January 24, 2006
MECKLENBURG COUNTY PARKS DIRECTOR AWARDED BY CHARLOTTE-AREA ARCHITECTS
Charlotte, NC - The director of the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, R. Wayne Weston, has been awarded the prestigious 2006 Laurel Award. The Laurel Award is presented annually by the Charlotte Section of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
The award recognizes Weston for many contributions to the "built environment" since he became the department’s director in 1985.
• Managed the merger of the City and County Park and Recreation Departments in 1992.
• Assembled eight successful bond referendums for land acquisition, development of greenways, recreation centers and park facilities. These referendums totaled more than $209,000,000.
• Supervised the planning and construction of 21 miles of greenways built since 1985, including 3.6 miles so far of the signature project, Little Sugar Creek Greenway. The greenway master plan now calls for 185 miles.
• Directed renovation of 84 older parks.
• Oversaw the design and construction of a wide variety of innovative public recreation facilities including the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center, Ray’s Splash Planet, Grayson Skate State, Johnson C. Smith University Track, Freedom Park Pavilion, plus several recreation centers and public parks of all sizes with amenities including athletic fields, playgrounds, pavilions, walking trails, picnic shelters, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, gazebos, and natural areas.
The AIA presents this award annually to a non-architect. It was presented January 18 by the president of the Charlotte Section of AIA, Rebecca R. Fant. She says, "Wayne has improved and changed the concept of leisure and recreational opportunities for area residents, through his passion for the good of the whole community, respect for the natural environment, the quality of the constructed elements integrated into our landscape, public/private partnerships to deliver amenities, and regional collaboration with other park and recreation entities in our region. And we must applaud his leadership in acquiring land for open space to protect our water supply and to provide for future park and recreation facilities."