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NPRA Recognizes Parks & Recreation with Awards

Post Date:10/02/2019 9:15 AM

NRPA Award BadgeAshburn, Va. (Originally Posted Sept. 25, 2019) — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is proud to recognize the City of Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation with its Best in Innovation Award. The award, which recognizes the best of the best in park and recreation innovation, was presented at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference, Sept. 24–26, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland. The Best in Innovation Award winner was selected based on popular vote.

Also, the recipient of NRPA’s Innovation in Health Award, the City of Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation was recognized for its Rock Steady Boxing program. After researching and identifying a non-contact, boxing-based fitness program for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the City of Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation brought the Rock Steady Boxing Program to the city’s fitness centers. Rock Steady Boxing is based on the concept of intense “forced” exercise, which suggests that certain types of exercise may be neuro-protective; that is, they slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The program empowers people afflicted with this disease to fight back and gives them hope by improving their quality of life. Once it was established that the program is a proven, effective and proactive aid for those with Parkinson’s disease, the city worked to offer it at an affordable rate across all socioeconomic demographics.

“NRPA is proud to recognize City of Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation with this award,” said Jack Kardys, chair, NRPA Board of Directors. “Like so many other park and recreation agencies across the country, they are making a positive impact on the communities they serve with innovative planning and programming.”     

NRPA Innovation Awards recognize park and recreation agencies nationwide that have improved and empowered their communities through innovative practices in park design, health and wellness, conservation and social equity. To learn more about these awards — including this year’s winners — click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit   


About the National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

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