Columbus Parks and Recreation Department has named Nikki Murphy as its Associate Director of Recreation, a new position created after an extensive study of the Department’s structure by the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands. Ms. Murphy has served as the Director of Sports Programs since 2015. Before joining Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, she served as Director of Washington Township Parks Department. 

Ms. Murphy brings extensive education and experience to the new role. As Director of Sports Programs, she was responsible for management of all sports programs. This included youth and adult sports, Hamilton Community Center and Ice Arena, Greenbelt and Par 3 golf courses and tournament scheduling. Ms. Murphy was an integral part of the recent 5-year Master Plan and an active member of the city committee on the Fair Oaks Mall and Donner Center planning team. 

Ms. Murphy’s new position was created on the recommendation of the Eppley Institute study. Eppley suggested reducing the Director of Park and Recreations direct reports from 9 to 5 employees in order to increase efficiency within the Department. As Associate Director of Recreation, Ms. Murphy will supervise the Aquatics Director, Director of Sports Programs and Recreation/Columbus Gymnastics Center Program Manager. 

“We are thrilled to have Nikki in this key leadership role.” said Mark Jones, Director of Columbus Parks and Recreation. “Over the past five years, she has exemplified our core values and helped the department move forward. As Associate Director of Recreation, she will be instrumental in guiding our continued success.” 

In addition, Eppley recommended title changes for two existing positions. The positions of Director of Park Operations and Director of Business Services were revised to be Associate Director positions and the new titles have been updated on the salary ordinance. 

For more information about Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, visit