Avondale Mayor Kenn Weise was named this year’s Public Official of the Year by the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association at its annual conference.
The recognition highlights Weise's exceptional leadership in advancing parks and recreation initiatives throughout the city and his commitment to enhancing the quality of life in Avondale. Awards were presented on Aug. 22, at the 73rd Annual APRA Annual Conference and Award Dinner, hosted in Glendale.
In addition to this honor, Avondale received three other awards from APRA, acknowledging the contributions and achievements of the city's parks and recreation department and its staff.
The city of Avondale's Blank Canvas Youth Art Program received the Outstanding Youth Enrichment Program award from the APRA. The summer art program has been instrumental in providing a creative outlet for young artists, fostering artistic talent and promoting self-expression among young residents.
Alamar Park, a jewel in Avondale's park system, was named Outstanding Facility at the APRA awards. This recognition acknowledges Alamar Park as a top-notch new recreational facility that offers a wide range of amenities and recreational opportunities for Avondale's residents and visitors.
Meanwhile, Corey Larriva, Avondale’s assistant director of parks and recreation, was the recipient of the APRA President's Award. This accolade is presented to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and leadership in the field of parks and recreation.
"These awards affirm the outstanding dedication and hard work of our parks and recreation department, and the commitment of City Council to ensuring a high quality of life for the residents of Avondale," Avondale City Manager Ron Corbin shared in a press release. "We are proud of the positive impact our parks and recreation have on the lives of our residents.”
The awards recognition comes on the heels of Avondale Parks & Recreation receiving accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies and the National Recreation and Park Association. CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies and is a measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management, and service to the community.
The city of Avondale is one of only 199 accredited park and recreation agencies in the U.S. to have successfully achieved national accreditation to receive this designation, and one of 11 in Arizona to have earned this national accreditation.
“I am extremely proud of the recognition Avondale’s Parks & Rec team received at this year’s APRA awards,” Bryan Hughes, parks and recreation director, stated. “It speaks to the quality of the staff and their commitment to providing the best parks and recreation programs to the Avondale community.”