PORT ST. LUCIE — The Florida Recreation and Park Association Awards has awarded the City of Port St. Lucie Parks & Recreation Department as the 2021 recipient of the INNOVATIVE PROGRAMMING IN COMMUNITY BUILDING award. This award is given in honor of the outstanding work done by the City of Port St. Lucie Parks & Recreation Department to advance the park and recreation profession in the area of community building for its Healthy U: A Series of Conversations program.
Emerging from the pandemic much like a phoenix, Healthy U: A Series of Conversations, was born out of a pursuit to serve the community by integrating mental health awareness messages into traditional parks and recreation programming. Healthy U is a monthly program, offered in-person and via Zoom. A partnership with local mental healthcare providers allows Healthy U to explore sensitive topics such as Depression, Anxiety, Domestic Violence, Suicide Prevention, Opioid Epidemic Awareness, and Bullying, among others. In doing so, Healthy U serves as the “connector” to those community members in need of leisure opportunities to improve their mental health needs.
“That our state organization, Florida Recreation and Park Association, has chosen Healthy U: A Series of Conversations, as their Innovative Programming in Community Building award for 2021, sends a strong message throughout this great state,” said Sherman Conrad, Director, City of Port St. Lucie Parks & Recreation. “The message resounding among our state allies in the park and recreation field, through the award of Healthy U in the arena of Innovative Programming in Community Building, is that mental health is critical to the needs of our residents.”
Conrad shares that Healthy U: A Series of Conversations, is the perfect connector between those seeking mental health awareness and education and our traditional park and recreation programming, and his agency, Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation, is so very proud to be a community builder.
The Florida Recreation and Park Association annually awards park and recreation agencies, employees, volunteers and partners that have made an impact on their community. Nominees must submit information and details supporting the nomination and a volunteer committee made up of their peers reviews and rates the submissions. The FRPA Awards presentation takes place at the Annual FRPA Conference in August. Winners are presented with a plaque and recognition through the FRPA Journal. More information on the Awards Program can be found at frpa.org/awards.