Metroparks Wins Record 6 Awards in State Contest

Posted Nov 18th, 2016 by Scott Carpenter  Category: Community Interest,


Metroparks of the Toledo Area has won a record six first-place awards in a statewide contest among parks and recreation agencies.

The park district received nine awards in all from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association in its annual Awards of Excellence contest.

“These award winners represent the best of the best in parks and recreation in Ohio,” said OPRA Executive Director Woody Woodward. “These programs and projects are changing the lives of people around the state and building better communities in Ohio.”

Three of the awards were in the Capital Improvements Category: The new Middlegrounds Metropark, opened September 17 in downtown Toledo, won 1st place for projects costing more than $2.5 million. Fallen Timbers Battlefield Metropark, opened in October 2015 in Maumee, won 1st place for projects costing $1 million to $2.5 million. Westwinds Metropark, an archery park in Holland that also opened last October, won 2nd place for projects costing less than $1 million.

A strategic land acquisition plan, which increased the size of the park district by 4,387 acres since 2002, won 1st place in the Natural Resources and Conservation Category [see related story].

A new website,, won first place in a category recognizing Marketing Innovation.

Two more awards were in the Special Events Category: Holidays in the Manor House, a 40-year annual event that last year drew more than 25,000 people to Wildwood Preserve over nine days, won 1st place. The annual Outdoor Adventure Expo, held in May at Side Cut Metropark in Maumee, won 3rd place.

Three awards were in the Program Category: A grand opening event marking the opening of Fallen Timbers Battlefield won 1st place for historical and cultural arts programs. A series of new Outdoor Skills programs won 2nd place for recreation programs. And a summer camp program, My Mentor and Me, in partnership with the Ability Center of Greater Toledo and the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, won 3rd place for special populations programs.

While 18 different agencies received awards, and nine won first place awards, Woodward said Metroparks broke an OPRA Awards record by taking home six first place awards.

The awards were judged by a panel of 41 parks and recreation professionals from around Ohio.

The OPRA Annual Awards of Excellence will be presented at a banquet hosted by the association February 14 at the Kalahari Convention Center in Sandusky in conjunction with the 2017 OPRA Conference & Trade Show. One 1st place award winner will be presented with the 2016 Governor’s Award for Parks and Recreation, a “best-in-show” award which includes a $500 contribution to the parks and recreation foundation of the winner.

Complete list of OPRA Award winners

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