County’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department honored with National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials award

Recognition linked to efforts of Friends of Phillippi Estate Park

Phillippi Estate Park is located at 5500 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department (PRNR) has been honored with a 2024 National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) award, the county has announced.

PRNR staff received “the Outstanding Support Organization Award in acknowledgment of the invaluable support provided by Sarasota County’s Friends of Phillippi Estate Park,” a news release explains. The Friends group “has devoted significant time and effort to preserve the historical legacy of the 60-acre Phillippi Estate Park, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places,” the release points out.

Nicole Rissler, director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, expressed her gratitude for the organization’s commitment: “We are honored and delighted that the Friends of Phillippi Estate Park was recognized for their dedication and continuous support,” she said in the release. “Through a variety of fundraising efforts, they have contributed over $250,000 toward preservation of the history at the park.”

“The award is presented to an organization that has made significant contributions benefiting park and recreation programs, facilities, operations or organizational support,” the release notes. The Friends of Phillippi Estate Park, a chapter of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks, is a nonprofit organization, the release adds.

The awards ceremony took place during the NACPRO Annual Meeting on June 2 in San Diego, the release says. “NACPRO, a nonprofit professional organization, advocates for official policies that promote county and regional park, recreation, and conservation initiatives,” the release notes. “NACPRO is affiliated with the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).”

On its homepage, NACRPO says, “We provide members with opportunities to network, exchange ideas, and enhance professional development. We accomplish this in an equity-centric manner, ensuring that diversity, inclusion and social justice remain guiding principles.”

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