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James City County Parks & Recreation Department Earns Top Honors at Statewide Conference

JAMES CITY – James City County’s Parks & Recreation Department recently took home two top honors during the annual conference of the Virginia Recreation & Park Society (VRPS). The conference was held October 28 in Harrisonburg.

The department won in two categories. The first award was for Most Innovative Marketing Strategy, which was led by Parks & Recreation project leader Angie Sims. On Facebook, Mr. Laz E Bones was created to share the adventures of a fictional new resident looking for ways to keep his mind and body active during the pandemic. Mr. Laz E. Bones and his puppy Boo explored more than 13 county parks and participated in fishing, kayaking, sunset watching at the beach, yoga, basketball, and other activities.

The second award was for Best New Environmental Sustainability for the Paint Out Pollution program. An ongoing initiative by the James River Association (JRA), Paint Out Pollution encourages community members to understand the importance of runoff pollution through “storm drain art” painted on sidewalks and walkways. Eleven “Storm drain mascots” were painted in three county parks. Nearly 307,000 cars visited the sites during the first six months of the project, which was completed in December 2020. Sarah O’Reilly coordinated this award-winning project.

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