with the city.

Melville has a bachelor’s degree in movement science from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in education from Missouri Baptist University.

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