Recognize the brightest stars in Illinois!
Designed to recognize the best-of-the-best in Illinois parks, recreation, and conservation, the Awards & Recognition Program gives professionals an opportunity to recognize colleagues and community members for their extraordinary work and contribution to the industry. Especially during the pandemic, professionals and volunteers across Illinois have gone above and beyond their typical responsibilities to provide essential services to their communities. Help us identify those hard-working individuals, creative programs, and innovative projects that deserve recognition!

The program consists of four individual conference awards, four agency conference awards, one distinguished-member award (per section), and community service awards, so opportunity for recognition is plentiful! Conference awards are presented at the annual Soaring to New Heights Conference, section awards are presented at section board meetings, and community awards are mailed to agencies to be presented to local recipients. For information on award criteria, click on the award of your choice below or email [email protected]

Want to learn more? The Awards & Recognition Committee will be facilitating a learning lab, Nominate Your Peers & Outstanding Volunteers!, scheduled for Wednesday, October 27, 11:00 a.m. CST to discuss each award in further detail. CLICK HERE to register!

Nominations will be accepted August 2 - November 12, 2021.

Individual Conference Awards: 
Young Professional of the Year  Community Impact                 
Professional of the Year  Robert Artz Lifetime Achievement          

Agency Conference Awards:
Outstanding Park and Facility  Exceptional Workplace               
Outstanding Program and Event  Champions for Change   

Section Awards:

Section Distinguished Member

IAPD / IPRA Award:
Community Service

View a complete list of awards presented at the 2021 Soaring to New Heights Conference here.