TROY — The Miami County Park District (MCPD) was honored with two Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) Awards of Excellence. The Children’s Rx for Nature program won a second place award in the Health & Wellness category and the Date Night Series program won a third place in the Recreation Programs category.
The Children’s Rx for Nature program was launched last April at the Riverway Summit at Hobart Arena in Troy. The program is the result of a partnership between Dayton Children’s Hospital (DCH) and Miami County Public Health (MCPH).
“Our partnership with the medical community was instrumental in raising awareness of the physical and mental health benefits of being outside in nature,” said MCPD Executive Director J. Scott Myers. “This program is a compliment to what the park district does on a daily basis.”
Premier Health-Upper Valley Medical Center was the primary implementing partner through its family care physicians and pediatricians. The program is also available through the MCPH clinic and select DCH sites.
The Date Night Series was launched in 2019 as a new monthly program targeting adult couples. Each month, an outdoor experience was provided to couples with an added “twist” that was based in nature. The idea came from a park naturalist who had received requests and suggestions from the adults attending the park’s night hikes.
“This is a great example of how community feedback leads to innovative programming,” Myers said.
“Parks and recreation professionals throughout Ohio work every day to improve the quality of life of the people they serve,” said OPRA Executive Director Woody Woodward. “This effort is a shining example of that kind of work, and we are pleased to be able to present this award.”
The awards are judged by a panel of parks and recreation professionals from around Ohio.
Incorporated in 1963, OPRA is a non-profit, public interest organization representing over 1400 professionals and citizen board members striving to provide quality parks and recreation facilities and opportunities for all Ohioans while protecting and preserving Ohio’s natural resources, positively impacting local economies and health and wellness of its citizens.