Hillsborough Rec Department receives several awards

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PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW JERSEY RECREATION & PARK ASSOCIATION
Hillsborough Parks and Recreation Program Coordinator Jessica Gonzalez, Recreation Administrative Assistant Annette Henderson, Recreation and Parks Director Bob Wagner, Assistant Recreation and Parks Director Griffin Dunne, and Recreation Assistant Russ Surace accepted the Agency Showcase Award for Flyer or Poster at the Summit Family Aquatic Center on May 19.

 

Hillsborough Parks and Recreation received several awards from the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association (NJRPA) during this year’s annual awards ceremony.

Program Coordinator Jessica Gonzalez, Recreation Administrative Assistant Annette Henderson, Recreation and Parks Director Bob Wagner, Assistant Recreation and Parks Director Griffin Dunne, and Recreation Assistant Russ Surace accepted the Agency Showcase Award for Flyer or Poster at the Summit Family Aquatic Center on May 19.

According to the award nomination, the Hillsborough Township Parks and Recreation Department was faced with the task of operating a summer camp program in the middle of a pandemic. One of the most important aspects was instructing young campers to understand social distancing and the proper use of protective masks. The staff members all contributed to the creation of posters. The department logo was nicely added to these posters as well. These posters were colorful and easy for the children to understand. They were prominently displayed throughout the camp area.

Due to the signage and hard work by all the staff Hillsborough Parks and Recreation was able to have a successful and safe camp program for the children, according to the statement from NJRPA.

Hillsborough Parks and Recreation also received the Excellence in Health and Wellness Programming Award for “Spring COVID Challenge.”

With families looking to venture outdoors, Hillsborough Parks and Recreation took advantage of the opportunity to offer a safe activity while promoting use of their parks and trails, according to the statement. The Spring COVID Fitness Challenge consisted of two parts. The 88.5K virtual challenge had residents venturing through the various parks in Hillsborough to exercise. For 40 days, participants stacked up miles while having fun with their families. Miles could be gained by completing any variety of activity, at any pace, which would then be converted to miles to help them obtain the overall goal of 88.5K, according to the statement.

Part 2 of the fitness challenge was a “Clue” Murder Mystery Game cleverly created to draw the public to their outdoor facilities, according to the statement. Clues were placed throughout the parks and trails to help eliminate suspects, weapons, and crime locations for the murder of the evil Dr. Covid. The time spent searching for clues was a walking activity that could be used toward miles for the 88.5K challenge. Virtual logs were submitted from participants which also served as evidence of the program’s success. Over 300 participants registered for the program while bringing many residents to parks and trails they never knew existed, according to the statement.

Both sections of the challenge were free to residents and Prizes were donated by neighborhood businesses.

The Spring COVID Fitness Challenge served the purpose of fostering healthy lifestyles and giving families opportunities to bond outside of the home, according to the statement.

 

Finally, Hillsborough Parks and Recreation was presented the Gregory A. Marshall Parks and Historic Resources Award for “Go Green for Halloween.”

Hillsborough residents donated gently used Halloween costumes for redistribution to fellow Hillsborough families who needed Halloween accessories for their children.

Marketing the event in the Fall 2020 Program Brochure, which included printed media, website, and social media publications, residents were encouraged to drop off the gently used costumes at the recreation center between Sept. 28 and Oct. 9, according to the statement. Residents in need of a costume were, then, invited to visit the center on Oct. 15 and 16 to select Halloween vestments best suited for their eager trick-or-treaters.

More than 500 costumes were donated and, while a few extras were packed up for the 2021 holiday, over 400 recycled costumes and accessories were picked up by residents, according to the statement.

Not only did this initiative serve to meet the needs of residents who have been faced with economic challenges, it also went a long way in promoting the benefits of recycling, saving materials, packaging, transportation costs and general waste, according to the statement.

The New Jersey Recreation and Park Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting parks and recreation; enhancing the professional development of its members; advocating sound policy and stewardship related to parks, recreation, resource management, and leisure services; and increasing awareness of the value of play and preservation of the environment to interested citizens and the public.

The purpose of the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association’s Awards Program is to honor and identify dedicated leaders, employees and volunteers in the field of parks and recreation, and to recognize the state’s outstanding recreation and park agencies for excellence in programming, publicity and facility design.

The goal of the awards program is to focus state attention on the achievement of park and recreation agencies, to recognize the continuing efforts of staff and volunteers, and to acknowledge support extended by member agencies, according to the statement.