Parks Department wins four awards from the Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore Parks and Recreation Director Teresa Ervin, Assistant Director Alicia Henry and Recreation Supervisor Tes Stewart stand in front of some of the many recognitions they have received over the years for their programs and activities. This year, the Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society recognized the department once again with several more awards.

The Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society recently recognized the Ardmore Parks and Recreation Department for their work in several programs and activities throughout the year of 2020. The ORPS is comprised of park professionals from across the state. The awards are selected by a committee composed of a selection of these individuals who hold various positions in their respective departments.

This year, Ardmore took home top awards for best facility for The Clubhouse, best media and marketing for The Clubhouse, best overall marketing plan, and the Ben Sumrall Memorial Youth Sports Scholarship for the Kid’s Fishing Derby.

Assistant Director Alicia Henry said it’s exciting to be recognized for so many achievements — especially because Ardmore is competing with every city in the state.

“It’s really cool because we go up against some major cities who have more resources than we do,” she said. “So to win in a category they are also up in is really exciting.”

Director Teresa Ervin said winning the award for best facility for The Clubhouse was especially meaningful.

“Just the other night (recreation director) Tes (Stewart) and I were locking it up for the night, and I had to stop for a second to take a look,” Ervin said. “I thought, wow we really did it. We really brought this place to life. I think The Clubhouse is not just the best for Ardmore but the best in the state — or anywhere else for that matter. I would put our Clubhouse up against any facility across the country.”

Ervin said the $200 they received from the Ben Sumrall Memorial Youth Scholarship will be used during the next Kids Fishing Derby.

“With that event we always try to hand out prizes that go along with the theme,” she said. “So it might go to a new tackle box or a new rod and real. Even though we’re kind of in a rural area, not all kids get to go fishing — and even if they could go, they might not have all the equipment they need.”

Henry said the team is already working on new and returning activities that the community will enjoy in the upcoming year.

“It’s been a bit of a challenge coming up with programs because we don’t know where things are going to be with COVID,” Henry said. “So we’ve got some virtual events and some that are currently scheduled in person.”

The currently scheduled for in-person events could potentially be adjusted because of the pandemic if needed. For example, the annual Easter egg hunt is set to go on as usual, but the department may do something similar to last year when they delivered eggs to people’s front yards. It all depends on what the guidelines are during the first week of April.

Ervin credits everyone in her department for all of the success.

“I’m fortunate to be able to surround myself with staff who believe the same as I do,” Ervin said. “It’s our mission to serve the community with quality facilities and quality programming. and to create the best that we can give with the resources we have available. Everyone works really hard — from the people in the back, to the front office. to The Clubhouse,  to the HFV Wilson Community Center. We all do the best we can.”