Awards

2023 Awards Program

Nominations are being accepted for the NACPRO 2023 awards program through February 19, 2023.   

The annual NACPRO Awards Banquet recognizes and honors excellence in parks and recreation at the county, regional, and special district level throughout the nation. 

The presentation of awards will be held in Libertyville, Illinois in conjunction with the Special Park District Forum on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. 

For more information: https://www.lcfpd.org/spdf/

Changes to the award program in 2023:

  • Each agency can receive a maximum of 2 awards per year. 
  • The Young Professional award is now the New Professional, which is defined as less than 7 years’ parks and recreation experience, with no age limitation.
  • The Removing Barriers award is now named Universal Accessibility.
Download the Call for Nominations
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Award Categories

Individual Awards

  1. Outstanding Public Official is presented to a nominated, elected, or appointed official, such as commissioners, board members, and state and federal representatives, who are strong advocates for parks and recreation, to the benefit of NACPRO member agencies.

  2. Professional
    • Lifetime: to recognize professionals who are retiring or leaving parks and recreation service.
    • Fellow: to recognize an exemplary professional currently employed in the parks and recreation service.
    • New Professional: to recognize up-and-coming leaders in the parks and recreation profession with less than 7 years’ experience, who possess leadership qualities and talents. 

  3. Friends of Parks and Recreation
    These awards are presented to lay individuals who have made exemplary contributions benefiting parks and recreation programs or facilities at NACPRO member agencies.
    • Outstanding Contributor: presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution of land or fiscal resources to parks and recreation.
    • Outstanding Volunteer: presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution of personal time and talent.
    • Outstanding Support Organization: presented to an organization that has made a significant contribution to benefit park and recreation programs, facilities, operations, or organizational support.

Area and Facility Awards

  • Park and Recreation Areas or Facilities: to recognize excellence in park and recreation areas, recreation facilities, and operational facilities.
  • Trails and Corridors: to recognize excellence in a trail, greenway, waterway, corridor, or other linear park development project.

Program Awards

These awards are presented to recognize a NACPRO member agency that has provided a unique or exceptional program, activity, or event.

Special Awards

  • Conservation: to recognize an exceptional effort to acquire, restore, and preserve, natural areas or significant conservation areas, as well as programs that create public awareness and appreciation for conservation efforts. 
  • Marketing: to recognize a marketing effort demonstrating unique, significant, or remarkable outcomes. This award category includes projects involving market research, marketing plans, promotion, advertising, and the use of information technologies.
  • Planning Initiative: to recognize an outstanding research or planning initiative that contributes to a body of knowledge and advances the practice of planning.
  • Social Justice: to honor a park system that has served as a change agent and made a tangible impact in the community or workplace by prioritizing a culture of equity and inclusion. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and collaboration in community programs or projects, or workplace initiatives or policies.
  • Universal Accessibility: to recognize a unique program or facility that enables and encourages greater participation in parks and recreation by persons with disabilities.