The purpose of the New Jersey Recreation and Park Associations Awards Program is to honor and identify dedicated leaders, employees, and volunteers in the field of Parks and Recreation, and to recognize the State’s outstanding Recreation and Park agencies for excellence in programming, publicity and facility design. The goal of the Awards Program is to focus state-wide attention on the achievement of Park and Recreation agencies, to recognize the continuing efforts of staff and volunteers, and to acknowledge support extended by member agencies.
The NJRPA Awards Committee’s task is to serve as an impartial unit selecting those nominees who have made the greatest contribution in each award category. Highlighted at the Awards Dinner at the NJRPA Annual Conference, recognition with an NJRPA award is considered the pinnacle of agency and career success.
Excellence in Design Awards
Presented for excellence in design of completed Recreation and Park facilities intended for public use in the following categories:1. Multi Use Facility (Community Recreation Centers, Senior Centers, Walking Paths, etc.)
FAY S. MATHEWSON AWARD
To acknowledge and provide recognition to a “Friend of Recreation, Parks and Conservation.” Nominee must be an individual, school system, financial institution, commercial company, corporation, club, organization or other group which has established a record of rendering outstanding service supportive of recreation, parks or conservation at a local, county, state or national level.
PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
Nominee must be an individual elected or appointed to public office at any level of government, serving at the time of nomination and have provided dedicated service for at least three years on behalf of area residents in the interest of parks, recreation, conservation or leisure services.
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Nominee must have rendered dedicated and devoted service in the area of recreation leadership, recreation therapy, parks maintenance, conservation management or clerical competence and be employed on the level at or below supervisor with an NJRPA Member agency.
WILLIAM D. FOELSCH RISING PROFESSIONAL AWARD
Nominee must have served a minimum of two years and not more than five years as a full time employee in service delivery in the field of recreation, parks, conservation, therapeutic recreation, or an allied field and be a member in good standing of NJRPA. It is recommended that the Nominee have achieved state or national professional certification or licensing.
ASSOCIATION SERVICE AWARD
Nominee must be a member in good standing of NJRPA and have made an outstanding contribution or rendered dedicated and devoted service to the work of the Association for at least three years.
PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Nominee must be a member in good standing of NJRPA, have achieved state or national professional certification or licensing, or have achieved a post-graduate degree, have at least five years continuous experience in service delivery in the field of recreation, parks, conservation, therapeutic recreation, or an allied field and meet at least two of the following three criteria:
1. Made a significant contribution to one’s department in respect to improving the delivery of services; the development of unique programs or activities, or other documented contribution to the general public.
2. Demonstrated professional growth through continuing educational pursuits on a formal or informal basis via undergraduate, or post-graduate studies; or through workshops, seminars, symposiums, and voluntary in-service training in the field of recreation and leisure.
3. Participated on at least one committee for a minimum of two years within NJRPA or the National Recreation & Park Association.
FREDERICK C. SUTRO LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Nominee must be a retired professional or layperson for a minimum of 5 years, who during retirement has made outstanding contributions or rendered dedicated and devoted service to public recreation, parks, conservation, or leisure services, and/or has contributed distinctive service to NJRPA and/or the NRPA.
MICHAEL B. BERMAN AWARD FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXCELLENCE AWARD
Nominee must be a member in good standing of NJRPA, have made a significant contribution to one’s department on an administrative level, have achieved state or national professional certification or licensing, or have achieved a post-graduate degree, have at least ten years’ experience in the field of parks, recreation or conservation at the primary or secondary level and meet at least three of the following five criteria:
1. Served as an officer or member of the Board of Trustees of NJRPA.
2. Served as chairperson of a state or national committee.
3. Involved in committee work over a period of three or more years in NJRPA or the National Recreation & Park Association.
4. Conducted research that has helped to promote the profession.
5. Contributed articles for newspapers, magazines, and newsletters in the interest of parks, recreation, and conservation.
Excellence in Programming Awards
SPECIAL EVENT PROGRAMMING AWARD
Awarded for an event offered by a supporting agency that involves a one-time event.
VISUAL AND CULTURAL ARTS PROGRAMMING AWARD
Awarded for a program offered by a supporting agency that involves programming in the area of visual and/or cultural arts. This can be a one time or ongoing program.
JACQUIE STANLEY EXCELLENCE IN THERAPEUTIC PROGRAMMING AWARD
Jacquie Stanley was the driving force in the promotion of services for individuals with disabilities. She was instrumental in the development of the NJ Barrier Free Subcode, which was in existence prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act. She was the Director of the Office of Recreation in the NJ Department of Consumer Affairs; was the first female President of NJRPA in 1980-1981; and founded and became the first Executive Secretary of the NJ Commission on Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities. The Jacquie Stanley award is presented for excellence in therapeutic programming.
EDUCATIONAL AND INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMMING AWARD
Awarded for a program offered by a supporting agency that involves programming that is either educational in nature or involved interpretive components. This can be a one time or ongoing program
HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROGRAMMING AWARD
Awarded for a program offered by a supporting agency that involves programming which enhances the health and wellness of the constituency for which it is offered. This can be a one time or ongoing program
DANIEL M. GASALBERTI RECREATION PROGRAMMING AWARD
Daniel Gasalberti is remembered as dedicated, creative, and passionate, especially about recreation programming, and was beloved by the citizens for the programs and events that he implemented. He was the Director of Recreation and Parks in Rutherford and President of NJRPA in 1982-1983. Dan also served on various National Recreation and Park Association committees, including the Annual Legislative Forum. The Daniel M. Gasalberti award is presented for excellence in recreation programming. The Gasalberti Award is for any reoccurring programs - weekly, monthly, etc.
GREGORY A. MARSHALL PARKS AND HISTORIC RESOURCES AWARD
This award recognizes a park and recreation agency that has made an outstanding effort or innovation during the last one to three years to sustain and improve the build or national environment and/or reduce the environmental impact made by the agency in the management of parks, natural resources and historic sites. Nominees' efforts may include but are not limited to the following categories:
-Community and or environmental education program/projects such as water/energy conservation, resource interpretation, climate change science, habitat conservation, etc.
-Implementation of sustainable operations, including resource reductions, changing to more environmentally friendly products, use of alternative energy sources, etc.
-Environmental improvements or enhancements at natural and build park facilities and historic sites, including conservation, restoration, materials re-use, or use of greener materials, etc.
-Mobilization of grassroots efforts or community partnerships to address park accessibility, resource interpretation, environmental, natural resource, or historic preservation issues and improvements of park facilities
-Creating and providing environmental and historic stewardship opportunities, including habitat restoration, historic site restoration or natural resources conservation, etc.
Agency Showcase Awards
The Agency Showcase Awards recognize outstanding marketing campaigns and promotional materials which encourage participation in recreation activities or promote health and wellness programs.
FLYER OR POSTER
Awarded for a flyer or poster used by a supporting agency for a supporting agency or a program, activity or event offered by the supporting agency.
BROCHURE OR NEWSLETTER
Awarded for a brochure or newsletter used by a supporting agency for a supporting agency or a program, activity or event offered by the supporting agency.
WEBSITE OR WEB FEATURE/APPLICATION
Awarded for a website update by a supporting agency or a web feature that is used by a supporting agency that offers an innovative tool for the supporting agency.
SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN
Awarded for an ongoing feature offered by the supporting agency on any social media platform, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Awarded for a video use as a promotional piece for a supporting agency or a program, activity or event offered by the supporting agency.
The NJRPA Awards Committee is now accepting applications for the 2022 Awards Ceremony. All applications will be accepted online this year via Google Drive at
Excellence in Design Awards
If your agency has completed construction on a recreational facility in the past three years, please consider submitting it for an Excellence in Design Award. Link for Design Awards: https://forms.gle/eKsT3aJDVFSWB5HVA
The deadline for submission is October 1, 2021.
Publicity, Program and Individual Awards
Applications for the Publicity, Program and Individual Awards are now being accepted. Link for Publicity and Program Award: https://forms.gle/ejfjRA8q7fRtak3E7
Link for Individual Awards: https://forms.gle/3PUChXfwDwuVDmkq5
The deadline for submission is December 28, 2021.