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Posted on: February 23, 2023

Joplin Parks and Recreation Dept. wins awards at state conference

Congratulations to Joplin’s Parks and Recreation Department. During the recent Missouri Parks and Recreation Association annual conference, Joplin Parks staff were recognized for their excellence in service with two awards.

Jessica Johnson, Recreation Coordinator for the Department, received the Aquatics Section - Outstanding New Professional Award. This honor is given annually to a member of a Parks and Recreation department in Missouri who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills in aquatics by developing and contributing to innovative aquatic programs and advancements. Recently she coordinated the Show-Me Water Safety Event with community partners to educate and teach water safety skills to the public. She originally started working for the City in 2009 as a lifeguard and continued working for the city receiving promotions in 2013 and 2015. As Recreation Coordinator, she is also responsible for other programs including Holiday Tree Trail and parks activities for youth and adults.

“We were all very excited for Jessica,” said Paul Bloomberg, Director of the Department. “She brings a lot of talent and energy to our team and has been an asset to us throughout her career here at the City. It was wonderful to have her receive this honor. She deserves it.”

The Maintenance staff of the Parks and Recreation also was recognized for their skills during the State’s Parks and Recreation Maintenance Rodeo. With more than 1,000 acres of parkland, Joplin’s crew work year-round to mow and tend to gardens, trees, and shrubbery so that grounds are pleasant and inviting to citizens. In addition, staff inspect, repair and maintain all playground equipment, pavilions, and other park amenities so patrons can enjoy a safe environment when visiting the City’s 24 parks. These responsibilities involve various skills and the rodeo provides an opportunity to display these talents in a friendly competition. The challenges in the rodeo included events that demonstrated the skills they use on a daily basis. Categories were: A Backpack Blower contest, a Truck and Trailer obstacle course, Skid Loading, Zero-turn Mowing, and Project Assembly. Joplin’s Parks and Recreation Maintenance Team won First Place in the rodeo that included nearly 20 teams from the western side of Missouri.

“I’m proud of our Parks and Rec maintenance staff members. They demonstrated their expertise and knowledge that we see every day here in Joplin,” said Bloomberg. “There are numerous different jobs and challenges they work on throughout the year. They do a lot more than mowing and weed-eating, which is what most people see our crews doing in the parks. They work as a team and we appreciate all they do for our community.”