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Association Awards Criteria


The highest award the association can bestow on one of its members for outstanding service and leadership. Selection is based on an objective system of rating including membership in NCRPA (former members who have retired may be exempted from this requirement); a minimum of ten years experience in the field of recreation and parks; service contributions to the recreation and park movement through the association and other state and national recreational and park organizations; and exemplary professional leadership and character.   Nominees must be certified by NCRPA/NRPA and/or NCBRTL or other professional recognized parks and recreation related certification plan (exempt for those who retired prior to Jan. 1, 2020).


Meritorious Service

Honors long term tenure of faithful and accomplished service to the field of recreation and parks in a local setting and includes a minimum of 15 years as an association member, and full-time employment in the field of recreation and parks for at least an equal number of years is required.


Special Citation

Members and non-members of NCRPA are eligible for the Special Citation Award. They must demonstrate an outstanding interest in and dedication to the field of recreation and parks, or have made a contribution to the advancement of the recreation and parks profession.


Distinguished Legislator

A recipient must be (or have been) an elected official of a federal, state, county or municipal government body and demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the general field of recreation and parks on a national, regional, state and/or local level.



A recipient must have made a significant and statewide contribution to the parks and recreation field in North Carolina in the current year or the year immediately prior.  The recipient must be a business or corporation operating in North Carolina.


Hall of Fame

This award is to honor a retired professional (must be retired for at least 2 years prior to nomination deadline) who has a minimum of 25 years service in the profession in the State of North Carolina and 25 years of NCRPA membership. The recipient must be a current or former member of NRPA. The individual must have been or is currently certified by NCRPA/NRPA and/or NCTRC or other professional recognized parks and recreation related certification plan (exempt for those who retire prior to Jan. 1, 2020). Criteria for selection include professional involvement on committees/boards; contributions to programming, facilities development, legislation, and education; education and continuing involvement following retirement; and community involvement outside the field of parks and recreation. This award may be presented posthumously.


New (formerly Young) Professional

Any current member in good standing with NCRPA who has been a member for at least two years and has been in the parks and recreation profession no longer than ten years is eligible.  Nominee must be currently certified in accordance with the guidelines of the NRPA, NCBRTL or other professionally recognized parks and recreation related certification plan.  The individual must have rendered outstanding services and/or accomplishments to the profession and/or NCRPA and held a leadership role in his/her professional organization and community. Past recipients are not eligible for this award.


Raburn "Rip" Jackson

Recognizes a member of a Recreation Advisory Board who has enhanced a community’s recreation program. Nomination should summarize major contributions achieved by the nominee, including agency/ies, years of service, listing of achievements, honors, positions held in local community, etc. Include roles in NCRPA, NRPA and contributions in other leisure service areas. A current NCRPA member who is serving on a Recreation Advisory Board to a parks and recreation agency is eligible for this award. This is an individual award. 


Distinguished Recreation Board

Honors any park and recreation board or commission which has demonstrated its ability to foster and promote parks and recreation on the local and/or state level. Criteria to be considered could include community relations, ability to work with elected officials and general support of agency goals and objectives.  Any park and recreation board or commission comprised of volunteers with current NCRPA membership or with a minimum of three (3) board members with current individual memberships in NCRPA is eligible. This award is for the entire board and not for individuals.


Jack "Swede" Frauson Professional

 Recognizes a professional employed by a tax supported public agency for outstanding work and accomplishments in park and recreation in association with a parks and recreation board or commission. This person must be a professional member of NCRPA to be eligible. 

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