Danville Parks and Recreation recently received four awards during Virginia Parks and Recreation Society’s Annual Conference.
“As always, we are humbled to represent the community so well on such a large stage,” said Department Director Bill Sgrinia. “Our staff work tirelessly to address needs and provide quality services for our community and they are well deserving of these recognitions.”
The statewide awards program honors individuals, departments, and organizations throughout Virginia who have demonstrated excellence during the previous year. This year, departments across the Commonwealth submitted 114 applications in 14 different categories for work completed in 2017.
Best New Special Event, Market Monster Mash
Danville’s Halloween event, Market Monster Mash, drew over 6,000 people to the Community Market in its first year, far exceeding the expected 2,000. Grant funding, community partners, donations, and public support helped create a safe, fun environment for holiday activities including pumpkin carving, bounce houses, make-your-own slime, scarecrow stuffing, a pet-and-kid costume parade and trunk-or-treating.
Best New Program, Rec Mobile
Facing participation barriers such as transportation and income, Department staff created a way to take recreational programming to the communities in the form of Rec Mobile. For five days a week throughout the spring and summer of 2017, a van loaded with play, sports, and fitness equipment visited two sites daily. Over 1,350 students participated in non-elimination active games, health education activities, and self-paced crafts.
Best New Environmental Sustainability, Dan River Twins
The Dan River Twins was a collaborative effort by Danville Parks and Recreation, Danville Public Library, Danville Public Schools, Danville Regional Foundation, History United, and Dan River Basin Association. The program sought to change negative perceptions of the Dan River by telling its story through a fictional tale about two otter siblings competing in the otter frolics. The book highlights North American wildlife and teaches children the importance of environmental stewardship.
Best Health and Wellness Initiative, Thrive! Challenge
The Thrive! Challenge is a cooperative effort with the Health Collaborative designed to allow participating organizations to tailor programs. The challenge encouraged community members and organizations to create health and wellness opportunities in their daily lifestyles; while some worksites partnered with local gyms, others offered fitness classes and walking challenges to its employees.
“It is noteworthy to point out that these awards include four different service areas and a lot of effort from many members of the community,” Sgrinia said. “We believe our Department and our community is made up of a diverse group of individuals all working to make Danville a great place to live.
“None of these awards would be possible without the hard work and dedication of the community and our staff. While the plaques list Parks and Recreation as award recipients, these designations belong to the individuals of our city."