The National Trail Parks and Recreation District has received two awards from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association and is nominated for a third.
NTPRD Director Leann Castillo was named the OPRA Professional of the Year, while the completion of the NTPRD Chiller project won first place for capital improvement projects over $2.5 million.
The downtown ice arena project is also one of three finalists for the OPRA Governor’s Award, which is a best-in-show award of the 15 different award winners and includes a $500 contribution to the agency winner.
The $8.5 million NTPRD Chiller opened in 2013 after nearly 14 years of planning and has seen approximately 100,000 visitors in its first year of existence, according to Chiller management.
The award is fitting because many people worked on the creation of the ice arena during those years, including many citizens, said Castillo.
“Our whole community should be proud of that,” she said.
Castillo, a past OPRA president and board member, joined NTPRD in 2011 from the Centerville-Washington Park District. She played a key role in the district’s first levy campaign before becoming director in 2012. She led the construction of the NTPRD Chiller last year.
The personal award was a very big surprise, Castillo said.
“I feel very honored because I feel like I’m doing the same thing everyone else in Parks and Recreation is doing in this state,” she said.
The OPRA Awards of Excellence ceremony will be held Feb. 3 at the Kalahari Convention Center in Sandusky as part of its annual state conference. The best-in-show award winner be named at the ceremony.
All awards are judged by a panel of parks and recreation professionals throughout the state.