It’s Your Time to Shine

February 6, 2018, Department, by National Recreation and Park Association

2018 February NRPA Update Its Your Time to Shine 410

The NRPA awards program consists of the National Gold Medal Award (presented by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with NRPA) and the NRPA Awards, which include the Innovation Awards, Spotlight Awards, scholarships and fellowships, and the Robert W. Crawford Hall of Fame. This program highlights the efforts of those who go above and beyond to make a difference in the community. It honors the most innovative and creative programs and initiatives in parks and recreation and the best and brightest in our field.

Is your agency innovative in problem-solving and addressing their community’s needs? Do you have a program or project that is a shining example of NRPA’s Three Pillars: Conservation, Health and Wellness, and Social Equity? Or do you know someone who excels in our profession or is an amazing advocate for what you do? Then you should participate in the NRPA awards program!

New this year are the NRPA Innovation Awards (formally known as the Agency Awards). They continue to focus on the innovative programs and projects our agencies have accomplished, but with one slight twist. The four awardees from the four categories: Conservation, Health and Wellness, Social Equity and Park Design will be placed into a final round where the Best in Innovation Award winner will be decided by the membership and public. The Best in Innovation Award winner will be announced at the 2018 annual conference.

“We are extremely excited to offer this new awards program, which recognizes the most innovative agencies in our field. If your agency is taking an innovative approach to any of the challenges we face as a profession, I encourage you to apply, as this is your time to shine,” says Cindi Wright, chair of the NRPA Awards Committee.

The NRPA Innovation Awards include:

  • Innovation in Health Award, which recognizes a park and recreation agency leading an innovative project that fosters a culture of health in their community.
  • Innovation in Conservation Award, which recognizes a park and recreation agency leading an innovative project that creates localized solutions for addressing global or regional environmental challenges.
  • Innovation in Social Equity Award, which recognizes a park and recreation agency leading an innovative project that improves access to the benefits of local parks and recreation for everyone in the community, no matter the color of their skin, age, income level or ability.
  • Innovation in Park Design Award, which recognizes a park and recreation agency that manages a unique park or facility that embraces innovative technology, strategies or programs to improve their community.

There are the NRPA Spotlight Awards, which honor an individual’s efforts — both professional and personal — in the field of parks and recreation. Award winners include park and recreation professionals, volunteers, engaged community members and park advocates. There are five individual awards that are presented annually. Don’t miss a chance to be recognized or to honor someone who embodies the best in parks and recreation.

The National Gold Medal Award honors communities nationwide that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services with fiscally sound business practices.

The National Gold Medal Award program includes seven classes: five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems which is presented in odd-numbered years. At the beginning of each calendar year, agencies are invited to submit applications for consideration, with a deadline of mid-March. Finalists are announced at the end of April, and the Grand Award recipients are announced at the NRPA Annual Conference in the fall.

Learn more about each award, scholarship and/or fellowship.

Applications for all the NRPA awards programs and scholarship and fellowships are open now through March 23. Learn more and apply today.