Alaska Recreation &Park Association

This page contains the complete list of award recipients from 1975 - present as well as detailed criteria used in the award selection process. To see only the recipients for the past 5 years please click here

The recognition and celebration of excellence within the field of Parks and Recreation is the sole purpose of the ARPA Awards committee. This group of volunteers undertake the difficult task of reading through the numerous qualified candidates each year in order to bestow most deserving professionals the honor of one of the following awards.

We invite you to take a moment and nominate a deserving co-worker, employee, volunteer or supervisor  Below are links to download Annual Awards Descriptions and Recipients and a Nomination Form. So many of our co-workers are deserving....here’s your chance to give them the recognition they deserve.

Nominations for 2016 Awards are due on August 1, 2017 and will be presented at the Valdez Annual Conference in October.  Remember these awards recognize accomplishments done/completed in 2016.

We are also looking for volunteers who would like to serve on the Awards Selection Committee.  We would like to have one person from each section and from different communities around the state on the committee.  If this is something you would be willing to do, please email Shari.


Click here to download the Annual Awards Descriptions and Recipients Document 

Click here to download the Nomination Form


Professional Award

This is the highest recognition that ARPA can bestow upon a deserving candidate. The person will be carefully chosen. In considering a candidate for the Professional Award, he/she must meet the qualifications as set forth in the criteria for this high award.

  • Must be an ARPA member
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in the field of park and recreation.
  • Demonstrated leadership role: (Must complete five of the nine categories listed below.)
  • An elected officer in ARPA (Name office held and year)
    An elected office holder in NRPA or affiliated society (Name office held and year)
  1. Chairman of a committee in ARPA. (Name committee and year)
  2. Chairman of a committee in NRPA. (Name committee and year)
  3. Representative of the Regional Council of NRPA or affiliated Society. (Name region and year)
  4. Committee work with local, state, national organization which is affiliated with or promoting same objective as ARPA. (Name committee and organization.)
  5. Five or more speeches on recreation and parks before groups or conventions, assembles, luncheons, radio or television presentations, and such other meetings held in interest or promotion of recreation and parks. ( State when and where.)
  6. Systematic research which has helped advance the profession. (List research and how it appeared.)
  7. Books published or articles written on recreation or parks for handbooks, newspapers, magazines, etc. (List books, articles, and publications name, publication dates.)

An ARPA Logo goldpan will be presented to the recipient.

 2016  Jason Avery
 Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation
 2015  D. Tyrell McGirt  City of Unalaska Parks, Culture & Recreation
 2014  Mike Illg  City of Homer Parks & Recreation
 2013  Rachel Parra  North Peninsula Recreation Service Area 
 2012
 Michael Bork  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation 
 2011  Tom Martin  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation 
 2010  Cindy Aldridge  Kenai Peninsula Borough
 2009  Melanie Hauze  City of Seward Parks & Recreation
 2008  Jeff Dick  Challenge Alaska
 2007  Bob Gronchow  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation
 2006  Wendie Marriott  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation 
 2004  Karen Kester  Nikiski 
 2002  Karl Kassel  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation 
 2001  Janie West  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation 
 2000  John McCleary  Anchorage Parks & Recreation 
 1999  Jeff Hawley  Cordova Parks & Recreation 
 1998  Helen Clough  US Fish & Wildlife Service, Juneau 
 1997  Bill Lindsey  Anchorage Parks & Recreation 
 1996  Bill Musson  Petersburg Parks & Recreation
 1995  Nancy Peterson  Valdez Parks & Recreation
 1994  Jack Mosby  National Park Service, Anchorage
 1993  Dave Patterson  US Fish & Wildlife Service, Anchorage
 1992  Jim Dumont  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation 
 1991  Arnold Albrecht   USDA Forest Service, Juneau
 1989  Ian Fulp  Kodiak Parks & Recreation
 1988  Sylvia Harvey  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation 
 1987  Kayo McGillivray  Kenai Parks & Recreation
 1986  Jim Hall  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation 
 1985  Loren Smith  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation 
 1982  Jill Waters  Anchorage Parks & Recreation
 1978  Bob Robertson  Anchorage Parks & Recreation
 1977  Bill Creighton   Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation


New Professional Award
(perviously Young Professional Award)

These professionals are not necessarily the superintendents or leaders that have been visible in the field, but are the “up and coming” leaders. They should possess all of those qualities and talents that will eventually place them in the top leadership, but at this time in their careers, they are climbing.

  1. Must be a member of ARPA.
  2. Minimum 5 years of experience as a leader, instructor, supervisor, administrator, consultant, or a combination of these services in the field of parks/recreation.
  3. Contributed to the profession through allied fields of arts, crafts, sports, health and safety education, design, park maintenance, horticulture, education and consulting services.
  4. High recommendations and respect from staff within the agency the individual now works.
 2016  Ricky Borland
 Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation
 2015  Albert Burnham  City of Unalaska Parks, Culture & Recreation 
 2014  Luke Kline  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation 
 2013  Mike Kinney  City of Seward Parks & Recreation 
 2012  Dave Jones  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation 
 2011  Maggie Wilkins  City of Seward Parks & Recreation
 2010  Josie Ronne  City of Seward Parks & Recreation 
 2009  Matt Steffy  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation
 2008  Mike Illg  City of Homer Parks & Recreation
 2007  Jason Avery  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation 
 2005  Mike Bork  City of Valdez Parks & Recreation
 2004  Jennifer McWilliams  City of Unalaska Parks, Culture & Recreation  
 2001  Ryan "Zieak" McFarland  Petersburg Parks & Recreation
 1999  Lisa Deane  City of Unalaska Parks, Culture & Recreation  
 1998  Myiia Whistler  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation
 1997  Rick Bittick  City of Seward Parks & Recreation
 1996  Shareen Adelmann  City of Seward Parks & Recreation 
 1995  Fred Hill  Anchorage Parks & Recreation
 1994  Karin Sturdy  City of Seward Parks & Recreation
 1993  Teri Peters  Anchorage Parks & Recreation 
 1992  Dianna Fehring  Anchorage Parks & Recreation 
 1991  Sharon Reed  Anchorage Parks & Recreation 
 1990  Lee Westenberg  Tok
 1989  Kim Kiefer  Juneau
 1988  Bill Musson  Kenai
 1987  Kevin Finney  Ketchikan
 1985  Steve Weber  Valdez
 1984  Brenda Schimmeyer  Anchorage
 1983  Chuck Kaucic  Fort Richardson
 1982  Merilee Watts  Anchorage
 1982  Jim Hall  Juneau
 1981  Kristine Moeller  Seward
 1981  Jane Boubel  Ketchikan
 1979  John Alder  Bethel


Bob Robertson Service Award

This award is for service to the Alaska Recreation and Park Association by members of the association. These are the people that volunteer to be on committees, to work with their sections, to help with conferences and workshops and generally are the backbone of the Association. This award was approved by the Board in 1995. It is a Board Award in that the nominees are selected only by the ARPA Board.  (This award requires an application be completed by the nominee)

 2016  Maggie Wilkins
 Boys & Girls Club, Seward
 2015  Brandon Harker  Challenge Alaska
 2014  Melanie Hauze  City of Seward Parks & Recreation
 2013  Jeff Dick  Challenge Alaska
 2012  Jason Avery  Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation
 2011  D. Tyrell McGirt  City of Unalaska Parks, Culture & Recreation
 2009  Shareen Adelmann  City of Seward Parks & Recreation
 2007  John McCleary  Anchorage Parks & Recreation
 2006  Myiia Whistler  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation
 2004  Teri Peters  Anchorage Parks & Recreation
 2004  Marti Marshall  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation
 2003  Bill Overbaugh  BLM Anchorage
 2003  Karen Kester  Nikiski
 2002  Wendie Marriott  Director of Parks, Culture & Recreation, Unalaska
 2002  Helen Clough  Public Involvement Specialist US Fish & Wildlife Service, Juneau
 2001  Warren Templin  Mat-Su Borough Parks & Recreation, Palmer
 2001  Ron Crenshaw  Alaska State Parks Marine & Trails, Anchorage
 2000  Karin Sturdy  Director of Parks & Recreation, Seward
 2000  Jerry Walton  Recreation Manager, Anchorage
 1999  Arnold Albrecht  Recreation Sup. USDA Forest Service, Juneau
 1999  Janie West  Recreation Facility Supervisor, Fairbanks
 1998  Kim Kiefer  Director of Parks & Recreation, Juneau
 1997  Nancy Peterson  Director of Parks & Recreation, Valdez
 1997  Dave Patterson  US Fish & Wildlife Service, Anchorage
 1996  Jeff Hawley  Director of Parks & Recreation, Cordova
 1995  Jack Mosby  National Park Service Supervisor, Anchorage
 1995  Sharon Perrin  Spenard Recreation Center, Anchorage


Lifetime Achievement Award
Created in 2007, the Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented only three times in ARPA’s young, 35-year history. The first recipient was Nancy Peterson who, having left the field of parks and recreation earlier in her career, maintained professional and personal relationships within ARPA and NRPA. She continued to serve in one of the most time-consuming ARPA Board functions: Treasurer. While serving the Board as Treasurer, Nancy continued to mentor and train in-coming Board members. The second award was presented to ARPA Founder, Bob Robertson, who is known as the Father of ARPA. Bob served as ARPA president and chaired, co-chaired and mentored subsequent ARPA Committee Chairs. The above two examples are the types of contributions a Lifetime Achievement Award winner will have made.

A recipient who receives this award shall have made note-worthy and measureable positive contributions to ARPA. Past recipients have made contributions such as procedures manuals, template formatting, led a specific campaign or training or other such tangible results. LAA winners have created, chaired and then bequeathed ARPA standing or special committees. While many ARPA members are willing and able to contribute monumental services, a recipient of this LAA has volunteered to serve in the most demanding of offices and ARPA work.

  1. The recipient shall have been a life-time member by either category or practical assessment. Shall have been an active ARPA member for more than two decades.
    Shall have served as ARPA President
  2. Shall have served in multiple positions on the Board
  3. Meets the minimum criteria of the ARPA Professional Award (or has received this award.)
An ARPA logo goldpan will be presented to the recipient.
 2016  Helen Clough
 Juneau / Anchorage
 2015  Shareen Adelmann  City of Seward Parks & Recreation 
 2012  Jeff Hawley  City of Unalaska Parks, Culture & Recreation
 2009  Bob Robertson  "Father of ARPA"
 2007  Nancy Peterson   City of Valdez / City of Unalaska

Distinguished Service Award

Distinguished Service Award
This achievement award is given to a deserving individual and / or groups whose voluntary contribution of time and effort over the years has improved the quality and quantity of leisure opportunities through park, recreation, and conservation projects on the local, state, regional, or national levels. Membership with ARPA is not required, , but the candidate shall have contributed through:

  1. Voluntary contributions to parks, recreation and conservation movement over a period of two or more years.
  2. Active work for significant legislation at local, state, and nation levels.
  3. Service to park and recreation and conservation movement through public service or membership in other organizations or other endeavors outside parks, recreation and conservation field.
  4. Possible literary contribution to parks, recreation and conservation field.
  5. Development of equipment apparatus or design and layout of facilities.
  6. Generous grants of land, money, equipment, scholarships or other gifts that affect the field.
  7. Any other contribution made in the interest of the parks and recreation profession.
 2016  Gold Rush Days, Inc.
 Valdez
 2015  Sally Dwyer   Petersburg
 2014  Kristi West  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation
 2012  James "Jim" King  Juneau
 2010  Chugach National Forest Glacier District Backcountry Rangers  Girdwood
 2009  Janet Athenas  Bethel Parks & Recreation
 2008  Alaska Trails  Anchorage 

Outstanding Organization Award
This award recognizes the agencies, departments, and organizations that make great contributions to their community and to the improvement of recreation in Alaska. Clubs, federal and state agencies, municipal departments, and not-for-profit organizations are eligible.

  1. The contributions or improvement of recreation must have taken place during the calendar year of the award or prior. (Ex: in 2012, nominators will be selecting organizations which were active before January 1, 2012, to align with the other awards achievements made in 2011.
    A written description shall include the organization’s contributions and recreation improvements within their community or Alaska.
  2. Support materials will be considered:
  3. Press coverage documenting accomplishment, events, programs, or other;
  4. Formal acknowledgement from local municipalities , Boroughs, state or Federal recognition, proclamations or other

The Awards committee will select the organization that most reflect outstanding contributions to their community or the state of Alaska.

>
 2016  Seward Prevention Coalition
 2015  Petersburg Chamber of Commerce
 2014  HoWL Homer Wilderness Leaders
 2013  Arctic Winter Games Host Society Fairbanks
 2012  Homer Hockey Association
 2011  Homer Community Recreation & Parks Program
 2009  Teen Council of the Seward Teen & Youth Center

Facility Excellence Award

This award recognizes significant new projects, major renovations, or long-term performance as a flagship of recreation. Any facility from any area of recreation, from trails to aquatic centers, is eligible. Created in 2010 for the 2009 year.

  1. Nominator must submit before and after photos
    The renovations or improvements must have taken place during the calendar year of the award. (Ex: in 2012, nominators will be selecting facilities which were improved before January 1, 2012, to align with the other awards achievements made in 2011.
  2. A written description shall include: the facility’s main uses before and after; the funding of the improvements; how ADA was a factor; all partners;
  3. Support materials will be considered:
  4. Press coverage documenting previous conditions, changes requested, grand openings, or other;
  5. Statistical data demonstrating improved attendance, lower utility costs or similar;
  6. Formal acknowledgement from local municipalities , Boroughs, state or Federal recognition, proclamations or other

The Awards committee will select the facility or facilities that most reflect positive changes.

 2016  Aquatic Center
 Jim Creek ATV Trails
 City of Unalaska Parks, Culture & Recreation
 Matanuska Susitna Boroug Parks & Recreation
 2015  Outlook Park   Petersburg Parks & Recreation
 2014  Soldotna Creek Park
 Tanana Lakes Recreation Area
 Soldotna Parks & Recreation
 Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation



 2013  Government Peak Recreation Chalet  Matanuska-Susitna Borough
 2012  1st Lake Historical Park  Mark Stauble, City of Seward Parks & Recreation Operations Supervisor
 2011  Karen Hornaday Park  Homer Parks & Recreation
 2009  Zach Gordon Youth Center  City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation

ARPA Appreciation Award
Created in 2010, the rare ARPA Appreciation Award is nominated by an ARPA Board Member who has noted special skills and contributions. As an example, if a Conference Host Op
erations Chairperson manages a successful conference, a person who completes this task four times and each time raises the standard of excellence, he or she may be awarded the ARPA Appreciation Award.

  1. The recipient shall have been a life-time member either by category or practical assessment
    Shall have been an active ARPA member for more than one decade
  2. Shall have served in multiple positions on the Board or within a Section
  3. High recommendations and respect from staff within the agency the individual works
  4. An ARPA Logo gold pan will be presented to the recipient.
 2012 Helen Clough US Fish & Wildlife Service, Juneau 
 2010 Shareen Adelmann  City of Seward Parks & Recreation

ARPA Outstanding Business Partner Award

The purpose of this award is to annually recognize one (1) outstanding business partner that has supported ARPA and its mission. This support can be shown in any manner.

Created in 2015, the ARPA Business Partner Award nominations are made by any ARPA Board member, and the board must approve with a majority in favor. A recommendation will then be made to the Awards Committee Chair for concurrence.

An ARPA Logo wooden bowl award will be presented to the recipient.

 2016  ExerPlay  Farrell Smith
 2015  SiteLines  Gary Max 
 2014  Northwest Playgrounds   Bob McGarvey


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