Showcase the good in your community – submit an awards nomination! 

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Posted by Administrator at 01/05/2022

by Emily Schnellbaugh, Communications Manager, PRPS

2019 Community Champion Award Winners

As a park and recreation professional, you provide so many wonderful opportunities for your community members. Now is the time to celebrate what you do by submitting a parks and recreation award nomination. 

The PRPS Recognition & Awards Program was developed over 60 years ago for park and recreation professionals and agencies. The awards are presented annually at the PRPS Conference & Expo and are open to PRPS members and non-member individuals, agencies, companies, organizations, and universities. 

Nominations are being accepted for the following awards this year:

  • Outstanding Achievement Award in Honor of Fred Coombs (highest award)
    • PRPS Distinguished Member Award in Honor of Robert D. Griffith
    • Outstanding New Professional Award
    • Agency of the Year Award
    • Community Champion Award
    • Awards for Excellence in Recreation and Parks (outstanding programs)

The awards program is a competitive process judged by a committee that includes member representatives from each region. Committee members vote anonymously and do not vote on their own agency’s submissions. The Agency of the Year Award is judged by a separate independent panel of experts in the field of parks and recreation. 

Due to the pandemic, we offered a scaled-back awards program in 2021 and  recognized the recipients during our virtual conference. We showcased all the incredible work our members did and how they used every bit of their creativity to develop new programs and adapt existing ones. Over two dozen different agencies submitted information and pictures about their successful pandemic programs. This goes to show park and recreation professionals truly are Park & Rec Heroes!

The 2021 individual award winners were: Outstanding New Professional - Daniel Lawson,  Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; Distinguished Member Award in honor of Robert D. Griffith -  Heather Cuyler, Pashek + MTR; and the PRPS Outstanding Achievement Award in honor of Fred Coombs -  Dr. Jeff Witman, York College of Pennsylvania.

Now is the time to think about submitting an award nomination for yourself or a deserving colleague. The deadline is January 21, 2022. You can find  information, award descriptions and criteria, and nomination forms on the website  

Winning program awards from PRPS is much more than receiving plaques.  It is recognition of the creativity, hard work and collaboration which we put into every program - every day -  to positively affect the lives of residents in our community.  Beyond that, staff morale, increased brand recognition and credibility, industry/peer recognition, and expanded financial support are just a few of the long and short-term benefits that result from being recognized for doing great work!

Daphne Klahr, Reading Recreation Commission