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April Chewning of Ocean Springs Appointed to State Recreation Board

Photo courtesy of the city of Ocean Springs

Life is about to get a little more hectic for April Chewning.

As the city of Ocean Springs camp and special events coordinator, Chewning has her hands in numerous programs and events throughout Ocean Springs and now she’s taking on a couple of statewide roles as well. She was appointed last week to the Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association Board and joined the state recreation education committee.

“I am excited to serve on MRPA’s Board of Directors and represent the city of Ocean Springs,” Chewning said. “I look forward to making connections with parks and recreation employees across the state and bringing back ideas to better our community.“

The board provides avenues to build communities, reduce crime, and improve the health of Mississippians. Board members work closely with state and local recreation professionals to publicize and support statewide and local parks, and recreational activities.

Chewning will serve as a district representative and social media manager for all parks, recreation, and other related professions in the Magnolia State.

“I was asked to present a few programs for the 2022 MRPA conference,” she said. “The week after my presentation the board president reached out and asked if she could nominate me for the district representative for the 2023 year. I have been trying to get more involved with MRPA so I basically jumped at the opportunity. After I was elected to be the district rep I also joined the education committee for the MRPA this year.”

As a district representative, Chewning will attend meetings, travel to different local parks and facilities, write monthly articles for the board’s newsletters, and manage social media campaigns. As an education committee member, she’ll participate in staff and seminar training.

And she’ll still be busy keeping up with her duties as secretary for the Ocean Springs Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Leadership team. She earned her Childcare Directors Associates in 2018 and started her journey with the parks and recreation department in 2019. However, she has been active in working with camps and programs throughout Ocean Springs since as early as 2009.

Her current focus is planning an Ocean Springs skate park and she works with children and young adults in the Ocean Springs community coordinating summer camps, after-school care, and special citywide events.

“The board of aldermen and I are always proud when our staff has a chance to serve on community and state boards,” Ocean Springs Mayor Kenny Holloway said. “As they grow in professional development, it also enhances the work that they do for Ocean Springs.”

Chewning will serve a one-year term on the Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association Board.

In her spare time, she’s a volunteer coach for youth basketball and enjoys spending time with her husband and their 7-year-old son, Chance. The family spends countless hours playing with their mini Schnoodle, Patrick, and yellow lab, Butters, at the Ocean Springs dog park.


Written by Cherie Ward

Cherie Ward is an award-winning Mississippi Gulf Coast journalist with decades of experience in writing and photography. She lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and has two adult children who also live on the Coast.

Connect with her by email at [email protected] with story ideas or find her @cherieward on Instagram. She would love to hear from you.


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