Phoenix Parks and Recreation Wins National Environmental Award

Dec. 2, 2010

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department's environmental and sustainability practices have earned a coveted award from the National Parks and Recreation Association (NRPA) - the 2010 Barb King Environmental Stewardship Award. 

NRPA awards this each year to the parks and recreation department that best demonstrates environmental stewardship by reducing energy and water use, recycling and reducing waste, using sustainable products and practices, and planning and building sustainable parks and facilities.

The department was honored for its emphasis on sustainable design and construction and a long list of practices and policies that both reduce environmental impacts and increase efficiency. In winning the award, the department was recognized for the following:

  • creating the Tree and Shade master plan, an exhaustive road map to increasing the city’s urban forest and shade canopy; 
  • crafting the Sonoran Preserve master plan to expand the city’s desert preserve system; 
  • instituting a detailed drought management plan;
  • developing and maintaining stringent irrigation system design and maintenance standards to ensure water efficiency;
  • using strict landscape design standards to ensure the use of low-water-use plants;
  • developing and utilizing environmentally preferable purchasing procedures; and
  • completing an Environmental Management Study pilot that identified concrete ways to decrease environmental impacts of everyday operations. With the study, staff implemented processes to reduce vehicle idling emissions, control dust, and replace products with more environmentally sound alternatives.

The award also recognized several recent construction and renovation projects that utilize sustainable design and construction. These projects include Civic Space Park and a redesigned pool house at Maryvale Pool.

More information on the department’s sustainability practices is available online at Award information is available on the NRPA website at


Media Contact:

David Urbinato