Creating Community Award of Excellence

This award recognizes outstanding initiatives by agencies, departments, or districts in their effort to deliver the highest level of recreation and leisure programs and services that embody and embrace the values and mission of the profession and move the agency towards a stronger position or role within the community.

Your entry must have been conducted for a minimum of three years. Previous entries may not be re-submitted if it received an award. Previous entries may be re-submitted if they did not receive an award. The same entry may not be submitted in multiple categories.


Aging Well: Programs, initiatives or innovative practices that promote healthy and active aging within the community

Arts and Cultural Services: Programs, initiatives or special events that celebrate community character and reinforce the value of visual, performing or historic resources

Community Health and Wellness: Programs, initiatives, special events or innovative planning efforts that promote healthy lifestyles and community wellness

Economic Vitality: Programs, initiatives, special events or innovative planning efforts that positively enhance a community's economic position

Environmental Stewardship: Programs, initiatives, events or innovative practices that may involve volunteers, organizations, or stakeholders to enhance the physical environment, promote the conservation of natural resources or connect children with nature, i.e. beautification projects, environmental education, community clean-ups, etc.

Organizational Survival: Initiatives, strategies, or programs that demonstrate “survival” or innovative approaches to the delivery of park and recreation services in challenging fiscal and political environments, i.e. strategic planning, re-positioning, agency restructuring or merger, budgeting, human resources, etc.

Neighborhood/Community Building: Programs, initiatives or special events in partnership with one or more organizations that seek to strengthen the role of children and families as the cornerstone of a strong community

Park and Facility Maintenance Management: Programs, initiatives, practices or events performed by agency personnel that preserve or enhance the quality of a park, open space, trail, recreation facility, or streetscape landscape.

Serving the Underserved: Programs, initiatives or services specifically designed to better engage underserved populations, i.e. ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, LGBT, homeless/economically disadvantaged, etc.

Youth Development: Programs or services that help youth (up to age 18) acquire the attitudes, competencies, values and social skills they need to become successful adults

Evaluation Criteria

Challenge: Describe the significant issue, problem or concern that the entry addressed and the desired outcomes you were looking to achieve. [250 word maximum] (20 pts)

Resourcefulness: Extent the entry demonstrated the use of creative or innovative approaches and the role community partners or stakeholders played in addressing the challenge. [400 word maximum] (25 pts)

Execution: Extent the entry utilized various strategies, tools, resources and outreach efforts to address the challenge, including the use of non-traditional fiscal or community resources (grants, sponsorships, volunteers, etc.) and the communication efforts used to inform or seek feedback from the community, policy makers or partners. [400 word maximum] (20 pts)

Accomplishment: The extent to which the entry created a substantial community benefit, improved operational efficiencies, created new or increased value in the community or significantly enhanced the provision of park and recreation services through measureable results. [400 word maximum] (25 pts)

Mission: Extent to which the entry supported the mission of the profession and / or the Parks Make Life Better! campaign. [250word maximum] (10 pts)

Congratulations to our 
2016 Creating Community Award Winners!

Aging Well
City of West Sacramento for Generation Bridge: An Intergenerational Volunteer Program
Arts and Cultural Services
City of Riverside for Riverside Arts Academy
Community Health and Wellness
City of Fontana for Let's Move on the Trail
Environmental Stewardship
Sonoma County Regional Parks for Acorns to Oaks Elementary Field Trip Program
Neighborhood/Community Building
City of Long Beach for BE S.A.F.E. (Summer Activities in a Friendly Environment) Program
Park & Facility Maintenance
City of South Pasadena for First in the Nation to be Certified American Green Zone City
Serving the Underserved
East Bay Regional Park District for Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP)
Youth Development
San Francisco Recreation and Parks for Mayor's Teen Outdoor Experience