Mayor Hamilton and Bloomington Parks & Recreation win IPRA Awards

~ Mayor John Hamilton of Bloomington, Indiana was awarded the Indiana Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) 2023 Elected Official of the Year Award for his exemplary support to parks and recreation and significant contributions to the parks and recreation field through active participation, advocacy, and policy. The award was presented at the IPRA annual conference in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department also won the 2023 Excellence in Resource Improvement Award for their exceptional management of Griffy Lake Nature Preserve over time. The nomination for Mayor Hamilton's award read that his "passion for uplifting and empowering the Bloomington community through active participation in Parks and Recreation's health and wellness programs (as well as ribbon cuttings and grand openings for parks, playgrounds, fitness stations, and projects that the mayor saw through from conception to finish), his determination to keep Bloomington an accessible, welcoming, and thriving city, and his thoughtful additions and considerations to city policies will long be remembered."

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Mayor Hamilton attended the awards ceremony accompanied by past Director Paula McDevitt and current Interim Director Tim Street. He said: "If ever there were an award given for following advice and letting leaders lead, this is it, because Bloomington's Parks & Recreation Department has led all the way and advised me (and previous mayors) how to let them thrive and serve our community so well. Winning two national gold-medals, opening up our newest park jewel of Switchyard Park, gifting trails and trees to future generations as a Bicentennial celebration, and just delivering excellence day by day is how Parks & Rec rolls. Our community loves & supports them. I am proud to accept this recognition on behalf of all the department's employees, board members & community supporters. Thank you to the IPRA & parks & recreation professionals everywhere. You make life good."

The nomination for Griffy Lake Nature Preserve outlined improvements that have been made over the past 52 years during which Parks & Recreation has overseen its management. These improvements include creating bioswales along a gravel parking lot; controlling invasive species; adding native plant gardens; adding stand-up paddleboards to a watercraft rental fleet; adding picnic & fishing areas; adding a viewing platform; benefitting from volunteer trail maintenance crews & Eagle Scout projects; & having assistance from DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife with fish surveys & stocking crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill & redear sunfish.

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At today's awards ceremony Mayor John Hamilton was honored with IPRA's 2023 Elected Official of the Year Award while Bloomington's Parks & Recreation Department received recognition with their Excellence in Resource Improvement Award for their management of Griffy Lake Nature Preserve over time. Mayor Hamilton expressed his gratitude towards those who have contributed towards making life better in Bloomington through parks & recreation programs as well as those who have supported him throughout his eight years as mayor.

Filed Under: Government, City

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