Glendale, Ariz. — This week, the city of Glendale was honored with two awards at the Arizona Parks & Recreation Association’s (APRA) 67th Annual Conference. Mayor Jerry Weiers was presented with the “Outstanding Elected Official” award and the department received the “Outstanding Program Award – Youth Enrichment.”
Mayor Weiers was selected to receive the award based on his longtime advocacy and consistent support of parks and recreation, cultural services and quality life efforts at the regional, state, and local level. One of the most recent projects that demonstrates this, would be the creation of a 16-lane archery range, located in Heroes Regional Park, which was paid for primarily through grants, partnerships and private donations. Mayor Weiers and the City Council directed staff to engage partners, using as little taxpayer dollars as possible. In support of this effort, the Mayor was able to engage more than nine local businesses to secure essential supplies and services for construction of the Heroes Regional Park Archery Range.
In addition, since coming into office as Mayor of Glendale, he has been the proponent of community events, whether it be the festive Glendale Hometown Christmas Parade, the charitable Stand Up for Veterans event or others, that improve the quality of life for Glendale residents, improve the city’s economic vitality and bring in much-needed funds for community organizations and non-profits. During his tenure at the State Legislature, his staunch support of the Arizona Game and Fish Department numerous awards for his dedication to wildlife conservation in the state of Arizona. Mayor Weiers was also recipient of the 2005 Award of Excellence from Arizona Game and Fish Commission for his support and outstanding contributions to the conversation of Arizona’s Wildlife and Natural Resources. In 2007, his commitment to the Parks and Recreation industry was officially recognized as he was inducted into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to Arizona’s Wildlife Resources.
The second award, “Outstanding Program – Youth Enrichment,” was awarded to the city’s Community Centers and the innovative partnerships with non-profit groups to provide services to youth in Glendale. After the downturn in the economy and subsequent budget reductions, Parks & Recreation staff was faced with the challenge of a service delivery gap for afterschool programming in Glendale neighborhoods. In 2013, the City Council expressed an interest to outsource the operations of our city community center facilities. Staff’s focus was on engaging nonprofit organizations in the valley to resurrect the after-school programs, engage the community, and conduct highly unique out-of-school recreational and cultural programs at the various centers. It began with one location, the Glendale Community Center, and the concept soon began to expand to other centers, including Rose Lane Recreation Center and then the O’Neil Recreation Center, all of which are in areas of need; predominantly low-to-moderate income areas. We have since expanded the out-of-school concept to six locations and all include free traditional programming, such as sports, homework, recreation activities, but also alternative programming models such as STEM, STEAM, MakerSpace and Afterschool Alliance concept.
APRA has nearly 1,000 members from local, county, state, and national agencies and organizations. Each year the awards committee receives hundreds of nominations and each is carefully reviewed by a panel of APRA professionals from around the state. For more information on APRA, visit www.azpra.org.
For additional information on Mayor Weiers, visit www.glendaleaz.com/Mayor/index.cfm. For additional information on Glendale’s Parks & Recreation Division, visit www.glendaleaz.com/parksandrecreation.