NRPA names recipients of Innovation, Spotlight awards

ASHBURN, V.a. —  The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has announced the recipients of this year’s NRPA Innovation Awards and NRPA Spotlight Awards. The awards will be presented at the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference, Sept. 25–27, in Indianapolis, Indiana, where NRPA will announce the winner of its Best in Innovation Award, which recognizes the best of the best in park and recreation innovation.

New this year, NRPA Innovation Awards recognize park and recreation agencies nationwide that have improved and empowered their communities through innovative practices in park design, health and wellness, conservation and social equity. The recipients of this year’s awards are as follows:

  • Innovation in Health Award
    Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, Alhambra, California
  • Innovation in Conservation Award
    Forest Preserves of Cook County, River Forest, Illinois
  • Innovation in Social Equity Award
    Chicago Park District, Chicago, Illinois
  • Innovation in Park Design Award
    Town of Glastonbury, Glastonbury, Connecticut

The winners of each of these categories will face off in a public vote for the Best in Innovation Award. NRPA members and the public are encouraged to vote between June 25–29 at

“NRPA is proud to recognize innovation in parks and recreation with these awards,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. “Congratulations to this year’s winners who have demonstrated their commitment to building better communities through innovative park and recreation practices.”

NRPA Spotlight Awards are presented to individuals to honor their efforts — both professional and personal — in the field of parks and recreation. NRPA is proud to recognize these individuals with the following awards:

  • Robert M. Artz Advocate Award
    Nixon Adams, chair, board of commissioners, Recreation District #1, Pelican Park, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
  • Robert W. Crawford Young Professional Award
    Jeff Ozimek, outdoor adventure programming manager, Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, Bainbridge Island, Washington
  • RWJF-NRPA Award for Health Equity
    Becky Tuttle, director of community development/chair, Greater Wichita YMCA/Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita, Wichita, Kansas
  • National Distinguished Professional Award
    Michael Klitzing, chief operating officer, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation, Carmel, Indiana
  • Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research
    Andrew Mowen, professor, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

“On behalf of the entire awards committee, I want to congratulate this year’s award winners,” said Cindi Wight, chair of the NRPA Awards Committee. “Their positive contributions to the field of parks and recreation will make a difference in the communities they serve and beyond.”

To learn more about NRPA Innovation Awards, click here.

To learn more about NRPA Spotlight Awards, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit

SOURCE: National Recreation and Park Association press release

Ronnie Wendt

Ronnie Wendt

Ronnie Wendt has been a writer/editor for more than 25 years, working in law enforcement, aviation, supply chain and the RV industry. She's not a stranger to RVs, however. She grew up camping, and still camps as many weekends as she can every year. She is the owner of In Good Company Communications and can be reached at

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