Changing of the Guard: Owen Gallop Takes The Helm at Houlton Parks and Recreation

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 8:08 PM EDT
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Houlton, Maine (WAGM) - There has been a changing of the guard as director at the Houlton Parks and Recreation Department.

Owen Gallop takes over the duties from Marie Carmichael who was the director for over 40 years. Gallop is no stranger to the workings of the department and is committed to serving the community

Owen Gallop started at the department as a 16 year old Youth Staff member. After graduating from High School Gallop attended Husson University for Video Productions, but he ultimately discovered his passion was with working for the Houlton Parks and Recreation Department.

Owen Gallop, Houlton Parks and Recreation Director:” Working with the kids really was rewarding in itself. They always are so great to be around, they love having you, and its great seeing them improve and great seeing them have fun, and not even the kids, but everyone in the community, there’s just such a strong support here in town. I always just found the love coming back to share what i can with the community”.

At 24, Gallop takes over from Marie Carmicheal, who served as recreation director for over 40 years. Gallop values the guidance received, including advice to follow his heart and listen to the community.

Owen Gallop:” She has given me so much more then I think anyone would ever give to someone coming into a new role like this. I remember as a kid, coming into programs and her being here and you just look up to her. She’s got these huge shoes to fill, and i just hope that i can accomplish a portion of what she’s done in her career. She’s Awesome , she’s got a huge heart, and she’ll just support anything that anyone does and she’s left me with all the materials i need, she’s on my speed dial list, she’s great. So, its going to be fun to fill in those shoes”.

Gallop recognizes the challenge of crafting new programs in his role but finds excitement in it. He aims to maximize the potential of the area and make a greater impact through the recreation department.

Owen Gallop:” Creating a different variety of programs that are going to be used for people of different ages is going to be key. Sports are great, but i think we need to take advantage of where we live in rural maine, and focus alot more on outdoor recreational activities. There’s so much more to be involved in terms of the social aspects of our kids, and our older generation and everyone in between, and being able to explore in and around (Houlton)”.

The Rec Department is making significant strides in the community , and Gallop is committed to sustaining this momentum during his time in charge. He welcomes fresh ideas and remains open to innovation.

Owen Gallop:” Really hoping to keep the community support strong. If there are any suggestions i am willing to take anything. i would love to do more activiites with adults, I know our pickle ball program is going really strong and would love to have more involved and offer more then just that”.

There’s much more in store for Houlton’s new Parks and Recreation Director.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource sports.