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Community Service Awards

The mParks Community Service Awards recognize individuals and groups who show outstanding support to public recreation and park programs in their community: friends groups, department volunteers, and advocates.

Parks and recreation agencies are invited to nominate the partner groups and individuals who they believe deserve recognition.

Only current mParks members are eligible to submit nominations. The maximum number of nominations is dependent on your organization type

  • Individual: One
  • Agency: Two
  • County: Three
  • Statewide Agency: Four

Deadline is Friday, March 13, 2020. The ceremony will be held Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing.

If your nominee is selected, you will be notified and will be responsible for providing notice and event information to your award winner. Notices will be mailed the week of March 23, 2020.


Community Service Award Categories

Community Service Awards are presented to individuals, groups, and organizations that support parks and recreation in Michigan. Past recipients include park friend groups, program and department sponsors, and volunteers who make a difference in their community through contributions to parks, recreation, and leisure services.

Margaret Whitehead Senior of the Year Award honors outstanding senior citizens in Service and Leadership. The award is named after Margaret Whitehead who, during her time with the Lansing Recreation Department, established the first senior center in Michigan. In 1967, Whitehead co-founded the Annual Senior Get-Together at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel - now known as the MRPA Grand Experience, the trip provides a unique travel program for more than 1,200 participants annually. The Senior of the Year Award was created in tribute to Whitehead's involvement and commitment to senior services. Award winners in both the Leadership and Service categories will receive a three-day stay at Grand Hotel during the Grand Experience program, and may invite a guest as well.

Youth Sports Coach of the Year Award honors the commitment, enthusiasm and accomplishments of an outstanding youth sports coach. Do you know a coach who treats players fairly, provides a safe and fun learning environment, leads by example and demonstrates fair play and sportsmanship? Nominate them for the Youth Sports Coach of the Year Award.

Youth Sports Staff Member of the Year Award honors the involvement and dedication of an outstanding youth sports staff member in Michigan. Nominees may be a referee, umpire, field director or any other position that is critical to a program's success. Full-time staff, part-time staff and volunteers are eligible for the Youth Sports Staff Member award.


Past Award Winners

2018 2013 2008
2017 2012 2007
2016 2011 2006
2015 2010  
2014 2009