June 15, 2009
Charlotte, NC-- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department has won seven 2009 Achievement Awards presented by the National Association of Counties (NACo). The NACo awards are presented for innovative programs that can serve as examples to counties all over America. These seven NACo Achievement Awards are among 12 won by Mecklenburg County this year.
The awards will be formally presented at the NACo national convention, July 24-28, in Nashville, TN. The awards for Park and Recreation, announced this week in Washington, will be presented for:
- Accessible Mountain Bike Trail, entry by Stephanie Frisbee and Joyce Figueroa: Building and opening a mountain bike trail at Jetton Park, accessible to people with disabilities using hand-powered cycles, as well as to traditional mountain bike users.
- Go Get Them and They Will Come, entry by James Alsop: A special variety of sports programs targeted to at-risk youth to help steer them away from gang activity.
- MeckTeen Chefs, entry by Tari Grinnell: A program to teach at-risk youth about being a chef, through a program that features cooking, meal planning, kitchen safety, and sanitation.
- Natural Enhancements Service/Learning Partnership, entry by Staci Clark: A partnership with Central Piedmont Community College for students in marketing, design, landscaping, welding, and horticulture to use their skills to enhance nature preserves.
- Physical Education Teacher In- Service: Outdoor Recreation Alternatives: entry by Christopher Horrigan and Deb Kaclik: A partnership with CMS to introduce physical education teachers to nontraditional ways of teaching various subjects with hands-on activities in Park and Recreation facilities.
- SEALS, entry by Angela Conti: An after-school program for elementary age children with visual impairments or who are blind. The acronym SEALS summarizes the program's goals: Socialization, Empowerment, and Life Skills
- Solar GEM, entry by Gary Marshall: Adaptation of a commercially produced electric vehicle to charge its batteries using solar power, to create a Park and Recreation maintenance vehicle that is pollution free, using no fossil fuels, and which runs essentially for free!