Excellence in Design - Park Planning

This award recognizes excellence in design of completed park facilities intended for public use. The project may be either new construction or a rehabilitation project that demonstrates high standards of planning, design, community involvement, operation and maintenance, quality of aesthetics, usability, accessibility and versatility.

Recognizes planning and development or significant rehabilitation of outdoor park and recreation spaces where the majority of the site does not contain buildings, structures or facilities and that result in higher levels of community use.

Use this FAQ guide for more details regarding this award nomination form!

One Excellence Award may be awarded in each category and each class. Project must have been completed between November 1, 2013 and October 31, 2014.

This category has an entry fee: CPRS member $65 per entry; non member $165 per entry.


Use these Tips and Award Winning Strategies to ensure your nomination is award worthy!


Neighborhood - parks, playgrounds or open space less than 10 acres in size which typically serve an immediate neighborhood

Community - parks, open spaces or sports complexes less than 50 acres in size which typically serve community wide needs

Regional - parks, open spaces or sports complexes greater than 50 acres in size which typically serve several communities

Specialty - unique, single use parks, open spaces or trails that do not fit in any of the above divisions, i.e. skate parks, dog parks, arboretum, etc.

Class ¹ Based on Project Cost ²

  • Class 1 $0 - $2 million
  • Class 2 $2 million - $10 million
  • Class 3 $10 million and above


¹ Construction or rehabilitation of a segment within a park should be first categorized by park type, i.e. neighborhood, community, or regional and then by project cost.

² Include total construction costs and site improvements, fixtures/furnishings and equipment. Do not include personnel related project costs, master planning fees, acquisition of property, construction management fees, special testing or other non-construction costs

Evaluation Criteria

Challenge: Describe the organizational challenge or compelling community need the entry addressed. [250 word maximum] (20 pts)

Resourcefulness: Describe how the entry demonstrates the use of unique architectural elements or responds to challenging environmental, cultural or site constraints or integrated "green" construction materials, systems, management or maintenance practices. [400 word maximum] (25 pts)

Execution: Describe the various strategies, tools, resources and outreach efforts the entry used to address the challenge, including the use of non-traditional fiscal or community resources i.e., grants, sponsorships, foundations, volunteers and the communication efforts used to inform, engage and receive feedback from the community, policy makers or stakeholders. [400 word maximum] (20 pts)

Accomplishment: Describe the substantial community benefit, improved operational efficiencies, new or increased value in the community, or enhancement(s) to the provision of park and recreation services the entry achieved. Include measurable results. [400 word maximum] (25 pts)

Mission: Describe how the entry supports the Parks Make Life Better!® campaign messages of creating spaces and places for access to nature, outdoor space for play and exercise, self-directed and directed recreation, facilitating social connections, lifelong learning, or the arts. [250 word maximum] (10 pts)

Required Additional Submittals

  1. Master plan or site plan, including plant palette (PDF)
  2. 6-8 high resolution photos (300 dpi); before and after photos if a rehabilitation project 2 examples of background information (electronic only) that support one or more of the criteria (PDF)
  3. Maximum 3 examples of background information that support one or more of the criteria (PDF)
  4. Notice of Completion or other documentation that states when the project was completed (PDF)
  5. Letter from agency administrator acknowledging entry is being submitted (only if entry is submitted by non-agency personnel) (PDF)

Awards Chair

Doug Grove, RHA Landscape Architects

Click here to submit an entry