The Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) was recognized for excellence in facility projects and programs completed in 2020 by the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) and the National Association of Counties (NACo).
NACPRO recognized the enhancement and redevelopment project at Gwen Thompson Briar Patch Park in Sterling, Virginia, in the Park and Recreation Facility Class I award category for providing outstanding efforts in planning, design, construction and benefits to the community. NACPRO also recognized the PRCS Adaptive Recreation Summer Camp in the Removing Barriers Initiative category as a program that enables and encourages greater participation in parks and recreation by persons with disabilities.
NACo granted the Gwen Thompson Briar Patch Park project an Achievement Award in the category of Parks and Recreation.
“I am proud of the recognition this project and program received, but especially of our staff’s commitment to excellence and dedication to the residents of Loudoun County despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated PRCS Director Steve Torpy.
The objectives of the enhancements and redevelopment project at Gwen Thompson Briar Patch Park involved the playground redesign with shade structures and new rubber flooring, trail access and replacements, upgrading the tennis court to include pickleball, bridge replacements, and installing retaining walls and the first outdoor fitness court for a PRCS facility.
The summer of 2020 presented many challenges for children with disabilities who rely on consistency and routine. While adhering to COVID-19 mitigation strategies and state requirements, the PRCS adaptive recreation team broke down the barriers that existed for campers with disabilities. Children were able to benefit from play and social interaction in a recreation-based summer experience. Campers increased their self-reliance, enhanced their self-esteem and developed relationships with their peers.
For more information about PRCS projects and programs, visit www.loudoun.gov/prcs.