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Professional Awards

The Michigan Recreation and Park Association honors exemplary park and recreation professionals and citizen advocates through the Association’s annual awards. Honorees embody the core values of the profession, demonstrate the highest level of performance in their job duties and maintain a tremendous commitment to mParks and its membership. See below for information on the various awards categories.


Judging Criteria

Winners of the Individual Awards will be determined using the following criteria. Please make sure your nomination is a complete representation of your nominee.

  • Years of mParks membership for the nominee, when applicable
  • Educational background
  • Association service, leadership, and regional group involvement
  • Certifications
  • Partnerships and collaborations
  • Outstanding and/or innovative programs, services, and practices
  • Speaker presentations
  • Community affiliations and volunteer experiences
  • Please submit a minimum of two (2) letters of support with the nomination
  • Description of Mentorship role (if applicable)
  • Outline significant contributions to the profession
  • Acknowledgement of award nomination from nominee supervisor

* Some awards may not be given out each year, pending nominations
* Provide support information as required to give your nominee the best chance to win an award this year!

  • Fellowship - The mParks Fellowship Award is presented to a member who consistently demonstrates significant investment, support and guidance to fellow professionals. Honorees exemplify the highest level of professionalism in all aspects of our profession, in his or her own organization and within the membership. Nominees must be a member of mParks in good standing for a minimum of 20 years.
  • Recreation Leadership - The Recreation Leadership Award is presented to a member for outstanding contributions and leadership in the area of recreation programming. Nominees must be a member of mParks in good standing for a minimum of 10 years.
  • Park Resource Leadership - Park Resource Leadership Award recipients demonstrate outstanding contributions in the area of maintenance practice, equipment management, resource development and environmental stewardship. There is no minimum mParks membership requirement for this award.
  • New Professional - This award recognizes new professionals for outstanding service to their agency, their community and the Association. Nominees must be a professional member of mParks in good standing for no more than five years.
  • Local Elected Official - This award honors elected local officials who have made significant contributions towards enhancing resident quality of life through the promotion of parks and recreation.
  • State Elected Official - This award is presented to an elected official who has exhibited exceptional support of parks and recreation. Eligible nominees include, but are not limited to, state elected officials such as representatives, senators, governors, etc.