NDRPA recognizes parks and recreation professionals, organizations and projects through its annual award program.

  • Distinguished Professional Award honors professional members of NDRPA and NRPA with more than 10 years of experience.
  • Outstanding Young Professional Award honors professional members of NDRPA and NRPA who have experience of less than 10 years and are age 35 or younger.
  • Citizen Advocacy Award honors individuals for outstanding contributions to the park, recreation and conservation movement.
  • Golden Egg Award recognizes outstanding and innovative park projects.
  • Partnership Award honors organizations for outstanding contributions to the park, recreation and conservation movement.
  • Innovative Programming Award recognizes and honors an NDRPA member agency or organization that demonstrates leadership with advanced groundbreaking ideas in programming.

The annual deadline to submit nominations for NDPRA awards is July 16.

Download the 2018 Awards Nomination Form.


NDRPA Award Recipients

Distinguished Professional Award

2015 – Greg Smith, Bismarck Parks & Recreation District

Previous Distinguished Professional Award Recipients

Outstanding Young Professional

2017 – Jahna Gardiner, Bismarck Parks and Recreation District

Previous Outstanding Young Professional Award Recipients

Citizen Advocacy Award

2017 – Chris Johnson, Bowman

Previous Citizen Advocacy Award Recipients

Golden Egg Award

2017 – Gaukler Family Wellness Center (Valley City Parks and Recreation)

Previous Golden Egg Award Recipients

Partnership Award

2015 – West Fargo High School National Honor Society
2015 – Bismarck Public Schools

Previous Partnership Award Recipients

Innovative Programming

2017 – Nerf Wars, Williston Parks and Recreation District

Previous Innovative Programming Award Recipients


Arts & Humanities Award

2011 – Artist in Residency Program, ND Council on the Arts and ND Parks and Recreation Department
2013 – Red Door Art Gallery, Wahpeton

Land & Water Conservation Fund

2004 – Bismarck Parks and Recreation (Award for Excellence in Stewardship)
2004 – Walsh County Park Board  (Award for Excellence in Project Administration)
2005 – Mandan Park District (Award for Excellence in Stewardship)
2005 – Wahpeton Park Board (Award for Excellence in Project Administration)

NRPA Award Recipients

Gold Medal Award

1993 – Bismarck Parks & Recreation District

American Park and Recreation Society Meritorious Service Award

1994 – Bob “Goose” Johnson, Fargo Park District
1999 – Steve Neu, Bismarck Park District

Citizen Board Member Branch Outstanding Board or Commission

2001 – Bismarck Parks and Recreation District

Midwest Award Recipients

Arts & Humanities

1997 – Trollwood Park Performing Arts School, Fargo Park District
2008 – Frances Leach High Prairie Arts & Science Complex, Bismarck Parks & Recreation District

Individual Citizen Citation

1981 – Nancy Koch, Grand Forks Park District
1992 – Meredith Mitskog, Wahpeton Park Board
2006 – Dr. Alan King, Dickinson
2008 – Tim Mueller, Bismarck

Organization Citation

1991 – Bismarck Recreation Council
2006 – Destiny Dickinson
2007 – Bismarck Parks and Recreation District/Magical Moments Playground Committee
2010 – Williston Community Builders

Fellow Award

1975 – Dr. LaVernia Jorgensen, UND
1988 – Tim Mueller, North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department
1990 – Steve Neu, Bismarck Parks & Recreation District
1992 – Doug Jaeger, Dickinson Parks & Recreation District
1993 – Bob “Goose” Johnson, Fargo Park District
1997 – Randy Bina, Bismarck Parks & Recreation District

Outstanding New Professional Award

2011 – Joe Deutsch, North Dakota State University

Distinguished Professional Service Award

2014 – Wayne Beyer

Professional Service Award

2014 – Terry Wallace