Parks & Recreation Receives Awards of Excellence

New Hope Parks & Recreation Receives Awards of Excellence
Posted on 09/30/2020
New Hope’s Parks and Recreation Department was recognized by the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) at the Sept. 28 City Council meeting. New Hope was awarded two awards, one in the “Programming and Events” category for the New Year’s Eve Movie at the Ice Arena and a second in the “Sponsorships and Partnerships” category for the Urban Orchard at Little Acre Park.

The MRPA Award of Excellence program recognizes agencies or organizations in Minnesota for outstanding achievements in parks, recreation and leisure services. A primary goal of the program is to increase public awareness and appreciation for the excellent parks, trails, recreation and leisure services available throughout Minnesota. MRPA Awards Committee representative Alyssa Fram was in attendance to present the awards.

The New Year’s Eve Movie at the Arena was a New Year’s Eve event for families attended by more than 100 people. New Hope’s Recreation Supervisor Aaron Thelen worked with staff at the New Hope Ice Arena to coordinate the winter break event. The movie “Aladdin” was shown on a jumbo screen on the ice following an open skate. The Armstrong Cooper Youth Hockey Association (ACYHA) sponsored the movie and also had volunteers on-hand at the event to serve concessions to attendees.

The Urban Orchard at Little Acre Park was a collaborative project between city staff, Hennepin County and The Food Group. Thelen, along with Contract Manager/Forester Shawn Markham and Streets and Parks Supervisor Andrew Kramer, coordinated the planting of 25 apple, apricot, pear and plum trees along the trail of the park. On Oct. 5, 2019, a community volunteer tree planting took place, with volunteers excited to have the orchard in their community.

Over the next few years, The Food Group will coordinate pruning classes for community members and the city will maintain the area with mulch, mowing and watering as needed. When the trees begin producing fruit, residents will be able to enjoy the fruit or donate it to The Food Group.