2019 WRPA Award Recipients

Congratulations, Award Recipients!

This spring, we want to honor the amazing people, parks, and programs that received an award at the awards banquet during the 72nd Annual WRPA Conference & Tradeshow. The WRPA Awards Program honors individuals and organizations for their contributions to the field of recreation and parks in Washington State. A variety of awards were handed out to WRPA members and public citizens. 

There are three categories recognized for WRPA's Awards Program: Professional Awards, Citation of Merit Awards, and Spotlight Awards. In addition to these categories, WRPA also acknowledges Mickey Corso Leadership Grant recipients.  

Professional Awards 

 Honor Fellow Award – As the highest recognition bestowed by WRPA to an individual, the Honor Fellow Award recognizes an individual’s lifetime achievement in the field of parks and recreation. The individual selected must be equal in mind, character, and professionalism to those who have preceded him or her and must set an example for those who will follow.

Patrick Foran, City of Bellevue Parks & Community Services


 Young Professional Award – This award recognizes up and coming leaders in the parks and recreation profession. Those selected for the honor possess the qualities and talents that will result in their assuming top leadership roles in the field and within WRPA in the future.

Carissa Ware, City of Spokane Parks & Recreation


Ron C. Davis II Unsung Hero Award
 – The Ron C Davis II Award recognizes an individual for their unwavering commitment, leadership, passion, and contributions to the profession. This award is meant for those individuals who work tirelessly to make a difference in people’s lives, without being in the spotlight, without significant acknowledgment, but with steadfast grace and passion. This award is for an Unsung Hero.

Listed from Left to Right:

  • Rich Lindsay, City of Edmonds
  • Willie Rogers, Seattle Parks & Recreation

Distinguished Service Award – The Distinguished Service Award honors recently retired professionals for outstanding service in the field of parks and recreation. This year's recipients include:


Listed from Left to Right:

  • Doug Demory, City of Ellensburg Parks & Recreation Department 
  • Leroy Eadie, City of Spokane Parks & Recreation
  • Craig Feldman, Federal Way Parks & Recreation
  • Vito Iacobazzi, Metro Parks Tacoma
  • Terry Lee, Peninsula Metropolitan Park District
  • Patrice Thorell, City of Des Moines

Citation of Merit Awards  

The Citation of Merit Awards recognizes individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to the field of parks and recreation. The Citation of Merit Awards includes four award categories:

Citizen Award – Honors a lay person’s contributions to the field of parks and recreation

Jerry Smith 

City of Mountlake Terrace

Professional Award - Honors a parks and recreation professional’s contributions to the field of parks and recreation and WRPA.

Kevin Witte

City of Mountlake Terrace

President's Award - allows the current WRPA President to honor an individual or organization of their choosing.

Adrienne Caver-Hall

Seattle Parks & Recreation


Spotlight Awards

Spotlight Awards recognize outstanding achievements by parks and recreation agencies. Award categories include:

Facilities & Parks – Recognizes excellence in parks and recreation facility design and construction.

Indoor Spaces

Eastside Community Center

Metro Parks Tacoma



Outdoor Space Over $1,000,000


Listed from Left to Right:

  • Brookville Gardens ParkCity of Fife
  • Vancouver Waterfront ParkVancouver Parks & Recreation

Outdoor Space Under $1,000,000

Hansen Park

City of Kennewick



Trails Over $1,000,000

Washington Park Arboretum Loop Trail

Berger Partnership, on behalf of Seattle Parks & Recreation



Trails Under $1,000,000

Matt Hirvela/Bicentennial Trail

City of Mountlake Terrace




Marketing & Outreach – Honors efforts to connect and engage community members while encouraging participation in parks and recreation activities.

Innovative Outreach

Oly On Ice

Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation



Program Excellence
 – Honors achievement in the delivery of parks and recreation programs and services.

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

Youth Link, Unity Through Diversity: Moving Beyond the First Impression

City of Bellevue


Cultural Competency – Programs, initiatives or special events that reach across cultural boundaries to educate, include, welcome and serve all individuals. 

Rainbow Recreation 50+ Seniors Program

Seattle Parks & Recreation


Environmental Stewardship – Programs, initiatives or special events that enhance the physical environment, promote the conservation of natural resources or connect individuals with nature.

Ballinger Open Space Restoration – Carbon Credits,\ 

Shoreline Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services


Health & Wellness – Programs, initiatives or special events that promote healthy lifestyles and community wellness.

Empty Bowls

City of Burien


Innovative Programming – Programs, initiatives or special events that are unique and cutting edge.


Listed from Left to Right:

  • STREAM Team, City of Renton
  • Winter Wonderland, Metro Parks Tacoma

Mickey Corso Professional Leadership Grants

Mickey Corso Professional Leadership Grant 

As a tribute to Mickey and the professional leadership he provided in the field of parks and recreation, his family, friends, and co-workers have established the Mickey Corso Leadership Scholarship. 




Listed from Left to Right:

  • Megan Vining, Pullman Parks & Recreation 
  • Kimberly Shelton, Everett Parks & Community Services

Learn More About the Awards

Learn more about the WRPA Awards Program and be sure to say thanks to the colleagues on your team that have been doing an amazing job. Rembmer the 2020 WRPA Awards Nominations Form will open in October! 

Learn More
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