2024 WRPA Awards Recipients

Congratulations, 2024 Award Recipients!

This spring, we want to honor the amazing people, parks, and programs that received an award at the awards ceremony during the 76th Annual WRPA Conference. 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 AwardsCitation of Merit Awards, and Spotlight Awards. In addition to these categories, WRPA also acknowledges Mickey Corso Leadership Grant recipients.


Professional Award Recipients 

Emerging Professional Award

The Emerging Professional Award (formerly known as Young Professional) 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. Read More>

Chuck Cuzzetto, Kitsap County Parks Department





Impact and Influence Award

As the highest recognition bestowed by WRPA to an individual, the Impact and Influence Award (formally known as Honor Fellow) recognizes an individual’s dedication and 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.


Michael ShiosakiBellevue Parks & Community Services





Levy Legislative Award

Honors exceptional services surrounding legislative initiatives for WA State and respective communities.

Jay Cochran, North Whidbey Pool, Park & Recreation



Lasting Legacy Award 

The Lasting Legacy Award (formally know as Distinguished Service) honors recently retired professionals for outstanding service in the field of parks and recreation. Read More>


Sarah Harris, Puyallup Parks & Recreation 





Terry Lande, Bainbridge Is Metro Park & Recreation






Mark Buening, Spokane Parks & Recreation





Kelly Lund, Vancouver Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services



Julie Hannon, Vancouver Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services





President's Award

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


   Roxanne Miles, Pierce County 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. Read More>


The Highland Community Center Team, Bellevue Parks Community Services




Citation of Merit Award Recipients

Citation of Merit Awards recognizes individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to the field of parks and recreation.

Professional Award

This awards honors a park and recreation professional whose contributions to the field of parks and recreation and WRPA. Read More>


Colin Walker, Bellevue Parks & Community Services




Community Award

This award recognizes individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to the field of park and recreation.Read More>


The Lake Wilderness Arboretum Foundation, City of Maple Valley




 Spotlight Awards in Program Excellence Recipients

Spotlight Awards recognize outstanding achievements by parks and recreation agencies.

Spotlight Awards Program Excellence: Equity, Health & Wellness

This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the delivery of parks and recreation programs and services that promote healthy lifestyles and community wellness.

 Summer Late Nights – Metro Parks Tacoma






 Rec n Roll – City of Auburn




Champions for Change

This award is presented to an agency with unique, innovative and exemplary practices of and or all of the following:

  • increasing access
  • fostering diversity and inclusion
  • addressing environmental impact
  • overall enhancement of social equity within their community or organization.

Read More> 

ParksLove Project, Lynwood Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Arts Department





Innovative Programming

This award recognizes an outstanding achievement in the delivery of parks and recreation programs and services that are unique and cutting edge. Successfully address a community need. 


Trick-or-Treat Trail, City of Cheney Parks & Recreation Department





Camp Long, Seattle Parks and Recreation




Other Program, Initiative, or Special Event 

This award recognizes programs, initiatives or special events that celebrate community character.

Berry Dairy Days – Lawnmower, City of Burlington Parks & Recreation  






Ice Lights, Pierce County Parks




Spotlight Awards in Facilities, Parks & Trails Recipients

Indoor Spaces

This award recognizes outstanding achievement in indoor facilities (defined as having a roof and walls) that have a recreational use component.


Sprinker Recreation Center – Hockey Team Room Project, Pierce County Parks





Postmark Center for the Arts, City of Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation





Mercer Island Bike Skills Area, City of Mercer Island



Outdoor Spaces

This award recognizes outstanding achievement in outdoor areas that have a recreational use component.


Springbrook Park, City of Lakewood Parks and Recreation





Hazel Miller Universally Accessible Playground, City of Mountlake Terrace





Van Doren’s Landing Park, City of Kent Parks, Recreation & Community Services





CHAMPS at Marshall Park, Vancouver Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services




Mickey Corso Leadership Grant

The Mickey Corso Professional Leadership Grant was created as a tribute to Mickey Corso (1942–1990) and to his inspiring leadership skills in the recreation and park field. Each year, this grant is awarded to deserving professionals who are looking to further their education and leadership skills.


Angie Encerrado Rance City of Shoreline





Katie Kosanke, City of Spokane





Learn More About the Awards

Learn more about the WRPA Awards Program and be sure to submit nominations for future awards. It is important to celebrate your amazing work and the work of your team and colleagues. 

Learn More

Past Award Winners:

A Special Message of Inclusion from WRPA

In early 2021, a joint retreat was held between members of the Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EIB) Committee and the WRPA Board of DirectorsThe purpose of the retreat was to discuss the culture of our association, while also identifying a work plan designed to improve equity and inclusion at all levels of the association. Our ultimate goal is to create an association where EVERY member feels welcome and enjoys a strong sense of belonging.

We are excited to announce—thanks to the leaders of the Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee—we have begun a phased approach to updating our award categories and the associated criteria. In hopes of creating a more inclusive awards program, we are taking the initial steps of modernization of some of the category names as well as updating evaluation criteria. While this is an important first step in terms of addressing the existing language and award categories, we know there is additional work to be done in the future.

Through our annual awards program, WRPA looks to honor career-long and emerging leaders alike. As 2021 draws to a close and we reflect on the many accomplishments of our industry, we would encourage each of you to review the revised criteria below and then submit nominations for the incredible co-workers, supervisors, and staff we are all surrounded by. 

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