This year, the Great Lakes Park Training Institute recognized individuals, programs, and facilities that have made a significant impact on the parks and recreation field in the Great Lakes region. The Institute's annual awards dinner gave award recipients an opportunity to speak about their work with their peers from around the Great Lakes. The 2013 award recipients are listed below.
Garrett G. Eppley Scholarship
This award is named in honor of Dr. Garrett Eppley, a pioneer in parks and recreation education. He served in various roles with the National Park Service, was a faculty member at Indiana University, and is the namesake of the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands. The scholarship is awarded to current park professionals to encourage continuing education. In addition to receiving a certificate, scholarship winners also receive free registration, lodging, and meals at the Institute.
The 2013 scholarship winners are:
Dan Hebreard, Senior Ranger, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (Illinois)
Brooke Artley, Leisure Services Manager, St. Joseph County Parks (Indiana)
Great Lakes Park, Facility, and Recreation Program Award
This award, in part, is in honor of Daniel L. Flaherty. In the 1930s and early 1940s, Flaherty worked in the Chicago Park District. During WWII he was the director of Chicago's servicemen's center. After the war he returned to the Chicago Park District, eventually becoming general superintendent. During his term, the Children's Zoo in Lincoln Park was constructed. He had a commitment to in-service training for the parks field. In 1948 he became chairman of the Great Lakes Park Training Institute. To honor his work, this award is presented to recognize facilities and programs completed within the last five years that represent the cutting edge of the leisure movement throughout the United States. The facilities and programs selected demonstrate innovative, cost-effective design, utilize community input and resources, and make a significant impact on their community and agency. This year, we are proud to honor two exemplary facilities.
The 2013 award winners are:
Marshbank Park, West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission (Michigan)
The goals for this park were many and expansive, and include preserving sensitive natural areas and protecting adjacent Cass Lake and its watershed. Design elements and materials were selected to reflect local materials, site context, durability, and aesthetic qualities. The park features 100% barrier-free accessibility. Other innovative details include:
- Geothermal process that is used to heat the Marshbank Lodge.
- Park benches, piers, and boardwalks that are constructed with recycled materials, including milk jugs!
- Naturalized storm-water treatment that filters sediment from runoff and encourages infiltration and evaporation.
African Elephant Crossing, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (Ohio)
The Zoo envisioned a world-class habitat and conservation center for African elephants. African Elephant Crossing (AEC) was designed to (1) increase the amount and complexity of space for elephants; (2) accommodate a larger and socially complete elephant herd; (3) measure educational outcomes that demonstrate attitude and behavior change; and (4) increase attendance and membership. AEC encourages understanding of the elephant habitat, their plight in the wild, and the need for local action that contributes to the sustainability of zoo elephants and conservation of African elephants in the wild. Some notable innovations include:
- More than 90% of the construction waste was recycled and diverted from a landfill.
- A third of the materials used to build the exhibit came from recycled materials.
- The exhibit's state-of-the-art water filtration system cut water usage by 72% over the former exhibit, from 26.3 million gallons per year to 7.5 million.
- Innovative air systems reclaim over 75% of the heat from exhaust air.
- The Sydell L. Miller Elephant Care & Visitor Center is a public education center that informs guests about conservation, sustainability practices, and how their personal decisions and behavior can make a difference.
- New bicycle parking racks, capable of accommodating several hundred bikes, were installed around the perimeter of the Zoo.
- 101 designated green parking spaces were added to the Zoo's main parking lot for fuel-efficient vehicles and those who carpool.
Richard Lawson Award
Named in honor of Richard Lawson, this award is presented annually to individuals who exemplify continued and significant contributions to the parks and recreation profession in the Great Lakes region. This year, we received nominations for a wide range of candidates from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan.
The 2013 award winner is:
Cindy Burkhour, Owner of Access Recreation Group, LLC
Cindy provides consulting services in the areas of inclusive recreation, universal design, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She assists recreation providers to design universally accessible recreation facilities, programs, and services and to comply with the ADA. She served on the U.S. Access Boards' Recreation Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Regulatory Negotiation Committees on Access to Play Facilities and Access to Outdoor Developed Areas to establish the ADA compliance rules for recreation facilities.
Cindy developed and directed "Access Recreation: Creating Access to Community Recreation Opportunities for ALL Kids!" projects in Michigan and Missouri, where she's assisted in the development of collaborative relationships between schools, families, and recreation providers to support the inclusion of students with disabilities in sports, leisure, and recreation activities. She has also conducted ADA self-evaluations and developed transition plans for park and recreation facilities, programs, and services to facilitate compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act around the country. She developed and directed the "Access to Recreation Initiative," which was funded by a $15 million grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The "Access to Recreation Initiative" is designed to assist local, regional, and state-level recreation providers to develop universal access to all recreation opportunities for all people, of all abilities, together.