The Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association (WPRA) has selected Kenosha County’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) as the winner of the 2016 Silver Star Award for youth programming.
Kenosha County will be recognized at the WPRA’s annual conference held in Wisconsin Dells on November 3rd, 2016.
“This is a wonderful honor and an outstanding way to recognize a program that is making a real difference in the lives of young people in Kenosha County,” Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser said. “The youth who participate in the program have also made a real difference in our parks.”
The Silver Star Award is a highly competitive award for Wisconsin youth programs. The entries are judged based on five essential criteria including: goals and objectives, participation, operational efficiency, creativity and innovation, and marketing. The Silver Star Award winner is selected by elected members of the WPRA. Kenosha County will be honored with a plaque and the opportunity to present the program to other municipalities at the annual conference.
The 2016 SYEP was a success due to numerous partners, including Kenosha County Gang Prevention Program, the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha, Kenosha Unified School District and Kenosha County Parks. The program provides employment opportunities to more than 200 at-risk youth between the ages of 14 and 21 at over 30 organizations and businesses throughout the county. The award highlighted the work SYEP employees completed within Kenosha County Parks including:
• Pulled/chipped ash tree brush
• Moved 10 face cords of firewood• Lopped 2 miles of trails and 27 holes of disc-golf course at Fox River Park
• Emptied and filled over 130 stump holes• Painted over 100 picnic tables, 13 bleacher benches, five shelters, playground equipment and storage sheds
• Spread dirt over a mile area along the Fox River Park entrance road shoulder and parking lots• Spread 150 yards of woodchips
• Hand shoveled 182,000 lbs. of sand in playgrounds and volleyball courts• Hand raked Petrifying Springs lagoon
• Planted over 500 perennial bulbs
Also at this year’s WPRA Annual Convention, former Kenosha County Parks Director Jonathan Rudie will be receiving a Lifetime Service Recognition Award. Rudie served the Kenosha County Parks Division for more than 41 years and retired this past July. The Lifetime Service Recognition Award will honor Rudie’s high quality of service and countless hours and years of leadership and commitment to the field of park and recreation management.
In 2015, County Executive Jim Kreuser was also recognized and honored with the Elected Official award, which is the highest award given at the WPRA annual conference. County Executive Kreuser was highlighted at the convention for his active leadership and support of parkland acquisition, programs and capital improvements/development projects.
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