Park District, volunteer voted ‘Best of the Best’

The Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) held its annual Awards Gala and recognition Oct. 14, at the Wheeling Park District’s Chevy Chase Country Club. The Rockford Park District was honored with two “Best of the Best” awards for green practices and good sportsmanship.

The Awards Gala provided an opportunity to give board members, citizen volunteers, businesses, government officials, and media the recognition they deserve for doing so much to advance parks, recreation and conservation. Winners were selected for first place, first runner-up and second runner-up.

It is important to recognize those who give so much of their time, resources and talents to making the Illinois park, recreation and conservation system one of the best in the nation,” said Peter Murphy, president and CEO of the IAPD.

Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. Second St., Rockford, received first runner-up for Best Green Practices for utilizing sustainable design and construction principles to create an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly facility. To help minimize the harmful effects of greenhouse gases on the environment, the project has reduced energy consumption by approximately 40 percent compared to the state of Illinois energy code. The project grounds have been designed to support user interaction while providing a habitat that benefits the local environment. The project team of Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens paid special attention to the selection of materials used during construction, and priority was given to materials with recycled content.

The Rockford Park District nominated coach and volunteer Ken Held for the Good Sportsmanship Award. He received first place at the IAPD awards gala. In 1980, Held began coaching at Roy Gayle Baseball Complex, 973 S. Meridian Road. Over the 30 years of his coaching and volunteer service, it is conservatively estimated that more than 30,000 boys and girls have played baseball at the Roy Gayle Complex, long established as a favorite summer tradition.

From the Nov. 23-29, 2011, issue

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