Kentucky Recreation & Park Society Honors Paducah Parks & Recreation Department with Outstanding Department Award

Date of release:  November 8, 2018

Pictured (from left to right):  KY Recreation & Park Society Executive Director Terri Wilkerson with the following City of Paducah employees:  Parks & Recreation Director Mark Thompson;  Recreation Superintendent Amie Clark; Recreation Specialist Kelsey Edwards; Recreation Specialist Mallory McVey; Recreation Specialist Taylor Morsching; and  Parks Maintenance Superintendent Les Evans

award presentationLast night in Cadiz at the Kentucky Recreation & Park Society’s (KRPS) annual conference, the Paducah Parks & Recreation Department was honored with the 2018 Outstanding Department Class IV Award.  Class IV is for departments with at least 20 full-time employees.  The Outstanding Department award recognizes a recreation department or agency that has demonstrated outstanding contributions in leisure services in the parks and recreation field with innovative programming and outstanding achievements.

Mayor Brandi Harless says, “The Paducah Parks & Recreation Department has a vision that tells the story of what they want to achieve in this community.  Every employee in that department is working to create a place with special amenities and programs that build families and relationships while growing the local economy.  Each day they strive to improve the mental and physical health of this community by providing amazing parks, programs that provide social opportunities, and recreational amenities to increase fitness.”

City Manager Jim Arndt says, “The Paducah Board of Commissioners has prioritized various aspects of recreation in the City’s Strategic Plan.  Plus, we are moving forward with the development of a new Parks & Recreation Master Plan which will involve immense public engagement.  We are committed to the continued enrichment of this community through its parks and recreational programming.” 

Parks and Recreation Director Mark Thompson says, “This award would not be possible without the long term support of the Paducah Board of Commissioners, the City Manager and Departments, and many community partners.  I am grateful to the Kentucky Recreation and Parks Society for recognizing Paducah Parks & Recreation as the Outstanding Class IV Department Award for the fifth time in the last seven years.  It’s an honor since we are competing against top-notch and larger departments in the State.  Furthermore, I am proud that Paducah’s dedicated employees are setting the standard for parks and recreation programs.” 

Some of the City of Paducah parks projects recently completed or in various stages of construction or planning are as follows:

  • Improvement of the drainage and amenities at the Paducah Dog Park;
  • Expansion of the fitness area at the Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park with the construction of restrooms and a sprayground scheduled to begin soon;
  • Opening of the Transient Boat Dock;
  • Construction of a restroom facility and shelter adjacent to the Noble Park Tennis Courts in addition to the rehabilitation of the surface of the tennis courts;
  • Extension of the Greenway Trail along the riverfront; and
  • Planning and design underway to create a nature education area with walkways near the Cairo Road entrance of Noble Park.

Paducah Parks & Recreation is a department of 27 full-time staff and numerous part-time and seasonal employees.  The Department maintains more than two dozen parks and facilities and manages the Farmers’ Market.  Plus, the Department organizes a variety of classes and sports leagues and hosts numerous events including parades, the RIVERfront Concert Series, Candy Cane Hunt, Easter Egg Dash, Movies in the Park, and the Independence Day Celebration. 

For more information about the award-winning Paducah Parks & Recreation Department, visit  For more information about the Kentucky Recreation & Park Society, visit