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ORPA 2016 Award Recipient Videos
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Each year, ORPA recognizes outstanding professionals, volunteers, partners, and projects in parks and recreation in Oregon. In 2016, ORPA presented eleven awards that recognized excellence in parks and recreation throughout the state. We are pleased and proud to be able to recognize the following dedicated individuals and outstanding activities in 2016.


 Award Category
 Purpose of the Award 2016 Recipient


David E. Clark Honor Award

Named in recognition of the late Dave Clark, longtime leader in Oregon parks and recreation, this is the highest recognition ORPA can bestow.  The award is presented to a professional ORPA member who has shown leadership, inspired others, and made noteworthy contributions over a period of time to the recreation and park profession.  Nominees must have been active in the field a minimum of 15 years and ORPA history of membership for at least 10 years.

 Jay Pearson, City of McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department



  Click here to see a video about this award recipient



Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual or agency that has shown dedication to the parks and recreation profession through a special project or effort, such as meaningful legislation, initiation of a significant project or donation to parks and recreation, or engaging others in significant a parks and recreation project.  Results of these efforts must have lasting value or serve as a standard for other projects or programs.

Bob Keefer, Willamalane Park and Recreation District



 Click here to see a video about the 2016 Distinguished Service Award recipient

Outstanding New Professional Award

This award recognizes a park and recreation professional with less than 15 years of experience demonstrated leadership, initiative, innovation, and overall contribution to the park and recreation profession. Active service to ORPA is preferred.

 Art Hendricks, Portland Parks & Recreation



 Click here to learn about the 2016 Outstanding New Professional Award recipient

Legislative Advocacy Award

ORPA's Legislative Advocacy Award honors an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the parks and recreation field through legislative leadership and advocacy within the last five years. Individuals ad organizations may be honored for legislative leadership or advocacy at the local, county, regional, state, and/or federal level.

Don Horton, 

Ben Park & Recreation District


Click here to see a video about the 2016 Legislative Advocacy Award recipient

 Environmental Leadership Award  

This award recognizes a park and recreation professional or agency who has made an outstanding effort during the last one to five years to sustain and improve the environment and/or reduce the environmental impact made by the agency.  Nominees’ environmental efforts may include but are not limited to the following categories:

  • Community and/or employee environmental education, including subjects such as water/energy conservation, climate change science, habitat conservation, etc.
  • Implementation of sustainable operations, including resource reduction, changing to more environmentally-friendly products, use of alternative energy sources, etc.
  • Environmental improvements at natural and built facilities, including conservation, restoration, materials re-use or use of greener materials, etc.
  • Mobilization of grassroots efforts or community partnerships to address environmental issues and improvements. 
  • Creating and providing environmental stewardship opportunities, including habitat restoration, natural resources conservation, etc.

Rivers to Ridges



 Click here to see a video about the 2016 Environmental Leadership Award recipient  
 Outstanding Asset Management Award ORPA’s Outstanding Asset Management Award recognizes an agency or team for its exceptional management, maintenance/enhancement, and programming of an existing park, trail, natural area, recreation, and/or aquatic facility over time.  Recipients demonstrate the vision and leadership necessary to protect and enhance public assets and resources while providing public recreation opportunities.  Exceptional management may be demonstrated through quality maintenance and operations, efforts to retain and enhance the resource over time, creative problem-solving in the areas of budget, staffing, physical and/or environmental constraints to ensure the continued operation and availability of the asset(s) and/or introduction of new programs or activities that ensure continued use and optimization of the asset.   

Jeffrey McFarland, Ashland Parks & Recreation 



Click here to see a video about the 2016 Asset Management Award recipient   
 Planning Award The ORPA Planning Award recognizes outstanding planning practices and processes used in the development or rehabilitation of a public park, trail, recreation, and/or cultural facility that has opened within the past five years.  Nominations are evaluated on planning practices used in the project, including community involvement; unusual or unique challenges and regulations encountered in the planning process; innovative  techniques used to engage the community and partners; incorporation of operational and maintenance concerns; the resulting project’s quality, aesthetics, usability and accessibility; and impact of the plan and resulting project on the agency and community.
 Astoria Parks & Recreation



Click here to see a video about the 2016 Planning Award recipient   
 Design Award The Design Award recognizes superior architectural and/or landscape design and design processes for new or renovated parks or facilities (buildings, parks, park components, trails, etc.) whose construction was completed in the last five years.

Cardno & City of Tualatin



 Click here to see a video about the 2016 Design Award recipient

Private Sector Partner Award   The Private Sector Partner Award recognizes an Oregon-based entity, corporation, or non-profit organization that has made a significant contribution to the park and recreation profession, either through an agency or the state association.  Nominees may be recognized for their significant financial support, volunteer time, in-kind services, equipment, or other contributions to parks and recreation in Oregon.

 Bill Smith,

William Smith Properties


Click here to see a video about the 2016 Private Sector Partner Award recipient.

Volunteer Service Award

This award honors an individual or organization whose efforts as a volunteer have made a significant contribution to parks and recreation in Oregon. Nominees may include individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, ad hoc groups or others whose time, expertise, and/or labor is donated or unpaid.

 Le Grande Optimist Club

Click here to see a video about the 2016 Volunteer Service Award recipient.


 SDIS Safety Excellence Award

Sponsored by



Sponsored by Special Districts Insurance Services (SDIS), this award honors an individual, organization, or program that has demonstrated a unique commitment to improving or enhancing safety in park and recreation facilities or activities. Individuals or agency safety efforts and safety programs may be nominated in the following categories:


Individual:  In recognition of personal commitment and achievement in the area of park and recreation safety. Individuals who serve as staff, volunteers, or partners to an Oregon park and recreation organization are eligible to be nominated for the SDIS Safety Excellence Award in the Individual category.

Organizational:  In recognitionof out standing commitment or significant contribution by an organization in the area of park and recreation safety. Any Oregon park and recreation organization is eligible to be nominated for this award.

Program:In recognition of programs that provide innovative or significant contributions to safety among Oregon’s park and recreation entities. Programs eligible to be nominated for this award may be internal to a park and recreation agency or offered by another public or private organization. 

 Michael Janin, Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District



Click here to see a video about the 2016 SDIS Safety Excellence Award recipient.





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