Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams today announced the winners of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2011 Denny Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Stewardship today. The winners are a cross-section of Seattle’s most tenacious, creative and hard-working volunteers who donate precious time and energy to improving Seattle’s parks and programs.
“It is always difficult for us to choose winners,” said Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams. “All of our volunteers make valuable contributions for which we are deeply grateful. Our intention is to single out those who whose work builds community, inspires others, and improves lives.”
Each year, more than 40,000 volunteers donate about 350,000 hours to Seattle Parks and Recreation. Their service is valued at between $8 and $10 million annually. Winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony on November 29, 2011.
Making a Difference Award
Nancy Chang, Skate Like a Girl
A sport traditionally dominated by boys, skateboarding can feel out of reach for young girls. Skate Like a Girl has not only opened new opportunities for young girls to learn this dynamic sport, but has also crossed the gender line reaching out to all young skaters. Under Nancy’s leadership, this organization applied for and received grant funding that employs youth skaters ages 12 to 23 who give free lessons to young children on skateboarding. They have also created special programming for new skate park openings, and been an important liaison between skaters and Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Conservation and Stewardship Award
Darrell Howe and Darcy Thompson, Frink and Upper Leschi Parks
For nearly 15 years, Darrell and Darcy have been restoring and maintaining Frink and Upper Leschi Parks in southeast Seattle. Together they have donated thousands of hours on their own, and helped organize more than 20,000 volunteer hours from others. They have applied for and received more than $175,000 in grants to care for the 22-plus acre parks. Their work has successfully restored about half the acreage of the two parks by removing invasive species and replanting with native ones. They have also helped restore and protect Frink Creek and the half dozen wetlands and seeps that dot the park.
Best New Resource Award
Nobuko Matsumori Anderson, Japanese Garden Advisory Council
Nobuko joined the Advisory Council a few short years ago, but has already had a major impact. She created a new event to raise funds to support programs in the garden, called the Garden Party. In the 2010 – the first year of the event, the Garden Party attracted 150 people and raised $10,000. In 2011, 240 people attended and the event raised $14,000. Each year, she donates more than 600 hours of her time to produce the event. All the proceeds from the event support programming at the Japanese Garden.
Community Stewardship Award
Vision Greenwood, Greenwood Park
Vision Greenwood came together in 2008 with the idea to develop and expand Greenwood Park. Since that time, they have energetically pursued a vision of Greenwood Park that serves more of the community. In addition to putting in more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service, they have applied for and received more than $180,000 in grants; and have raised $18,000 through community fundraising and events. With the monies raised so far, they have designed and constructed a 40-plot P-Patch, and installed an art wall featuring sculptures along the street in a creative move that links the historical Interurban trolley line with the current bike route.
Terry Holme, Board of Park Commissioners
For nearly a decade Terry has served as a volunteer commissioner on the Park Board. During that time, he has attended 175 public meetings, including 80 public hearings, listened to hundreds of citizens testify and received thousands of emails and letters. Concurrent with his Park Board work, he also served for eight years on the Parks Levy Oversight Committee and for two years as the Board’s representative to the Seattle Parks Foundation. He has been a regular attendee at new park and facility grand openings and dedications, and spends many hours in his off time visiting Seattle’s parks. In the past 10 years, he has donated more than 5,000 hours to Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Corporate Partner Award
PCC Natural Markets, Big Day of Play
As the signature sponsor of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Big Day of Play for the past two years, PCC Natural Markets has donated $30,000 to helping reduce obesity in children and adults. Their sponsorship has helped Seattle Parks reach more families with the message of making healthy food choices. Their support has extended well beyond Big Day of Play as they have brought their PCC Kid Picks Mobile to Parks-sponsored events where children are invited to participate in lively taste tests with free samples of natural, organic foods. Kids get to experience first-hand that healthy foods can taste good too. In addition, PCC conducts hands-on family nutrition education workshops for Summer Day Camp programs at community centers throughout the city.
The Denny Awards are named after David T. and Louisa Denny, who donated land for the first Seattle park in 1884 (Denny Park), where Parks’ headquarters are located.
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