City Parks and Recreation Department Chosen to Receive Excellence in Planning Award

"The Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS) has announced that the City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department will receive the Excellence in Planning Award at the state conference on February 22, 2007 at South Padre Island.", according to Ms. Toby Brooks, chairperson for the TRAPS Awards Committee.

The Excellence in Planning Award is one of several achievements honored at the TRAPS annual conference. This year there were over 90 nominations in 26 individual award categories. Professionals from throughout the state will be present at the conference to receive these distinguished recognitions.

The El Paso Parks and Recreation Master Plan was titled "Platform for a Brighter Future" by Halff Associates and was two years in the planning. It was adopted by City Council in September of 2006 and is available at city libraries and the city's website The plan is enthusiastically supported by the city's neighborhood associations.

Ms. Brooks, also the senior services manager at West University Parks and Recreation Department outside of Houston said, "The Excellence in Planning Award is given to encourage and expand planning consultants and parks and recreation professionals in area cities. This is a big award."

El Paso won the award over San Antonio, Houston, Sugarland, Corinth, Pearland and Frisco Texas.

Dr. Norman Merrifield, director of the Parks and Recreation Department says, "This award demonstrates the efforts and commitment the leadership within the City of El Paso has to return the Parks and Recreation Department to one of excellence. It is an important step for the community to reaffirm the tremendous value of what a great park system contributes to a community. We now have an outstanding park plan that serves as the community's roadmap outlining the appropriate direction and resources necessary to get the job accomplished."