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Posted on: February 16, 2023

Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Earns Awards

David Parrish receiving Advocate of the Year Award

The Garland Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department received three awards at the 2022 Texas Recreation and Park Society North Region Conference held in Irving, Texas, on Nov. 3.

David Parrish was awarded the Advocate of the Year, an award that recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to parks and recreation in their community. David has played a vital role in the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest for more than eight years. David has logged more than 1,368 volunteer hours through Texas Master Naturalist, including 168 hours of advanced training. But the number of “unofficial” hours he has logged over the years giving back to the Preserve is unmeasurable; more than just time, he gives of his knowledge, passion, dedication and love that can’t be measured in hours, but in the legacy that he is creating with every Eagle project, volunteer day and educational walk he coordinates or leads. David has served on the Garland Parks & Recreation Board since 2016.

The Audubon Recreation Center renovations received the Recreation Facility Design Excellence Award, which recognizes a recreation facility project that displays a high degree of professional design quality and recreation usage and to encourage and expand the cooperation between design professionals and park and recreation professionals. Between the 2004 and 2019 bond programs, voters approved $6.1 million to expand and renovate the facility to provide enhanced health and fitness options to Garland residents. The kickoff meeting was held October 2019 and construction started in September 2020. The ribbon-cutting was held Oct. 5, 2021. The completed project added approximately 5,000 square feet to the existing facility, allowing for increased capacity, an improved interior layout and renovations throughout the existing space. Improvements include: a new fitness room, two expanded multipurpose rooms, new lobby and reception area, an interactive projection system in the gym and a covered patio and lawn area for outdoor activities.

Stay-In at Holford received the Excellence in Programming Award, which recognizes an outstanding, on-going program that has been offered two or more years. In 2020 when the pandemic hit, all Therapeutic Recreation (TR) programs and outings for adults with disabilities had to be canceled. Families had reported depression among their participants due to the isolation and inability to spend time outside of the home. When it was safe to do so, Stay-In at Holford was created. Before the pandemic, the TR group would go out on the town once a month for different adventures. The staff wanted to bring this back without having to leave the recreation center. By staying at the center for these “outings,” staff could help ensure that the participants were in a clean and safe environment, as many individuals with disabilities are at a higher risk than the general population. The first Stay-In at Holford was offered in April 2021 and was a great success for the participants and staff.  Everyone was so excited to be back together. As we continue to navigate this new world we are living in, staff will continue to find ways to meet the needs of the Therapeutic Recreation community in the best way we can.

Pictured from left: Erin Franz, TRAPS Executive Director, David Parrish, Heather Lambert, TRAPS North Region Director, and Trent Kelley, TRAPS President

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