Awards

Awards Committee:

The purpose of the awards Committee is to recognize individuals, agencies, organizations, or institutions for their excellent, outstanding, or unique accomplishments in recreation, parks, leisure services, conservation of the environment, and the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association.

Awards Committee Co-Chair
Sonya Rippe
Plymouth Parks and Recreation
3400 Plymouth Blvd.
Plymouth, MN 55447
T: 763.509.5943
E: srippe@plymouthmn.gov

Awards Committee Co-Chair
Alyssa Fram
Plymouth Parks and Recreation
3400 Plymouth Blvd.
Plymouth, MN 55447
T:    763.509.5225
E:   afram@plymouthmn.gov

Professional Awards:

The MRPA Professional Award recipients will be honored during the Annual General Meeting and Awards Luncheon. MRPA is grateful for the support of program partner, Landscape Structures, Inc. The most recent event was held Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center. The next event will be held Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the Chaska Event Center.

Nomination Procedure:

Nominating an individual for and MRPA Professional Award, Board and Commission and Special Award is an easy process. MRPA professional members who are nominated will receive a professional profile form to complete that will provide more information about their professional experience and MRPA involvement. The MRPA Professional Award recipients are honored during the Annual General Meeting and Awards Luncheon.

Nomination Form – Word format and PDF format

MRPA Award Recipient History

Award Categories
Dorothea Nelson Award: Individuals nominated must be a female who is a professional member of the MRPA with 10 plus years of professional experience. The selection of an individual professional member will be based on the outstanding services to the parks and recreation field and to the MRPA.

Jack Niles Award:  Individuals nominated must be a male who is a professional member of the MRPA with 10 plus years of professional experience. The selection of an individual professional member will be based on outstanding service to the parks and recreation field and to the MRPA.

Horizon Award: Individuals nominated must be a professional member of MRPA with eight years or less of professional experience. They must be an “up and coming” professional and an active contributor to MRPA and our profession who has great leadership skills.

Clifton E. French Distinguished Services Award: Individuals nominated may be either female or male and must be a professional member of the MRPA who has provided long and outstanding service to the parks and recreation field and to the MRPA.  This nominee must have 20 plus years of professional experience. This is the highest professional award given by the MRPA to one of its members.

Dr. Gerald B. Fitzgerald Award: Individuals nominated may be either male or female and must be an MRPA member who has contributed to an institution of higher education to creatively improve and enhance the field. Nominees may have attained a high achievement in research and/or journalism related to parks and recreation.

Tommy Johnson Award: The Awards Committee will select one “Award of Excellence” project or initiative to receive the “Tommy Johnson Award.” The successful “Award of Excellence” project or initiative will best exemplify the characteristics and values that Tommy Johnson was known for; innovation, futuristic, revolutionary and/or creative with ideas and initiatives that help establish future trends, philosophical change, sharing of new resources and new exciting concepts.

Legislative Award: This award is intended to recognize legislators for outstanding contributions at the state or federal level on behalf of parks and recreation.

Leadership Award: This award is given to notable or outstanding achievements in the parks and recreation field

Park and Recreation Board/Commission Award: This award is given to one member of a citizen’s advisory or policy-making board in the parks and recreation field.

Meritorious Awards

Nomination Procedure:

The MRPA Meritorious Service Award program annually recognizes outstanding contributions by members to MRPA sections and committees. The intent of the Meritorious Service Award program is to provide the opportunity for each MRPA section and committee to recognize its own members for outstanding services performed on behalf of that section or committee during the previous year. The goal of the program is to increase awareness and appreciation of the MRPA members who volunteer additional time to serve on sections and committees. The Meritorious Service Award program guidelines are listed below:

  • Only current MRPA members are eligible.
  • The award recipient must have actively participated on the section or committee for the majority of the previous year.
  • Each section and committee shall determine the criteria for its award and the manner of selection for its award. While it is recommended that the section or committee as a whole select each award recipient, each section and committee may choose to allow its chairperson to make the award recipient selection.
  • It is recommended that each section and committee award only one recipient annually.

MRPA Meritorious Service Award recipients will be honored during the Annual General Meeting and Awards Luncheon.

Meritorious Awards History

Awards of Excellence:

Awards of Excellence information, click here.

Annual General Meeting and Awards Luncheon – Past Photos

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Awards Luncheon was held January 10, 2017 at the Brooklyn Park Community Center.  Thank you to our event partner, Landscape Structures, for their generous support of the MRPA awards program.  Congratulations to all the award recipients!

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2016 Award Recipients (L to R):
Horizon Award
Janelle Crossfield, City of Brooklyn Center
Jack Niles Award – 
Garrett Beck, City of Burnsville
Dorothea Nelson Award –
Margo Numedahl, Fridley Parks and Recreation
Leadership Award –
Michelle Margo, Brooklyn Park Recreation and Parks
Clifton E. French Award –
Jan Ficken, Brooklyn Park Recreation and Parks
Park and Recreation Board/Commission Award – Jeff Bird, City of Blaine
Clifton E. French Award –
Randy Distad, Farmington Parks and Recreation
Tommy Johnson Award – Chaska Parks and Recreation

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2015 Award Recipients (L to R):
Jack Niles Award – 
Jason Eisold, City of St. Louis Park
Tommy Johnson Award –
Carver County Parks, Chaska Parks and Recreation, and Victoria Parks and Recreation
Park and Recreation Board/Commission Award – Erik Goodlow, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation
Horizon Award
Gina Norris, Brooklyn Park Recreation and Parks
Dorothea Nelson Award –
Roxann Maxey, Edina Parks and Recreation
Clifton E. French Award
 – James “Corky” Ebeling, Owatonna Parks and Recreation
Leadership Award – Mike Polehna, Washington County Parks

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2014 Award Recipients:
Jack Niles Award –
Jay Lotthammer, Eden Prairie Parks and Recreation
Horizon Award
 –
Ann Mosack, Bloomington Parks and Recreation
Leadership Award
– Cindy Walsh, City of St. Louis Park
Clifton E. French Award
 – Randy Quale, Bloomington Parks and Recreation
Tommy Johnson Award – St. Paul Parks and Recreation (Kathy Korum accepted award)
Dorothea Nelson Award – Mary Jo Knudson, Owatonna Parks and Recreation
Park and Recreation Board/Commission Award – Dorthy Peterson, Eagan Parks and Recreation

Award Recipients
2013 Award Recipients:
Leadership Award
Paul Edwardson, Bloomington Parks and Recreation
Clifton E. French Award
 –
Jack Kirk, Fridley Parks and Recreation
Jack Niles Award
 – Barry Bernstein, Apple Valley Parks and Recreation
Tommy Johnson Award – Brooklyn Park Recreation and Parks (Jon Oyanagi accepted award)
Horizon Award – John Stutzman, Bloomington Parks and Recreation

2012 Award Recipients
2012 Award Recipients:

Jack Niles Award – Lyndell Frey
Dorthea Nelson Award – Aimee Peterson
Clifton E. French Award – Jody Yungers
Horizon Award – Jared Flewellen

2011 Award Recipients
2011 Award Recipients:

Tommy Johnson Award – Bemidji Parks and Recreation (Marcia Larson accepted award)
Horizon Award – Jennifer Fink
Clifton E. French Award – Donna Tilsner
Jack Niles Award – Jerry Ruegemer

2010 Award Recipients
2010 Award Recipients
:
Board and Comission Award
– Jerry Hennen
Horizon Award – Brad Martens
Special Award – Jennifer Ringgold
Legislative Award – Dennis Frederickson
Dorthea Nelson Award – Jennifer Christie
Clifton E. French Award – Terry Just
Jack Niles Award – Chuck Stifter
Special Award – Jon Oyanagi

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2009 Award Recipients:
Horizon Award – Erica Anderson
Clifton E. French Award – Margie Dahlof
Dorthea Nelson Award – Nicole Weedman
Jack Niles Award – Dan Lauer

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2008 Award Recipients:
Jack Niles Award –
Jamie Cassidy
Special Award –
Diane Evans
Dorthea Nelson Award –
Michelle Okada
Horizon Award – Andy Soltvedt
Clifton E. French Award – Randy Johnson