DERRY — The town has a new Parks and Recreation Director.

Kim Walsh will become the new leader of the department, starting on March 16.

Walsh was introduced at a Town Council meeting March 3.

Walsh takes the lead at Derry's Parks and Recreation Department after most recently serving as the recreation director of Devens, Mass. for the past eight years.

She also worked at the Tsongas Center at UMass/Lowell as assistant general manager and also director of marketing and events at the center.

Walsh's hiring follows the departure last November of longtime director Eric Bodenrader.

Michael Fowler, Derry Public Works director, said Walsh comes to Derry with a lot of great experience that will help move the town forward with its recreation plans and programs.

Fowler also credited recreation department staff member Nicole Ferrante for serving as the interim leader prior to Walsh's hiring.

"She did a wonderful job," Fowler said.

For Walsh, she said she has a wide range of experience that will suit Derry well.

"I have a very diverse, professional background," the Pelham resident said, adding that included working in facility and events planning, community events and public relations.

She also served as the president of the Pelham Soccer Club.

"I hope that with that diverse background that I am bringing new ideas and positive energy to not only the recreation department, but to the town of Derry," Walsh said.

Town Councilor Jim Morgan told Walsh that she will be coming to Derry, a place he said had a "plethora of opportunities" in regards to recreation.

Morgan cited a $2 million town bonding effort to support the recreation prospects and facilities in town, and also support available from the Alexander-Carr trust fund, put in place many years ago to support upgrades and efforts at Alexander-Carr Park off Pierce Avenue.

"You have a Council that's eager to move forward, and make changes within the community that are affordable to the taxpayers," Morgan told Walsh. "Don't ever be afraid to advocate for your department or job."

Fowler also noted the town is awaiting results from a UNH recreation study that will offer more information and give additional data and perspective on the state of the town's recreation facilities, programs, sports teams and field use.

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