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  • Writer's pictureMichelle

Provo Parks & Rec Best in State!

In the words of the indomitable Leslie Knope, “There's nothing we can't do if we work hard, never sleep and skirt all other responsibilities in our lives.” That sentiment best describes the work ethic and creativity of our Parks and Recreation team, named as Best of State for outstanding delivery of parks and recreation services and facilities!

Provo Parks and Recreation has been recognized as the nation’s most successful municipal recreation center by renowned industry professionals and the community usage rate is equally impressive with 25,000 members—that’s one out of every four—of our citizens!

The Best of State award recognizes Provo Parks and Recreation for its wide variety of community services and amenities including a nationally-recognized recreation center, a championship golf course, 54 parks, cemetery, an Olympic ice arena, a performing arts center operating at maximum capacity, trails and even a shooting sports park. With careful planning and execution, Provo Parks and Recreation facilitates 2,000,000 annual visitors, setting models of excellence and efficiency that has made them a leader, not only regionally but throughout the country.

“Provo Parks and Recreation has found a unique balance of high use and revenues to minimize the department needs for limited city funds,” said Scott Henderson, Provo Parks and Recreation Director. “Budgets and funding requests are prepared with an efficiency perspective, with care to accurately justify requests through the lens of sustainable business principles.”

The programs, facilities and events featured by the Parks and Recreation Department are highly valued in Provo and consistently strong participation reflects a high level of engagement by our residents and visitors. This has all positioned Provo Parks and Recreation as providing not only desired, but essential services to the community.

Above all, the critical component to this department’s success is the quality staff of Parks and Recreation professionals. These proven professionals are dedicated to their craft. Their many contributions to the community and the recreation and parks profession have been exemplary and are worthy of recognition.

Recent successes highlighted in the Best of State recognition include:

  • “Triple Play” membership that provides Recreation Center members increased access to the East Bay Golf Course and the Peaks Ice Arena. This value-added benefit to the customer and a synergy between the three operations reduces operational subsidies, effectively making the three operations self-sufficient and expanding citizen use of all facilities individually, as well.

  • 100 acres of increasingly limited land on Provo’s west side was secured for a regional sports complex. This facility will host a variety of team sports from soccer, lacrosse, rugby and ultimate frisbee. When completed, the economic impact from sports travel tourism is estimated at over $20 million each year.

  • Working with Utah County, The Peaks Ice Arena was preserved in public ownership through an innovative operations strategy and commitment to continue operation of this Olympic Venue facility

  • Expansion of the Provo City Cemetery, providing interment services for the community for years to come.

  • Outside Magazine recently ranked Provo as #2 in the United States in their Best Towns Ever poll that ranks livability, in large part due to outdoor recreation opportunities.

  • Recent recognition from the Utah Recreation and Parks Association as Outstanding Department of the Year.

The Best of State Awards ceremony is scheduled for June 12 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. A contingent of representatives will attend where Mayor Michelle Kaufusi will receive the award for the City of Provo.

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