This 67th annual VRPS event was held in Harrisonburg, Va, where over 400 people from across the state gathered for the conference. Every year there is a formal presentation of awards honoring individuals, departments, and organizations throughout the state of Virginia. Awards are given to those who have demonstrated excellence during the previous year and are judged by a jury of peers.
VRPS presented James City County with awards in the population category of 50,001-100,000.
The first award is for the Most Innovative Marketing Strategy. James City County Parks and Recreation used Facebook to share online updates from a fictional character who was searching for ways to keep his mind and body active during the pandemic.
The online series presented a different program or park site each day. The fictional character, Mr. Laz E. Bones, and his dog Boo explored James City County and searched for ways to stay fit.
The online campaign received around 19,000 engagements. The character went to 13 parks and participated in fishing, kayaking, yoga, basketball, and other outdoor activities.
The second award was for Best New Environment Sustainability. The James River Association (JRA) has an initiative called “Paint Out Pollution” that engages the community about the importance of runoff pollution. The organization accomplished this through “storm drain art” painted on sidewalks and walkways.
The James City County Parks & Recreation, in partnership with JRA, painted “storm drain mascots” in three County parks.
Those seeking more information on James City County Parks & Recreation can follow them on Facebook.