The Changing Nature of Work Award recognizes an individual, or team, that has responded to natural disasters with a spirt of teamwork, community and perseverance to clean up, rebuild their park for usable enjoyment, and to support and advance resilience and well-being for their community.

Who should apply:

Individuals or agencies that have rebuilt, restored or protected an outdoor space negatively affected by natural disasters (such as flooding, hurricanes, fire, drought, tornado, etc). Innovation and improved access for more people are bonuses.

This is the first award presented by Merrell® in partnership with NRPA. Merrell exists to share the simple power of being outside with everyone. Our work together helps to rectify systematic injustices and increase equitable access to the outdoors for everyone so all people can thrive. Our efforts focus on building awareness of disparities and advocating for more resilient park and recreation systems, bolstering the essential role of park and recreation professionals, and redefining the narrative of the “outdoors.”

The awardee will be sponsored with Merrell gear for one year (up to $2500) and will receive $10,000 toward the advancement of a project or effort. They will have an opportunity to be recognized nationally both at the NRPA Annual Conference and at the Merrell Global Brand Conference. Refer to the “Official Rules” for a full description of the rules governing this award. 

                         The submission deadline is November 2, 2022.

 

Submit Your Application

 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Nominee must be affiliated with a local park and recreation agency (e.g., employee, advocate, volunteer, etc.)
  • Nominee or agency affiliation must be an NRPA member
  • Nominee must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States, and must be eighteen (18) years of age or older
  • Nominee must not be a trustee, director, officer, shareholder, employee, contractor, agent, representative, or affiliate of Merrell, NRPA and selection committee or the spouse/domestic partner, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild of any of the foregoing.

Selection Criteria:

The criteria for selecting a recipient for the Merrell x NRPA Changing Nature of Work Award include the following:

  • Nominee's work aligns with Merrell’s purpose for sharing the simple power of being outside with everyone.
  • Nominee will have rebuilt, restored or protected an outdoor space negatively affected by natural disasters (such as flooding, hurricanes, fire, drought, tornado, etc). Innovation and improved access for more people are a bonus.
    • Examples include:
      • Agencies/teams that demonstrated teamwork and perseverance in response to severe environmental impact.
      • Agencies/teams who enhance personal safety in areas surrounding parks, playgrounds, or trails pre or post-environmental impact (Built tornado shelters, added lighting, constructed retaining walls, impervious surfaces, emergency utilities, green infrastructure, and other elements to address natural disasters, climate change and emergency situations)
  • Nominee prioritizes community, fun and equity in the way they go about their work.
  • Nominee’s work has been implemented over the last one year from the nomination deadline.

 Required Materials:

  • Completed application form
  • Two (2) Photos:
    • One photo that captures nominee(s)
    • One photo that captures the efforts or work
  • Recommendations: a name and contact information of a peer or colleague who can give a verbal recommendation can be provided in lieu of a written letter
  • If selected, the awardee will be requested to submit a video and their resume, including educational history and career summary highlighting a complete description of the awardee's current position, responsibilities and volunteer activities.

For additional information contact awards@nrpa.org.

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