Recognized for excellence in photography, public relations and promoting health and wellness for employees, Northbrook Park District received six statewide awards from the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA).

The awards were given during the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD)/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference January 23-25 in Chicago. Northbrook Park District received the Exceptional Workplace Award, which acknowledges the District’s best practices in the areas of wellness, health, safety, educational opportunities, volunteerism, social activities and environmental awareness for staff members.

“The Exceptional Workplace Award goes beyond the presentation of the plaque at the annual conference,” said Katie Kotloski, Recreation Division Manager and Chairperson of the Employee Appreciation Team. “While winning the award shows Northbrook Park District is doing many things well, the application checklist also serves as a reminder of best practices moving forward.”

The District’s Marketing and Communications Division placed first in Public Relations at the Agency Showcase Competition—a premier contest for parks and recreation agencies recognizing excellence in marketing and communications—for media coverage generated during the international success of the Teams Elite Junior synchronized skating team in 2019.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the revamped Agency Showcase program, awards were given in Anniversary Categories. Northbrook Park District won “Most Engaging” in the Anniversary Celebrations category for its 2017 4th of July Parade 90th anniversary balloon entry. The Park District’s 1989 Spring Guide won Best Photography in the Retro Brochure category.

Photographer/Customer Service Representative Sally Norlie placed third in the Recreation/People at Play category of the IAPD/IPRA “Give Us Your Best Shot” photo contest for her Northbrook Community Musical photo “Newsies Unite.” Marketing and Communications Manager Joy Stuart won third place in the Sports category for the Teams Elite Junior photo, “Death Spiral.” Almost 500 photographs were submitted by park districts across the state, and only 12 awards were given.

“I am so proud to see the Northbrook Park District achieve such a high level of recognition in so many areas,” said Executive Director Molly Hamer. “A positive, healthy and happy workplace is essential to providing recreation and play opportunities to the community and all these awards reflect the spirit of creativity, ingenuity and passion that exists throughout our staff.”

*Photo courtesy of Jennifer Hyde Photography