Over 400 delegates, exhibitors, speakers, and volunteers from around the state gathered in early November in Virginia Beach, Virginia for the 68th Annual Conference of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society. The conference is a learning exchange and provides an opportunity for parks and recreation professionals to discuss areas of common interest, emerging trends, and professional development strategies.
Highlighting each year’s conference is a formal presentation of awards. This state-wide program honors individuals, departments, and organizations throughout Virginia who have demonstrated excellence in several areas during the previous year. More than 60 nominations were submitted vying for awards in 15 categories. Judged by a jury of its peers, Hanover County Parks and Recreation was recognized with the following awards:
Best New Renovation/Addition (Bricks and Mortar): Hanover County Museum of History and Culture
The Hanover County Museum of History and Culture was established when the Historic Clerk’s Office was converted from office space to a public museum. The Museum highlights notable periods, events, and figures that played pivotal roles in County history. The Museum was one of only six locations in Virginia to host a Smithsonian Institutes Travelling Exhibit Services exhibition.
Best New Renovation/Addition (Parks, Playgrounds, Blueways, Greenways, or Trails): Matthew and Daniel Barton Memorial Hockey Rink
The Matthew and Daniel Barton Memorial Hockey Rink has served Hanover County residents for more than 20 years. In desperate need of renovation, Hanover Parks and Recreation partnered with the Barton Family, Doswell Energy, and the Washington Capitals to completely renovate the rink. Much of the site work and initial construction was completed in-house by department staff. Through generous donations from the Washington Capitals and Doswell Energy, combined with community contributions, the renovation was completed without the use of any taxpayer funding.
Distinguished Service Award: Dan Smith, Deputy Director
The Distinguished Service Award is one of the Society’s most prestigious honors. Dan Smith, Deputy Director, has held a variety of roles within VRPS including past president, board member, education committee chair, founding member of the Parks Operations Resource Group, and others. Dan guided the Society through its most difficult period at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Dan began his career in the parks and recreation field in 1988 and has held a variety of roles within several localities across the state.
Hanover County Parks and Recreation thanks the community for its continued support of the department.
Hanover County Parks and Recreation strives to improve overall health and well-being throughout the community while fostering social engagement and igniting community pride. The Department offers hundreds of classes and activities each year and oversees more than 1,200 acres of parklands across the County.
For more information about department programs or facilities, please visit www.hanoveverparksrec.com, call 365-7150 or email [email protected].