Awards & Recognition

Congratulations to the 2019 WPRA Award Winners! 

Please note the deadline for submitting WPRA award nominations is November 1st, 2020.

For the Partnership Award, Fellowship Award and the Elected Official Award, please submit information pertaining to why the individual/organization/etc. should be considered for the award, there is no nomination form. Submit your nomination(s) to [email protected]. Once a nomination is submitted, a request will be made for additional information needed. 

* Please note: For the Elected Official Award, Partnership Award and Fellowship Award, the person submitting the nomination must turn in support material on their nominee.

The Association Awards are:
Professional Award of Merit
George Wilson Service Award
Partnership Award
Fellowship Award
Elected Official Award
Young Professional of the Year Award

Other WPRA Association recognitions are:
Lifetime Achievement Award
Service Recognition Award

WPRA Section Awards:
Aquatic Section
Park Section
Recreation Section

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Professional Award of Merit

This is the highest professional award given by WPRA to an active Association member. The nominee MUST hold current professional certification by the National Recreation and Park Association as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP). Nominees are judged on specific accomplishments and service performed for the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association and the leisure services profession. Recipients of the Professional Award of Merit are not eligible for the George Wilson Service Award.

Guidelines in choosing The Professional Award of Merit:

  • Group #1:
    WPRA Board Member
    • WPRA Committee Chairperson, National and Regional Officer, WPRA Section Board Member
  • Group #2:
    WPRA Committee Member
    • Special Events and Activities Contributor of Articles to Professional Magazines
  • Group #3:
    • Professional Accomplishments and Job Performance

Click Here to See Past Recipients
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George Wilson Service Award

This award is presented to current or retired Association members who have distinguished themselves through persistent accomplishment and continuous service to the State Association. The nominee MUST hold current professional certification by the National Recreation and Park Association as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) or held this certification immediately preceding their retirement.

Nominees must have at least ten (10) years of continuous active membership and service to the Association, and hold State and/or National Certification in the field to qualify for this award. Recipients of the Professional Award of Merit are not eligible for the George Wilson Service Award.

Guidelines for selecting The George Wilson Service Award: The person being nominated must have continuous service in WPRA for five (5) of the eight (8) categories, or in a single, long-term responsibility to qualify as a candidate for this award.

  • WPRA Officer (elected to Board or Section)
  • WPRA Committee Chairperson
  • WPRA Appointed Officer
  • WPRA Student Advisor
  • WPRA Committee Member
  • WPRA Special Events & Activities
  • Contributor to IMPACT, PRWeekly, other WPRA writings
  • Other Professional Contributions and Accomplishments which highlight WPRA service, or identify the nominee as a WPRA member

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Partnership Award

This is the highest honor bestowed on an agency or organization by the State Association in recognition of their outstanding contribution to Parks and Recreation in Wisconsin. The project/achievement should demonstrate cooperative efforts with other organizations in meeting their intended goals. The impact of their contribution should be of major significance to the local community or go beyond the local community.

When submitting a nomination, please include any supporting materials for the nomination.

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Fellowship Awards

This award is given to recognize persons (non- WPRA members) who have made outstanding achievements or contributions to the parks and recreation movement. The impact of their contribution should be of major significance to the local community or go beyond the local community.

When submitting a nomination, please include any supporting materials for the nomination.

Click Here to See Past Recipients
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Elected Official Award

Once again, we are being given an opportunity to present a token of our appreciation to an “Elected Official.”

These “officials” have constructive comments; they listen to our problems and concerns and try to help. They go to bat for our budgets and programs. They are our partners in the development of community projects. They work with us and make our life a little easier.

We are not looking for officials that have merely sponsored big projects. This award is to thank and recognize all of those officials who are partners in providing the Parks and Recreation programs to the members of our communities.

When submitting a nomination a nomination, please include the nominee’s position, background, issues addressed or projects pursued, and the impact made on the community.

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Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is presented to retirees who have been a member of WPRA for a minimum of 10 years immediately prior to their retirement. Please inform us as soon as you make that big decision so that we can give proper recognition for your years of dedicated service to your job, profession and Association.

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Service Recognition Award

These awards are presented to WPRA members at 10 and 25 years of service in the profession. Award recipients will be listed in the PRMonthly. If you have any questions, call the WPRA Office. To receive the 10 year Service Award, an individual must have been a member for a minimum of 5 consecutive years prior to being eligible, and to receive the 25 year Service Award, an individual must have been a member for a minimum of 10 consecutive years prior to being eligible. These award categories are not retroactive.

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Young Professional of the Year

Young Professional of the Year: One single award will be presented to a WPRA member who is currently working as either a full-time or permanent part-time professional in the field, with ten or less years of service. (May be in Aquatic, Park or Recreation Section.)
2020 Young Professional of the Year Online Nomination Form
2020 Young Professional of the Year Hard Copy Form

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Aquatic Section Awards

  • Outstanding Aquatic Professional of the Year: 

    The Outstanding Aquatic Professional of the year will be presented to a WPRA Aquatic Section member who is currently working as either a full-time or permanent part-time professional in the field, with more than seven years of service.
    2020 Outstanding Aquatic Professional of the Year Award Entry Information & Application

  • Outstanding Facility Design/Renovation: The Outstanding Aquatic Facility Design/Renovation Award will be presented to a current WPRA member agency or an individual WPRA member registered with the Aquatic Section. Commercial members are encouraged to submit an entry for a project they helped design. Awards will be given to the agencies listed on the official entry form when submitted. Award winners will be presented their award at the 2020 annual Aquatic Section meeting held during the 2020 WPRA Annual Conference.
    2020 Outstanding Aquatic Facility Design/Renovation Entry Information & Application

  • Aquatics & Recreation Silver Star Awards: The WPRA Silver Star Award is recognition given to outstanding programs, events, or marketing efforts in the areas of recreation or aquatics. WPRA members are encouraged to nominate programs & marketing efforts in order to be recognized for the incredible work being done and also to inspire other departments. Category winners will present at the annual WPRA conference during the Silver Star Session and all top 3 finishers in each category will be included in the conference session handout.
    Nominations for the Silver Star Awards are closed.
    • Silver Star Awards:
      • Youth Programming
      • Adult/Older Adult Programming
      • Creative Service Delivery/Marketing
      • Special Events
Click Here to See Past Recipients
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Park Section Awards

  • Outstanding Professional of the Year: The Parks Section Outstanding Professional of the Year will be presented to a WPRA Park Section member who is currently working as either a full-time or permanent part-time professional in the field, with more than ten years of service.
    2020 Outstanding Professional of the Year Award Entry Information & Application

  • Park Design 
    • Under $250,000
    • $250,000 - $499,999
    • $500,000 - $999,999
    • Over $1,000,000
Park Design Award entries are based on the following: 
    • Innovation - provides a new approach to problem solving, exhibits new technology.
    • Functionalism - responds to users needs, accessibility for all populations.
    • Aesthetics - proper scale is achieved for site, relationship to surroundings, considers the overall site development.
    • Community Benefits - responds to identified needs of public, public input on project, improves image of community. 
    • Environmental Stewardship - use of recycled materials, mechanics which are environmentally compatible (solar, low volume flush, high pressure sodium bulbs) use of native plant materials.
    • Maintenance - considers ease of maintaining, durability of materials, minimize need for special equipment or special tasks, safety of maintaining site.

Click here for more Park Award information
Click Here to See Past Recipients
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 Recreation Section Awards - Silver Star

  • Recreation Section Professional of the Year: The WPRA Recreation Section Professional of the Year award is presented to a WPRA Recreation Section member who is currently working as either a full-time or permanent part-time professional in the field, with more than seven years of service.
    2020 Recreation Section Professional of the Year Entry Form

  • Aquatics & Recreation Silver Star Awards: The WPRA Silver Star Award is recognition given to outstanding programs, events, or marketing efforts in the areas of recreation or aquatics. WPRA members are encouraged to nominate programs & marketing efforts in order to be recognized for the incredible work being done and also to inspire other departments. Category winners will present at the annual WPRA conference during the Silver Star Session and all top 3 finishers in each category will be included in the conference session handout.
    Nominations for the Silver Star Awards are closed.
    • Silver Star Awards:
      • Youth Programming
      • Adult/Older Adult Programming
      • Creative Service Delivery/Marketing
      • Special Events
  • Creative COVID Programming Award: With the pandemic, all professionals were forced to think out of the box to keep their communities active and engaged. This award honors a community that was able to execute the most creative, unique program to keep their community involved during these hard times.
    Creative COVID Program Award Form

Click Here to See Past Recipients
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