JAMES CITY COUNTY — James City County Parks & Recreation earned six top honors from the Virginia Recreation & Park Society during its 68th Annual Conference held in November in Virginia Beach.
Over 400 delegates gathered to exchange ideas at the conference and attend the formal presentation of peer-judged awards honoring individuals, departments and organizations around the state that have demonstrated excellence throughout the year.
James City County Parks & Recreation received the following awards in the 50,001-100,000 population category (descriptions via James City County Parks & Recreation):
- Best New Environmental Sustainability: Chickahominy Riverfront Park Shoreline Restoration
The County undertook a shoreline restoration project that would protect natural resources, create new habitat and improve the water quality in the Chickahominy River. The project was recognized for its innovative nature, especially the efficient use of resources. The project’s success was underlined by retaining over 20 Bald Cypress trees to stabilize shoreline, reuse of trees to form foundation for newly created marshes and coordination of a volunteer team to support the project. Many of the soils removed from the banks of the Chickahominy were then re-used to restore shorelines at the James City County Marina.
- Best New Program: Park Scavenger Hunts
Winter creates unique challenges for outdoor programming with colder temperatures, limited daylight, and in 2021, an ongoing pandemic. Parks staff created a new series, “Park Scavenger Hunts,” which was successful in engaging patrons of all ages in outdoor fun and educational opportunities to learn more about County parks. Over 1,000 people participated over the course of the three hunts.
- Most Creative Marketing Piece: REC TV
With the popularity of social media and customers looking for timely, quicker reads, marketing staff developed an innovative way to provide information to our recreation center patrons. Using 55-inch TV screens as promotional tools, REC TV carried the message of information on department parks, programs and services. The information was created as a PowerPoint presentation with looped play throughout each day, offering Center patrons an “at a glance” update on all Department offerings.
- Most Creative Marketing Strategy: REC Connect 35th Anniversary Logo
Celebrating 35 years, REC Connect has provided safe, fun programs for youth which include community service, recreational games and learning opportunities. The program now serves over 800 participants annually at eight elementary school sites offering before & after-school care and summer camp programs. To honor, promote and commemorate its service provided to the community, REC Connect created a unique 35th Anniversary Logo to further enhance the established REC Connect brand.
- Snapshot Moment: “Marshmello Visits” Boo Bash at the Beach
Boo Bash at the Beach is a unique event that provides families with a day at the beach with a Halloween twist! The County prides itself on providing numerous family-friendly programs and events and this photo illustrates the beauty of Jamestown Beach Event Park, onsite event activities, and every child’s favorite thing to do around the Halloween season – dress up!
- Fellows Award: Arlana Fauntleroy, Parks & Recreation Assistant Director
This premiere award, awarded to one recipient annually, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated consistent and outstanding commitment to the profession and to serving the community.
For over 30 years, Arlana Fauntleroy has been a leader and ambassador in the field of Parks & Recreation, both in James City County and statewide. She has led her team and the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS) as the 2021 Board President through economic downturns, staffing shortages, reorganization and a global pandemic, modeling leadership through continuous learning and serving as a mentor to all. Arlana’s involvement in her community and passion for the profession continue far beyond her position with the County. She has served on various committees, boards and leadership forums including the Virginia Recreation and Park Society, Greater Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce, the LEAD Greater Williamsburg, Professional Education and Certification Board, the County’s Emerging Leaders Academy and Leadership and Planning Ministry at her church.
For more information on the Virginia Recreation and Park Society, contact the state office at 804-730-9447 or visit the website at vrps.com