Parks and Recreation Champion Awards

In the spirit of environmental stewardship and promoting healthy, active lifestyles, the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is proud to host a special signature event: The Parks and Recreation Champion Awards.

Recipients of Parks and Recreation Champion Awards are people who have made a difference in local parks, preserves and community programs, throughout the County of San Diego.

Now in its fourth run, this program celebrates the selfless efforts of those who strive to bring positive change to the world around them. Viewing their successes prompts others to take action, for the benefit of all.

Candidates for this program may be individuals, community leaders or representatives who meet the following criteria:

  • Live and work in San Diego County (efforts submitted cannot be a part of one’s job)
  • Have a proven track record of outstanding volunteer service and success
  • Work hard (and well) to bring an idea of program to reality that can improve the quality of life for a particular group or the full community
  • Be an advocate for local parks, regional preserves, recreational programming and/or outdoor education
  • Be a leader who motivates people and inspires others to act, who can serve as a spokesperson for initiatives that support parks, preserves, recreation and education
  • Rally behind programs that promote sustainability and conservation

RSVP for the 2019 event, taking place July 11 at Heritage County Park! You can also follow along on Facebook to view event updates, silent auction donations and more!

On top of the presentation of awards, we're hosting live music, a birds of prey demo, an animal touch table, appetizers and drinks, and a robust silent auction to support the San Diego County Parks Society - an organization that provides financial support for park events and maintenance projects. 

Big thank you to our 2019 sponsors: Burgeon Beer Company and Bivouac Ciderworks.

Learn more by reading an article highlighting our 2018 winners, viewing this recap of the 2017 event, and by watching  footage of the inaugural event in 2016. 

  • John Allen
    2018 Champion John Allen and friends
  • Flo Livers
    2018 Award program honoree Flo Livers and friends
  • Chris Heiserman
    2018 Award program honoree Chris Heiserman and friends
  • John Degenfelder
    Awards Program Honoree John Degenfelder and friends
  • Travis Lindsay
    2018 Awards program honoree Travis Lindsay and friends
  • Paul Zawilenski
    2018 Awards program honoree Paul Zawilenski and friends
  • Aleksei Naumov
    2018 Awards program honoree Aleksei Naumov, in the field, doing good
  • Judge
    REI representative Lizzy Bendrick representative participated in the judging process
  • Party Guests
    Guests enjoyed interactive displays and conversations with park experts
  • Ranger Band
    Our rangers have many talents, including the art of song!
  • Local Authors
    Local authors Don Endicott and Scott Turner sign copies of their latest trail books

We encourage you to say “thank you” to a local hero through your nomination of the next Parks and Recreation Champion.

2019 Nomination Form (print version)  - note deadline extended to June 7

2019 Nomination Form (web version)  - note deadline extended to June 7

2019 Sponsor Packet

Nomination Email:

Nomination Address:
County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation
c/o Marketing Department
5500 Overland Ave. #410
San Diego, CA 92123

San Diego County is home to a diverse network of parks, preserves, waterways, community centers, playgrounds and cultural and historic sites. This breadth of year-round amenities, bolstered by a consistently pleasant climate, attracts some 34 million tourists every year. Plans are always in play to enhance our region’s recreational offerings, and local parks and recreation teams rely on volunteers and park advocates to take those efforts to the next level.

Questions & Media Inquiries:
Jessica Geiszler, Marketing & Public Outreach Manager

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