In November, Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department staff and volunteers received a total of 27 awards at the 2017 Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association (TRPA) Conference held in Franklin, TN. TRPA is a non-profit professional society of approximately 1200+ individual and agency members organized in 1952 as the leader in supporting highly effective professionals to achieve healthy, livable communities. TRPA exists to strengthen and unite those committed to the benefits of parks and recreation.
Volunteer Service Award
This award recognizes individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to the field of parks and recreation through volunteer services. This year, we are proud to honor these recipients from Murfreesboro:
Dr. Gloria Bonner – for her commitment to Bradley Academy and Museum. Dr. Bonner’s loving spirit and respected leadership has motivated our community in preserving and honoring our heritage.
Ashley Buchanan – for her leadership and service at Bradley Academy and Museum, where she has used her artistic talents to promote education and empowerment.
Nancy Phillips – for her commitment to Murph’s Fun Run. Journeys in Community Living- for their service and environmental stewardship through clean-ups at Barfield Crescent Park.
Adam Sauer – for his leadership in the Murfreesboro Little League, serving and growing young athletes.
Brad Luther – for his commitment and leadership in helping children and adults with special needs to play baseball. Mr. Luther has been a leader and an advocate for the Miracle League of Murfreesboro.
Brock Lillis – for his service as a volunteer coach with the Murfreesboro Football League. Coach Lillis recently coached three teams in three different divisions.
David Rodriquez – for choosing to invest his time, enthusiasm, and leadership in the youth at McFadden Community Center.
Jabari Norris – for his service and commitment to the youth at McFadden Community Center. Lynn Boyd- for her support in the success of the Murfreesboro Ultimate Frisbee League.
Maggie Engle – for her commitment and leadership of the Murfreesboro Kiwanis Softball league.
Thomas Irvine- for his commitment to youth sports, and his service as a volunteer coach for both the Murfreesboro Football League and the Murfreesboro Basketball League.
Dr. Brendan Martin – for his commitment to Bradley Academy and Museum, where he fostered a student-centered project that brought a new exhibit that makes history shine.
Cyndi Routledge – for sharing her skills as a federally licensed master hummingbird bander at the Hummingbird Festival at the Wilderness Station
Special Events, Arts and Marketing Award
This award is to recognizes innovation and creativity in Special Events, Arts and Marketing that inspires others to develop similar programs in their own area. This year the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department won all three categories and was awarded for:
2017 Special Events Award, for the best special event: Rachel Singer for the Hummingbird Festival.
2017 Marketing Award, for the best marketing campaign: Becki Johnson
2017 Arts Award, for the best arts program: Susan Hicks for her work with Perform Murfreesboro.
The Award for Excellence
This award is presented to an individual that has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of Resource Management. In recognition of his partnership and teamwork with Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department, staff nominated a member the Urban Environmental Department. This year’s award goes to Kane Adams.
The Longfellow Aquatics Award
This award recognizes outstanding programming or accomplishments in Aquatics. This year’s award recipient is Carrie Stafford, Assistant Aquatics Coordinator.
Robert H Horsley Award
Robert H Horsley Award is given annually by the Municipal/County Section to recognize community center personnel, who have planned, conducted or was responsible for the Most Outstanding Recreation Program during the year. This year’s award recipient is Gernell Jenkins, Facility Operations Coordinator, Patterson Park Community Center.
Four Star Award for Marketing Campaign
The Marketing Campaign Award is awarded to the best comprehensive and impactful marketing campaign in the state of Tennessee launched by a parks and recreation department. Park Smart is a campaign created to increase awareness of park safety, and is already being used as a model across the state. The campaign was led in partnership with Murfreesboro Police Department by Melinda Tate.
Four Star Award for Festival or Special Event
Festival or Special Event Award recognizes an outstanding festival/special event. In November of 2016, a new music festival was launched to highlight local and national Indie Rock and Folk talent. The recipient of this award is the Acorn Festival. Pam Williams.
Four Star Award for Individual Service
The Four Star Award for Individual Service recognizes a person’s participation on a board, commission, committee or council that influences, benefits and strengthens recreation in the community. Receiving the award for his role and years of service to the Greenway Special Projects Committee is Kent Syler.
Four Star Award – Benefactor
The Four Star Benefactor Award recognizes significant gifts to a parks and recreation department/agency for enhancing the quality of life in their community. We can all agree that the new Miracle Field has certainly enhanced Murfreesboro. Last year Project One Four was acknowledged for their partnership with the City for this amazing facility and program. This year, Parks & Rec is honored to present the Christy-Houston Foundation this Four Star Award for their contribution to the Murfreesboro Miracle Field.
Lifetime Member Award
The Lifetime Member Award is one of the highest awards given in the field of Parks and Recreation. It honors and recognizes an individual who has made numerous and significant long-term contributions within the parks and recreation profession. Marlane Sewell dedicated her professional career to Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department, and since 1986, brought joy to thousands of children and families.
TRPA President’s Award
Each year, Parks and Recreation professionals from across the state elect a president to represent and guide the agency. In 2017, Thomas Laird was honored for serving in the role of the President of TRPA.
Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department received recognition as the department that most overall reflects the professional standards set by the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association for contributions made to both the State and to the National Association for Recreation and Parks in the population category of 100,000 and over.
In addition to the above awards, the Murfreesboro Parks & Recreation Department is proud to recognize two MTSU students for their work at Bradley Academy & Cultural Center, located at 415 S. Academy St., Murfreesboro.
The Southeastern Museums Conference Student Work In Museums Competition recognizes university students throughout the region for their important and challenging work in Southeastern museums. Lindsey Fisher and Typhanie Schafer represented Bradley Academy and Middle Tennessee State University to accept one of the 2017 SWIM awards in New Orleans this past September. Lindsey Fisher was the project director for the gallery redesign of the Bradley/Holloway room at Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center. The exhibit is titled "Education and Empowerment: African American Schools in Rutherford County."
Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center partnered with Dr. Brenden Martin, Director of MTSU’s Public History Program, to develop the interactive exhibit. The new exhibit features two touch screen monitors filled with images of Bradley and Holloway’s history. The exhibit is currently open.