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MTRPA Awards

Professional awards, media/merit awards, and scholarships are given from the Montana Trails Recreation and Parks Association every year to outstanding professional and students in the parks and recreation world. Find info about this year’s recognition in parks and recreation around Montana.

2023 Award Nominations

MTRPA, an affiliate of the National Recreation & Park Association, presents awards annually to recognize individuals, organizations and agencies for significant contributions to the parks and recreation profession.

Awards will be presented at MTRPA’s 2024 Annual Conference.

NOMINATION PROCESS: All nominations must be from a current MTRPA member.
To make a nomination prepare a brief biographical statement of the nominee and an abstract, not to exceed 200 words, that describes why you are making the nomination. Include your name and contact information as well as nominee contact information.

Email nominations by March 15, 2024 to:


To recognize and honor individuals, organizations and agencies for exemplary service and outstanding contributions to parks, recreation & conservation in Montana.


Open to individuals and organizations in the state of Montana.


New Professional Award
  • Recognizing an individual who is relatively new to the profession who has exhibited innovation and ambition while helping to advance the goals of MTRPA
Professional Award
  • Recognizing an individual who continues to provide leadership and make contributions to the profession and furthering the goals of MTRPA
Media Excellence
  • Recognizing efforts that contribute to the general public’s understanding and greater awareness of parks, recreation and conservation programs.
Citation of Merit
  • Community and Political Advocate
  • Outstanding volunteer services
  • Research and Academic Studies
  • Program Innovation


New Professional Award
These professionals are not necessarily the directors or leaders that have been visible in the field, but they are the up and coming leaders. Candidates should possess qualities and skills that indicate they are emerging leaders. At this time in their career they are actively participating in professional development, in MTRPA and or in NRPA activities as well as taking advantage of other opportunities to learn and grow within their chosen field.

  • Active in the profession for less than 10 years. Working as a leader, instructor, supervisor, administrator, consultant, or any combination of these in the field of parks and recreation.
  • Demonstrates leadership in promotion, organization, and development of parks and recreation and services.
  • Outstanding service to the profession through the allied fields of arts, crafts, sports, health and safety education, design, park maintenance, resource management, conservation, horticulture, education, consultation, services, etc.
  • High recommendations and respect from the staff within the agency or organization for which the individual works.
    Contributions to the profession through MTRPA.

Professional Award
Continuous contributions to the field at the local, state, regional, or national level. (Not for a single contribution) Candidate must have made recurring and valuable contributions to the parks and recreation field in one or more of the following areas:

  • Membership in MTRPA; Minimum of 10 years in the field of parks and recreation.
  • Leadership- Active and exceptional participation as an officer or committee member of the MTRPA or other organization closely related to parks, recreation and conservation field
  • Research- Initiation or implementation of studies or analysis which advance new ideas, techniques or
    procedures stimulating the profession or extending its philosophy or methods or practice.
  • Job performance – consistently outstanding performance of all aspects of assigned responsibilities and professional endeavors.
  • Education- initiation or implementation of training programs or development of training methods or materials for professional personnel, which resulted in high professional standards or achieved exceptional results.
  • Public Relations- Outstanding contributions in furthering the aims and public image of effective parks, recreation and conservation profession through public speeches, participation in public forum or panel groups, appearance before radio/television audiences, writing articles, manuals, or books on the parks, recreation and conservation discipline, or in any other manner adding to the prestige of the profession and building on its acceptance by the public.

Media Excellence
The media excellence award is presented annually to the writer, artist, mass media reporter, publisher or media
corporation/state who has significantly contributed to the general public’s understanding and greater awareness of public parks, recreation and conservation programs.

  • This may be achieved through such media as general circulation books, magazines, newspapers, news collection organizations, broadcast stations, anthologies of photographs or art works, mass circulation films, web-based and social media or other outlets.
  • The work or materials must be of local, regional, or state significance which has stirred public consciousness and concern, unveiled data of a pivotal and lasting nature, highlighted a trend and/or created new concepts and viewpoints regarding parks, recreation and conservation.
  • The work, publication or production must have received broad circulation among the general public, either in a community or region within the state of Montana.

Citation of Merit
This award honors significant contributions from either an individual or organization whose involvement has had a positive impact on parks and recreation at the regional, state, or national level. Organizational involvement which affected the general field rather than for commercial reward or profit in the form of but not limited to the following:

  • Community and Political Advocacy
  • Outstanding Volunteer Services
  • Research and Academic Studies
  • Program Innovation- Development of new equipment, apparatus, or layout of facilities or development of
    procedures, research or recruitment of professionals to the field

Email nominations by March 15, 2023 to: