San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department gets four awards at state conference

SAN ANTONIO – The state recognized San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department with four awards at a park conference last month.

The department received the awards at the Texas Recreation and Park Society’s (TRAPS) annual conference in Galveston, including a coveted Texas Gold Medal award.

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“We’re proud to represent San Antonio and highlight our amazing park system, initiatives, and innovative programming among fellow parks and recreation professionals across Texas,” Homer Garcia III, Director of Parks and Recreation, said in a city news release.

Texas Gold Medal Award

The Texas Gold Medal Award recognizes excellence in recreation and park management. San Antonio received the award for its work in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to parks and recreation services.

“The Gold Medal award is the most prestigious award that a department can earn and represents the best of the best in parks and recreation across the State of Texas,” the news release said.

Lone Star Recreation Programming Achievement

This past summer, Zero Robotics, a multi-agency robotics competition, was offered to 50 participants from community centers across San Antonio.

The program allowed students to learn computer programming, robotics, space engineering and code writing for the competition.

Students then watched astronauts input their code to control NASA’s Astrobee satellites aboard the International Space Station.

Texas Arts & Humanities Award

The Viva Los Tots was a family-friendly event held at the Lou Hamilton Community Center during last year’s Fiesta celebrations.

Recognition was given for the event’s celebration of allowing children and their families a safe space to explore. Activities included nature walks, painting and other activities.

Viva Lost Tots is designed to give young children the chance to practice problem-solving, expression, and social and emotional skills, the news release said.

Lone Star Legacy Park

Martin Luther King Park on the East Side is now designated a Lone Star Legacy Park, the news release said. It joins Brackenridge Park, San Pedro Springs Park, Travis Park and Woodlawn Lake Park as area parks with the designation.

A legacy park is defined as a park that “holds special prominence in the local community and the state of Texas,” the TRAPS website said. Parks nominated for the award must be at least 50 years old.

With the designation, the city is uniquely distinguished in Texas for this category; the city is home to the youngest and oldest qualifying parks. San Pedro Springs Park was dedicated as a public space in 1729 and a park in 1852, and Martin Luther King Park opened in 1972.

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