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State Assoc. Honors MB Parks and Rec Commission

The city's volunteer parks and rec commission is feted as the “2011 Outstanding Board or Commission” by the California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners and Board Members at an awards dinner in Long Beach Thursday night.

The Manhattan Beach Parks and Rec Commission was honored as the "2011 Outstanding Board or Commission" by the California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners and Board Members at its Awards and Installation Banquet Thursday night.

“The Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Commission has developed new and creative programs and fundraisers, provided a tremendous amount of recognition and support for staff and community members for their efforts, and has gone above and beyond in trying to create partnerships between staff, community businesses and non-profit organizations,” said Mayor Nick Tell in a press release. “We are thrilled to accept this award and thank the California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners and Board Members for the recognition.”

The commission, which consists of Steve Rothans, Nancy Hersman, Thomas, Cajka, Deirdre Murray, Steven Nicholson, Fred Manna and Travis Taylor, has been involved in developing a reservation policy for Sand Dune Park that has helped eliminate traffic and overcrowding; created off-leash dog runs and on-leash walking path; included at least one commission member who is at least 55 to better address the needs of older adult citizens; raised more than $12,000 to be able to continue “Movies on the Beach” without the use of city funds; created additional handicapped accessible seating and parking at Polliwog Park during large special events; developed the Marine Park Commemorative Wall Project [the wall will serve as a reminder to youth and visitors of the importance of individual actions and the dangers of drinking and driving], raising $10,000; and established strong partnerships with MB organizations and others to help to heighten awareness of parks and recreation events and programs.

“I have been a director of parks and recreation or community services for two different municipalities for over 20 years, and I have never worked for a commission that has been so involved, hands-on, hard working and supportive of the community and staff and its programs as in Manhattan Beach,” said MB Parks and Recreation Director Richard Gill.

The banquet honoring the 2011 winners was held on Thurs­day, March 22 at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach. City Council member Richard Montgomery and City Manager Dave Carmany attended the ceremony. 

The Manhattan Beach park system offers 80 acres of park land, including 18 ball fields, 18 tennis courts (including two paddle tennis courts), four racquetball courts, seven basketball courts, four par courses, 21 acres of open space parkway, a nine-hole golf course, a public swimming pool, a two-mile walking and jogging path, and more than 50 volleyball courts available for private or public use, and attracts nearly 1 million visitors each year to its parks and community centers.

CAPRCBM, which is affiliated with the California Park and Recreation Society and the National Recreation and Park Association, was founded in 1968 and is governed by an 18-member board of directors. The board consists of elected officers and directors who are park and recreation commissioners or board members from city, county or special recreation and park districts. Directors are elected for staggered three-year terms and come from northern and southern California, according to its website.

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