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Parks and Recreation Awarded for Programs and PartnershipsParks and Recreation Awarded for Programs and Partnerships<div class="ExternalClass09BA75140CD941DE87B7F4E89F6FF972"><p>​The city of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department received three honors at this week's annual Arizona Parks and Recreation Association (APRA) awards ceremony and banquet. The event was held at the Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley, Ariz. The department is the recipient of APRA's Outstanding Program Award for its PHXteens initiative, Partnership Award for its relationship with Arizona Center for Nature Conservation to operate South Mountain Environmental Education Center, and Volunteer of the Year Award for the work of Park Steward Beth Keune.  </p><p><strong>Outstanding Program Award, Youth Enrichment - PHXteens</strong><br>The PHXteens program provides cultural, educational, recreational and volunteer opportunities for teenagers citywide. Since the program began in 2016, 641 teens attended 236 field trips and 167 workshops, and performed 15,510 volunteer hours for a project savings of $382,000. <a href="/phxteens"><span>Learn more about PHXteens</span></a></p><p>The Outstanding Program Award recognizes organizations, institutions or agencies for the development, implementation or coordination of the most outstanding programs.</p><p><strong>Partnership Award - Arizona Center for Nature Conservation / South Mountain Environmental Education Center</strong><br>Through a partnership managed by the Parks and Recreation Department, the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC) operates the South Mountain Environmental Education Center (SMEEC). Located near the main entrance to South Mountain Park/Preserve, SMEEC provides information to park visitors about the surrounding environment and produces year-round educational programming and special events. <a href="https://smeec.org/" target="_blank"><span>Learn more about SMEEC</span></a></p><p>This is the second-straight year the department received APRA's Partnership Award, doing so in 2018 for its work with Arizona Public Service (APS) to produce the annual <a href="/parks/elp">APS Electric Light Parade</a>.</p><p>The Partnership Award recognizes the collaborations of public/private groups or agencies that have made significant contributions to the field of parks, recreation, and/or cultural services. </p><p><strong>Volunteer of the Year Award - Phoenix Park Steward Beth Keune </strong><br>During the last year volunteering as a Park Steward, Beth Keune donated 262 hours of her to time to maintaining Phoenix's valuable preserve land. Much of her work was done in trail maintenance and helping to return unofficial trails to their natural state. <a href="/parks/volunteer-opportunities"><span>Become a Phoenix Park Steward</span></a></p><p>The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes lay persons or groups who have demonstrated consistent or outstanding volunteer service in their community and whose commitment has been in furthering the field of parks, recreation, and/or cultural and community services through excellence, service, and execution of their talents and skills.</p><p>---</p><p>Annually, <a href="https://azpra.org/" target="_blank">APRA</a> recognizes, awards and publicly honors communities across the state of Arizona that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to deliver superb parks and recreation services with fiscally sound business practices. Agencies are invited to submit applications within 12 categories. </p></div>8/23/2019 5:45:00 PMGregg Bach, 602-262-4994Parks and Recreation Department602-262-6862