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.

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.

Social Equity: 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
2018 Creating Community Award Winners!

Aging Well
City of Arcadia for Senior Cultural Day Camp
Arts and Cultural Services
City of Manhattan Beach for Day in the Life of Manhattan Beach
Community Health and Wellness
East Bay Regional Park District for Park Rx/SHINE
Economic Vitality
City of Temecula for Global Citizens Viticulture & Horticulture Vocational Program
Environmental Stewardship
City of Mission Viejo for City of Mission Viejo Environmental Fair
Neighborhood/Community Building
City of Albany for Dinner with Albany
Social Equity
City of Poway for City of Poway Winter Festival - Special Need Program
Youth Development
Desert Recreation District for REC Route

Check out our Awards Banquet photo gallery here!