Parks and Recreation Department honored with four statewide awards

Honors recognize marketing, programs, maintenance

The Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department was recently honored with four Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS) Awards. The department was honored with Best Department Marketing, Arts & Humanities, Maintenance Employee of the Year and Lone Star Programming Awards. 

The Marketing Division was awarded the Best Department Marketing Award. This award recognizes overall annual marketing efforts, creativity or innovation in the development of websites that promote the value of public recreation and parks. Use of media outlets, either television, radio, or newspaper that provide exemplary coverage of park and recreation events, programs, facilities or issues is also evaluated. This award represents excellence for the marketing division as a whole, not an individual event. Round Rock Parks and Recreation Marketing Division uses various forms of communications technology to market public awareness in the community including multiple websites, online program registration, social media, television, print, radio media, special events and electronic newsletters.

The Baca Center for Senior and Community Activities was awarded the Arts & Humanities Award for its Texas with a Twist program. The Arts and Humanities Award honors those departments with outstanding projects or programs that promote the cultural arts. “Texas With a Twist, a Celebration of Independence,” was a full day of food, performance, song and dance centered around Texas, its history and culture. Participants savored culinary delights, engaged in acting, history, creative writing, culture, music, dance and theater all with a Texas twist. Though the Allen R. Baca Center for Senior and Community Activities is typically geared for the 50+ population, Texas With a Twist opened its doors for all to share in this celebration of Texas. Crowds exceeded expectations throughout the day and numbers for individual activities reached all-time highs.

Sean Bender, Journeyman Electrician was awarded the Maintenance Employee of the Year Award. Sean is the Parks and Recreation’s Journeyman Electrician who supports electrical needs for Parks maintenance, facilities, sport complexes and special events.  Sean identified the need for a temporary power source that is portable to accommodate various events needing electricity in areas where it isn’t easily accessible.  He took the initiative and fabricated electrical sub panels that can easily be transported for the use of temporary power needs. This solution has saved the department from having to rent additional panels when they use generators or connecting to in-ground services for events.

The Programming Division was awarded the Lone Star Programming Award for the Play for Fall Fundraising event. This award recognizes innovative recreation programming that an organization has offered for first time participation and looks at efficiency, creativity and adaptability. The Play for Fall Fundraising event was a Halloween themed night time event to raise funds and awareness for the Play for All Park Expansion. The program committee focused on keeping to the spirit of the design and creation of the Play for All Park, which is a park designed for all children of all ability levels to be able to play side by side, reducing barriers that may typically exist in a regular playground setting. This event was created to give the community an opportunity to assist in being a part of the fundraising efforts all while creating positive and memorable experiences for families.

Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) is a nonprofit educational and professional organization founded 77 years ago to advance the profession of parks, recreation, and leisure services in Texas. The Society serves as a clearinghouse of information and resources to help with a wide range of challenges facing park, recreation, and leisure service professionals. These include: programming, grant and aid applications, coordinating events, promoting projects, advocacy and legislative awareness, job postings, and professional development and training.

A state affiliate member of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), TRAPS also maintains professional affiliate relationships with several state universities, athletic and civic organizations, recreational entities, state agencies, and commercial vendors who provide services or programs related to parks, recreation, and leisure service management. More information at www.traps.org.

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