News Flash Home
The original item was published from 2/16/2023 3:33:18 PM to 3/11/2023 12:00:00 AM.

News Flash

Parks & Recreation

Posted on: February 16, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Opelika Parks and Recreation wins big at ARPA State Awards Ceremony

a group of staff members stand on stairs holding the award trophies

Opelika Parks and Recreation took home two awards at the Jan. 31 Alabama Recreation and Parks Association’s (ARPA) conference in Orange Beach.

Opelika Parks and Recreation was named the 2022 Agency of the Year. This award recognizes exemplary agencies in the state that have made contributions to parks and recreation programs on the local, state, regional or national level. 

Opelika’s Champions Academy received the award for Innovative Program of the Year. This award honors programs that demonstrate exceptional innovation in design, presentation and implementation in the parks and recreation field. Covington Area Manager Bobby Nix created Champions Academy to help equip 7th, 8th and 9th grade young men with the character and skills necessary to thrive and contribute to our community.

Additionally, Opelika Parks and Recreation Public Relations Coordinator Laura Leigh Chesser was named President of ARPA. Chesser will lead the 520-member organization during her one-year term. 

“I am excited about the recognitions received by our department at this year’s ARPA State Conference,” said Opelika Parks and Recreation Director Sam Bailey. “Laura Leigh Chesser for being elected President of ARPA for 2023 and Bobby Nix for the Innovative Program award. It is also a great honor that for the first time ever the Opelika Parks and Recreation department was recognized as Agency of the Year in the State of Alabama.”

Opelika’s first Park Board began functioning May 15, 1946, making Opelika Parks and Recreation Department one of the oldest municipal recreation departments in the State of Alabama. Since that time the department has grown to include 33 full time employees, 200 part time employees and 500 volunteers. They provide more than 100 different programs, events and activities each year. 

“The Opelika Parks and Recreation Department has been an invaluable member of the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association for more than thirty years,” said Natalie Norman, ARPA executive director. “These awards reflect the tangible difference they are making in their community. We greatly appreciate all that Director Bailey and the Opelika Parks and Recreation Department does each day to enhance quality of life.”

ARPA, an official affiliate of the National Recreation and Parks Association, is a professional organization that represents professionals delivering park, recreation and therapeutic recreation services in local, county, state, school district, private and agency settings. ARPA advances the profession through leadership, education, advocacy, promotion and service.


Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Parks & Recreation