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June 16, 2009

Charlotte, NC--  Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department has become the first agency in America to win the Barb King Environmental Stewardship Award presented by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).  The award recognizes outstanding efforts for environmental protection and energy-conservation.

The entry for this award was prepared by Park and Recreation’s Nature Preserves and Natural Resources Division.  The entry included information about many programs, such as Mecklenburg County’s “Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy,” the County’s Environmental Policy Action Plan, plus efforts to preserve open space, protect critical wildlife habitat, and offer thousands of nature-based programs at nature preserves, nature centers, parks, and greenways.

Two special initiatives which may have figured prominently in this award are:

  • Park and Recreation’s process for “GreenPrinting” -- strategically identifying sensitive natural areas for potential acquisition and protection using a point scale and the County’s GIS information system. This process was used to identify land for acquisition under Park and Recreation’s recently-completed Ten Year Master Plan.
  • Developing one of the best Natural Resources sections in the southeast. Natural Resources staff actively monitor and manage sensitive natural areas, rare and endangered species, Natural Heritage Sites, and nature preserves. They work to ensure that future generations of residents and visitors will be able to enjoy them.

Mecklenburg Park and Recreation was notified this week that it has won this prestigious national award.  The department will accept the award at NRPA’s national conference in October.

For more information about this award, please contact Park and Recreation’s Division Director of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources, Michael Kirschman:  704 336-8798 or



Office Location:

Park and Recreation 5841 Brookshire Blvd Charlotte, NC 28216

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.


Patsy Houston