Date of release: November 12, 2019
Last Friday at the Kentucky Recreation & Park Society’s (KRPS) annual conference held at Lake Barkley State Park, the Paducah Parks & Recreation Department was honored with two awards: 2019 Outstanding Facility Award for the Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park and 2019 Outstanding Program Award for the Candy Cane Hunt.
City Manager Jim Arndt says, “As Paducah strives to be the best as outlined in the City’s mission statement, we must focus on our community’s quality of life. By providing a wide range of recreation and wellness programs and creating interesting and unique park destinations within our city, the Parks & Recreation Department is playing a vital part in enriching and engaging this community.”
About the Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park: The Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park is located at 421 North 13th Street in the historic Fountain Avenue Neighborhood. Amenities include the Rotary Playground, walking trail, the Community Garden, fitness equipment, restrooms, and a sprayground.
Parks & Recreation Director Mark Thompson says, “The Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park is a gem in this community and an example of collaboration and generosity that has created a better place for everyone to live and play. This expansion of our park system connects three neighborhoods not far from the heart of downtown Paducah. This year we added the sprayground, restrooms, and fitness area expansion with the goal of additional improvements including a performance plaza.”
About the Candy Cane Hunt: Paducah Parks and Recreation's annual Candy Cane Hunt has become a holiday tradition for families since 2002. Children ages 10 and under are divided into three age groups and race to find as many candy canes as they can. The free event attracted 245 participants in 2018.
Recreation Superintendent Amie Clark says, “Partnering with local businesses and organizations such as Yeiser Art Center has taken this simple activity and turned downtown Paducah into the place to be on what is typically a cold December afternoon. Visitors and residents come to experience our downtown, enjoy holiday shopping, participate in our Candy Cane Hunt, and get prime seating for Paducah's Annual Christmas Parade held later that evening. It’s a full day of holiday fun and allows families to experience old and new traditions.”
This year’s Candy Cane Hunt will be Saturday, December 7 on the lawn of the Carson Center. Registration begins at noon with the first hunt at 12:45. The annual Christmas Parade is on that date at 5 p.m.
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, and the Independence Day Celebration.
Pictured (from left to right in Outstanding Facility Award photo): Assistant Recreation Specialist Zachary Boyarski, Recreation Specialist Taylor Morsching, Assistant Recreation Specialist James Weems, Parks & Recreation Department Director Mark Thompson, Special Events Recreation Specialist Kelsey Edwards, and Kentucky Recreation & Park Society Past President Shawn Pickens.
Pictured (from left to right in Outstanding Program Award photo): Yeiser Art Center Board President, Ashley Barnett, Parks & Recreation Department Director Mark Thompson, Assistant Recreation Specialist Zachary Boyarski, Assistant Recreation Specialist James Weems, Recreation Specialist Taylor Morsching, and Kentucky Recreation & Park Society Past President Shawn Pickens.