James City County Parks and Recreation wins awards at statewide conference


Parks and Recreation project managers Angie Sims (left, Most Innovative Marketing Strategy) and Sarah O’Reilly (Best New Environmental Sustainability) coordinated the award-winning projects. (Courtesy of James City County)

JAMES TOWN COUNTY – James City County Parks and Recreation won two awards at the annual conference of the Virginia Recreation & Park Society (VRPS) which took place October 24-26.

This 67th edition of the VRPS event was held at Harrisonburg, Virginia, where more than 400 people from across the state gathered for the conference. Each year, an official awards ceremony honors individuals, departments and organizations throughout the state of Virginia. The awards are given to those who have demonstrated excellence in the previous year and are judged by a jury of peers.

VRPS presented James City County with awards in the population category from 50,001 to 100,000.

The first prize rewards the most innovative marketing strategy. James City County Parks and Recreation used Facebook to share updates online about a fictional character who was looking for ways to keep his mind and body active during the pandemic.

The online series featured a different park program or site each day. The fictional character, Mr. Laz E. Bones, and his dog Boo explored James City County and looked for ways to stay in shape.

The online campaign received around 19,000 entries. The character went to 13 parks and participated in fishing, kayaking, yoga, basketball and other outdoor activities.

The second prize was for the best new sustainable environment. The James River Association (JRA) has launched an initiative called “Paint Out Pollution” which educates the community about the importance of runoff pollution. The organization achieved this through the “storm sewer art” painted on sidewalks and driveways.

James City County Parks & Recreation, in partnership with JRA, painted “storm sewer mascots” in three county parks.

Those looking for more information on James City County Parks and Recreation can follow them at Facebook.

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