July is Park and Recreation Month, and in keeping with this year's theme of "We Are Parks and Recreation," we'll be showcasing the diversity of park and recreation professionals! In addition to individuals of various ages, abilities, races, genders and backgrounds, we will be highlighting park and recreation professionals from communities big and small across the country in various career paths, taking part in their unique day-to-day activities.

Be sure to check out the people who were selected below in the cover story of the July issue of Parks & Recreation magazine. Also, make sure you're following us on social media, as we will highlight each of their stories throughout the month of July on NRPA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. We want the world to see what we already know — park and recreation professionals are our unsung heroes making our communities great places to live, work and play.


Here are the 52 dedicated, passionate, selfless and essential park and recreation heroes we will be honoring throughout Park and Recreation Month:

  • Aaron Watson — Mercer County Park Commission
  • Alicia Eckhart — City of Fairborn Parks and Recreation Division
  • Angela Summers — City of Henderson
  • Anthony Calabrese — Fairfield Parks and Recreation
  • Bill Tinsley — Bonnet Springs Park
  • Bonnie Gray — Prince William County Parks, Recreation & Tourism
  • Brad Wilson — Naperville Park District
  • Caren Lewis — Jaffrey Parks & Recreation
  • Carlos Garcia — City of Bakersfield Recreation and Parks
  • Cathy Hankins — City of Mobile Parks & Recreation
  • Christie Bruner — City of St. Petersburg Parks & Recreation, Healthy St. Pete
  • Charles (Chuck) Butterfield — Sarasota County Government, Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources
  • Darrell Hawks — Friends of Mill Ridge Park
  • David Ekness — El Dorado Hills CSD
  • David Mohr — Lindenhurst Park District
  • Doug Kane ­— Whitefish Bay Recreation
  • Edric Diaz — City of Sanford Parks and Recreation Department
  • Elaine Fox and Robin Pfenning — Gurnee Park District
  • Emerald P. Bowman — City of Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks
  • Eric Muecke — Pasadena Texas Parks and Recreation
  • Erica Perez — Town of Queen Creek Recreation
  • Jason Lang — East Goshen Township Parks and Recreation
  • Jerome Leland — City of Mobile Parks & Recreation
  • Jody Becker — Town of Gilbert
  • Joe Pruitt — Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation
  • John DeKemper — Cornelius Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture
  • John R. Sefton, Jr. — City of Peoria
  • Kathy Kline — West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation and Community Services
  • Kelley Morgan — IDNR-Mounds State Park
  • Kim McCormack — Gurnee Park District
  • Kurt Wolf — City of McCall
  • Lauren Wood — Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation
  • Leon Younger — PROS Consulting
  • Leonard Hawkins — Mobile Tennis Center
  • Lynanne Dellerman-Silverthorn — Town of Oro Valley
  • Mariana Espinoza — Kyle Parks and Recreation Department
  • Michael Marshall — Camp Verde Parks and Recreation
  • Paul Blake — Garden City Recreation
  • Paulette Murphy — City of Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation
  • Rachel Waldron — City of Dunwoody
  • Randi Wyatt and Celeste Rogers — City of Pearland Parks and Recreation
  • Rebecca Moore — Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association (NISRA)
  • Richard Zavala — City of Fort Worth Park & Recreation Department
  • Robert Jennings — Durham Parks and Recreation
  • Sabrina Hinkens — Gurnee Park District
  • Sharon Hunter-Payne — Columbus, Georgia, Consolidated Government
  • Shaun Beasley — Clearwater Parks & Recreation
  • Skot Latona — South Suburban Parks & Recreation
  • Stuart Brown — Town of Mammoth Lakes
  • Ta’Shelya Bynum — Albany Recreation & Parks
  • Tricia Schwall — City of Lake Forest
  • Wally Majors — Boynton Beach Recreation and Parks Department


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