Seattle Parks and Recreation seeks nominations for annual volunteer awards

Seattle Parks and Recreation is seeking nominations for the Denny Awards, which honors extraordinary volunteer service to the city’s parks and recreation system. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

The awards will be presented at a recognition ceremony to be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 in the Faye G. Allen Grand Atrium, Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle WA, 98109.

The Denny Awards acknowledge and honor the crucial role volunteers play in neighborhood parks, community centers and recreation programs throughout Seattle. In 2016, 37,722 people volunteered for Seattle Parks and Recreation, providing 231,675 hours of service, which is a donation valued by Independent Sector for Washington State at $30.04 per hour, meaning volunteers supported SPR with $6,959,517 of service in 2016.

Volunteers are essential in so many aspects of Seattle’s parks and recreation system. From planting trees, staffing the summer food program, or coaching a youth sports team, volunteers make taxpayers dollars go so much farther for our communities.

“Volunteers are one of our most important resources in helping us reach our goals of supporting healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities,” said Superintendent Jesús Aguirre. “Our volunteers coach youth sports, help us plant native trees in our parks, serve on various advisory councils and boards, and provide countless other services that allow us to have the first-rate park and recreation system that Seattle loves and depends on.”

The name of the awards reflects the early commitment by the Denny family to the preservation of parkland and open space for public use and enjoyment. David T. and Louisa Denny donated land that became the first Seattle park, Denny Park, in 1884.

We encourage nominations of youth, park stewardship groups, Associated Recreation Council members, individuals, community service, business, or corporate volunteers.

Denny Awards nominees should:

  • demonstrate exceptional stewardship of parks and/or recreation;
  • have given a significant commitment of time;
  • provide stellar leadership by supporting SPR’s goals to extend Race and Social Justice, and support Healthy People, a Healthy Environment, and Strong Communities.

The nomination form for the award is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017DennyAwards

For additional information, please contact Aretha Alexander, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at 206-684-8028, or aretha.alexander@seattle.gov. A list of past award winners is available here.

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Seattle Parks and Recreation announces 2016 Denny Award winners

Annual awards recognize outstanding volunteer service

Today Superintendent Jesús Aguirre announced the winners of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2016 Denny Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Stewardship. The winners are a cross-section of Seattle’s most creative, dedicated and hard-working volunteers who donate precious time and energy to improving Seattle’s parks and recreation programs.

“Choosing award winners was a difficult task for us,” Aguirre said. “We are grateful to the many volunteers who contribute to Seattle Parks and Recreation’s mission of supporting healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities.”

In 2015, 38,386 people volunteered for Seattle Parks and Recreation, providing 270,360 hours of service, which is a donation valued by Independent Sector at $23.07 per hour or $6.2 million dollars in 2015.

AWARDS
Healthy People:
Leon Preston, Garfield Community Center
Leon Preston has served for more than 10 years as a Taekwondo teacher for participants ages 6 to adult at Garfield Community Center. Students from Leon’s program have competed in meets around the world. Leon’s goals while working with youth are to build life skills, self-confidence, leadership skills and compassion, and to promote racial understanding and engage at-risk youth. Leon has been teaching and practicing Taekwondo for 40 years and was a 2008 Olympic Games referee in Beijing, China.

Healthy People:
Leatha Bailey, Sound Steps, Rainier Beach Community Center
Leatha Bailey has volunteered for ten years as a Sound Steps walk leader, helping over 100 mostly senior walkers improve their health. Leatha helps support healthy people in the community by teaching behavior change, encouraging participants to lead a healthy lifestyle, transporting those who can’t walk to activities, and presenting at health fairs.

Healthy Environment:
Tom Kelly, Magnuson Environmental Stewardship Alliance and Green Seattle Partnership, Magnuson Park
For more than 20 years, Tom has removed invasive plants and planted native species to help restore acres of forested parkland at Magnuson Park. Tom has led hundreds of work parties with both students and corporate groups. In total, Tom has led 15,000 hours of volunteer work and planted 11,000 native trees and shrubs. This year, Tom’s quick action with CPR saved the life of a Forest Steward who had a heart attack at Magnuson Park. Tom is also a mentor for the UW Restoration Ecology Network Program.

Healthy Environment:
East African Senior Meal Program, Yesler Community Center
East African Senior Meal Program volunteers at Yesler Community Center grow food at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and bring it to the community center to cook and share with others. Over the past seven years, the Senior Meal Program has grown from only Ethiopian/ Eritrean elders to include Asian, Caucasian, mixed and African American backgrounds. The program helps elder adults access free, healthy, homemade and traditional food.

Strong Communities:
Rainier Community Center Advisory Council
For more than 20 years, the Rainier Community Center Advisory Council has supported countless volunteers, special events and fundraisers to encourage new, diverse programs for community members in this multicultural neighborhood.Council volunteers have helped to not only advise Seattle Parks and Recreation staff but also to be proactive in recruiting new members, creating new events, supporting new community initiatives like Rainier Valley Radio and Community Kitchens.

Strong Communities:
Andrew Miller, Lake City Community Center
Andrew has donated his time and materials as an artist to engage Lake City Young Leaders Teens in making murals to highlight the diversity of the neighborhood. Lake City Community Center volunteers are helping Seattle Parks and Recreation engage teens in cultural placemaking in Lake City.

Equity Champion:
Carol Valdrighi, Magnuson Community Center and Magnuson Park Advisory Council
Carol has advocated and raised resources so that diverse children from low-income families who live in the Solid Ground housing at the Magnuson Campus can take part in programs. Carol has created partnerships with Sand Point Elementary and their Parent Teacher Association, has tutored young children and taught parents how to apply for scholarships, and has advocated for an expanded Magnuson Park Community Center with more program hours.

Equity Champion:
Nancy Olsen, Lifelong Recreation, Sound Steps and Dementia-Friendly Recreation
Nancy and her husband Steve joined Lifelong Recreation’s Sound Steps walking program in 2007, and they founded the Sound Striders in South Seattle walking group in 2008. When Nancy’s husband was diagnosed with dementia, they decided to continue their walks and connect with others dealing with this loss by providing walk participants with stimulation and a supportive community. The committee decided to recommend Nancy for the Equity Champion award because inclusion for all abilities is an important part of social equity.

Superintendent’s Award:
Sea Mar Community Health
Founded in 1978 with the sole mission to provide comprehensive health and human services to families in Washington State, Sea Mar Community Health Center is a supremely reputable community-based organization that has honed its services and ties to South Park by positively impacting the health and wellness of its patrons though the execution of case management, medical, dental, as well as behavioral health services. Leveraging Preventative Health Programs as well as Community, Education and Service Learning Programs that aim to increase the healthy eating habits amongst its clients, this organization engages in a plethora of program services that help South Park build a sense of community. In building that community, this organization has partnered with the South Park Community Center to extend its recreational and preventative health services. These services include not only a Soccer Preventative Health Program that serves an average of 235 youth annually, but also cooking programs, health education services and fitness activities that reach upwards of 1,500 community members annually.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is extremely grateful to the thousands of people who dedicate themselves to supporting healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities.

The Denny Awards are named after David T. and Louisa Denny, who in 1884 donated land for the first Seattle park (Denny Park), where Seattle Parks and Recreation headquarters is located.

Seattle Parks and Recreation gratefully acknowledges Denny Award sponsors and supporters: ARC, Seattle Park Foundation, and Parker Design House.

 

 

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Denny Award Nominations Open

The mayor speaks at the 2015 Denny Awards ceremony


Looking for a way to honor an awesome volunteer in your midst? Do you know a volunteer who has excelled at creating Healthy People, Healthy Environment or Strong Communities? A volunteer who has advanced the work of Race and Social Equity in Seattle?

It is time to nominate a volunteer or group who deserves recognition for their contributions to the people of Seattle through Seattle Parks and Recreation!

Mark your calendars! Nominees and winners will be honored Tuesday, December 6th at the Seattle Art Museum from 6 to 8:30 pm.

Please complete the 2016 Denny Award Nomination Form  through Survey Monkey. Also connect with us on our Seattle Parks and Recreation Volunteer Facebook page.

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Photo album: Denny Awards 2015

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, we hosted the 2015 Denny Awards at the Seattle Museum of Flight to honor this year’s outstanding volunteers. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this wonderful event, and thank you to all of the individuals who donate time to Seattle Parks and Recreation. We could not do our work without you!

Seattle Parks and Recreation announces 2015 Denny Award winners

Annual awards recognize outstanding volunteer service

Today Superintendent Jesús Aguirre announced the winners of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2015 Denny Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Stewardship. The winners are a cross-section of Seattle’s most creative, dedicated and hard-working volunteers who donate precious time and energy to improving Seattle’s parks and recreation programs.

“It was difficult for us to choose winners,” Aguirre said. “To us, all of our volunteers are winners. We are so grateful to the many people who make Seattle Parks and Recreation shine.”

In 2014, 36,633 people volunteered for Seattle Parks and Recreation, providing 257,152 hours of service. Winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Dec. 1, 2015 at the Museum of Flight.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Rusty (Gwyneth) Llewellyn
Kubota Garden Foundation
As soon as she retired as a public school teacher, Rusty Llewellyn became very active in the work of the Kubota Garden Foundation. She joined the foundation in 1991, trained as a Garden Guide in 1992, joined the board and then was elected Vice President in 1998. In 2000, she was elected president and served for three years. Elected again in 2007, Rusty served as president for another five years. During her term, she played an integral role in building the Tom Kubota Stroll Garden, the Millennium Fence, the Traditional Wall and the Entry Gate. In 2001, she volunteered to chair the two annual plant sales and continued in that position through 2014 leading 28 sales for the foundation. Kubota Garden is located in southeast Seattle.


Doug Bayley
Volunteer Park Trust
Doug Bayley has served as the chair of Volunteer Park Trust since it began in 2012 and also serves on the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks board. His dedication to Volunteer Park, located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, goes back more than a decade to 2004 when he researched and helped develop content for the Volunteer Park Vegetation Management Plan. Doug helped spearhead creation of the Volunteer Park Trust and has provided unwavering leadership since its inception. Under his guidance, the Trust has raised more than $100,000 to support efforts to restore, protect and preserve Volunteer Park.

 

Jacqueline Cramer and Glenn Herlihy
Beacon Food Forest
Jacqueline Cramer and Glenn Herlihy started dreaming about a permaculture project at Beacon Food Forest in 2009. They held their first community meeting at the Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club the following year have been active in the project ever since. Due to Jacqueline and Glenn’s vision, a biodiverse edible landscape has been created in Jefferson Park, replacing a biologically useless grassy slope. The duo led work parties every month that not only nurtured the land, but fostered relationships among diverse communities on Beacon Hill.

 

Jack Tomkinson
Fremont Peak Park
Jack Tomkinson envisioned a park with a view in upper Fremont in January 2001 and in November 2007, he led the community ribbon cutting celebration for Fremont Peak Park. While working to establish Fremont Peak Park, Jack volunteered at work parties and design charrettes all over town learning to be a more effective park leader. Jack spent time in Magnuson, Ernst, Mt. Baker Ridge Viewpoint, Ballard Commons parks and others. He enlisted park volunteers as he continued his work and led the group to raise $2 million and to help manage the acquisition, design and construction of Fremont Peak Park.

 

GROUP AWARD

Friends of Roanoke Park
Roanoke Park
Friends of Roanoke Park was established in the mid-1990s. The Friends maintain, transplant, remove and replace plants and trees in the best interest of the park. They support Seattle Parks and Recreation with turf maintenance and the group raises its own funds and takes initiative on projects. Another one of the group’s priorities is to take care of the large elm trees that border the park. The group has provided care and support to Seattle Parks and Recreation to keep the beautiful trees healthy and free from Dutch elm disease. There are very few strong elms left in the city, and the Friends of Roanoke Park are allowing residents to witness their magnificence.

 

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee
2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy
The Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee has done an excellent job providing oversight of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s management of the 2008 levy. The committee has always stepped up to the requirements of effective oversight – doing its homework, asking tough questions and reviewing complicated financial information. The public’s support for the Park District ballot initiative can partly be attributed to the valuable, insightful oversight provided by the committee as it gave evidence to the public that the department was efficiently and effectively managing the levy.

 

ORGANIZATION AWARD

 Asian Counseling and Referral Service
Lifelong Recreation
Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) has been involved with Seattle Parks and Recreation since 2004. The agency has been an instrumental partner in implementing the Lifelong Recreation Food and Fitness programs at Garfield and Miller community centers. ACRS provides and supervises volunteers twice each week at the two sites offering culturally relevant health and wellness activities for Vietnamese and Korean immigrant and refugee elders. The organization’s volunteers are also responsible for meal preparation during each program session, often serving more than 50 adults per day per location.


YOUTH AWARD

Brett Eckelberg and family (Connie So, Han Eckelberg, Wen Eckelberg)
Amy Yee Tennis Center and tennis facilities
Brett Eckelberg and his family have been stewards of Seattle Parks and Recreation for years. Brett was one of the first volunteers to support the unique Seattle Quickstart Tennis League that introduced youth to the sport of tennis in their own neighborhoods. Brett recruited youth from the community and intentionally engaged youth of color to ensure that they had access to the game. He continues to volunteer for the program and has taught more than 100 youth.

 

SUPERINTENDENT’S AWARD

Forest Stewards
Green Seattle Partnership
The Green Seattle Partnership Forest Stewards are some of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s most dedicated volunteers. Forest Stewards must coordinate and lead at least four volunteer events each year, work under physically demanding conditions and complete orientation and additional trainings. They lead restoration work parties and educate others about the challenges facing our urban forests. Green Seattle Partnership Forest Stewards bring together volunteers, materials, technical knowledge, and other resources to make on-the-ground forest restoration a reality.

 

Seattle Parks and Recreation is extremely grateful to the thousands of people who dedicate themselves “to be good stewards of our environment, and to provide safe and welcoming opportunities to play, learn, contemplate, and build community.” Besides the award winners, this year’s Denny Awards nominees include:

  • Ellen Meserow, Citizens for Off-Leash Areas
  • Shawn Franklin, Jefferson Community Center Mock Trial
  • Family Learning Program Steering Committee members
  • Julie Kessler, Jefferson Community Center Mock Trial
  • Kim Do, Yesler Good Food Garden
  • Russell Odell, Jefferson Community Center Mock Trial
  • Melissa Huelsman, Jefferson Community Center Mock Trial
  • Phillip Gullage, Miller Good Food Garden
  • Roy Bueller, Ballard P-Patch
  • Tom Grant, Jefferson Community Center Mock Trial
  • Cathy Nunneley, Harrison Ridge Greenbelt
  • Jim Corson, Burke-Gilman Trail

The Denny Awards are named after David T. and Louisa Denny, who donated land for the first Seattle park in 1884 (Denny Park), where Seattle Parks and Recreation headquarters is located.

Seattle Parks and Recreation gratefully acknowledges Denny Award sponsors and supporters: The  Associated Recreation Council, Seattle Parks Foundation, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Parker Design House and the Museum of Flight.