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City of Colorado Springs / Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services / News

Colorado Springs takes home two CPRA awards
Monday, October 15, 2012


The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department took home two awards from the annual Colorado Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) conference earlier this month: the Park and Recreation Community Champion Award and the Columbine Award for Innovation.

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department nominated Jono Schwan for an award due to his efforts associated with the Memorial Park Skate Park.  Jono received the Park and Recreation Community Champion Award based upon his significant effort to influence and improve the quality of his community through parks, recreation and community services.  Jono Schwan is responsible for bringing world-class skateboarding to Colorado Springs. The ambitious 15 year-old commits to the sport on every level, professionally as a pro X Games participant, and philanthropically as founder of the non-profit organization Sk8-Strong. Jono’s tireless fundraising efforts resulted in Sk8-Strong donating two vert ramps, valued at over $200,000, to the Memorial Park Skate Park. Not only did Jono personally donate his competition prize winnings and coordinate the acquisition of the ramps, but he also appeared in front of Park Board and City Council on numerous occasions to present his vision and advocate for support. The addition of the vert ramps gives Memorial Park Skate Park all four skateboard disciplines, making it the only public park in the nation that hosts such a facility.

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department received a Columbine Award for Innovation, which highlights best practices and creative ideas, for its Collaborative Community Partnership Model.  Faced with an unprecedented economic decline, the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department budget reduced 81%, from $19.7M in 2008 to a mere $3.6M in 2010. A limited budget forced the Department to think of new ways to offer services. Out of necessity, and with the support of key partners, the Department developed a strategy of incorporating community collaborations into their services. The Collaborative Community Partnership Model operates on the premise that community stakeholders can work hand in hand with government operations to achieve common goals and services. In the past two years the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department established key partnerships in response to the economic decline and reduced budget. Key partnerships include the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region and its operation of six of the City’s aquatic facilities; Broadmoor Community Church and its partnership with Meadows Park Community Center; and Westside Community Center LLC and its support of the Westside Community Center.  The Collaborative Community Partnership Model has enabled the Department to continue to offer and expand services while continuing to evaluate efficiencies and explore innovative opportunities.

(left to right) Boyd Williams, Sr Vice President of the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region; Dick Siever, Executive Director of the Westside Community Center; Kim King, Administration, Recreation and Cultural Services Manager for the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department; Karen Palus, Director of the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department; Reverend Scott Lovaas, Minister of Community Life for Broadmoor Community Church; Brian Kates, Meadows Park Community Center Program Coordinator and Facility Director for the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. 

The CPRA Awards Programis designed to recognize and celebrate the individuals and organizations that contribute to the success and value of parks and recreation in the state of Colorado.  Designed to bring attention to its recipients, the awards program highlights the successes of association members and community champions. 

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