NDRPA Awards


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.
    • Impact Award recognizes an NDRPA member agency or organization that demonstrates creativity and innovation in the promotion of diversity, equity, and/or inclusion.


Nominations for 2024 will be accepted until Monday, July 15. Awards will be presented at the NDRPA State Conference September 10-12 in Watford City. Click here to nominate a deserving candidate.


NDRPA Award Recipients


Distinguished Professional Award

2021 – Tyler Jacobson, Valley City Parks and Recreation

2021 – Mike Wald, Bismarck Parks and Recreation District

Previous Distinguished Professional Award Recipients

Outstanding Young Professional

2023 – Dylan Thiem, Bismarck Park District

Previous Outstanding Young Professional Award Recipients

Citizen Advocacy Award

2022 – Joe Deutsch, NDSU Fargo

Previous Citizen Advocacy Award Recipients

Golden Egg Award

2023 – Dale Pahlke Rodeo Arena, Mandan Parks and Recreation

Previous Golden Egg Award Recipients

Partnership Award

2023 – Local Food Program, city of Bismarck and Bismarck Public Schools

Previous Partnership Award Recipients

Innovative Programming

2023 – SAIL Program, West Fargo Park District

Previous Innovative Programming Award Recipients

Impact Award

2022 – Maplewood Park Inclusive Playground

This award is new for 2022.


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

2017 – Bismarck Parks & Recreation District
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