Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Staff & Program Receive Honors

Friday, September 30, 2011

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation is pleased to have received several awards the recent Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS) Conference, held September 18-20, 2011 in Norfolk, Virginia.


Beth Wood-Whitley, CTRS was the recipient of this year’s Fellows Award for her distinguished work in the field of Parks and Recreation. A long-time employee of the City, Beth is currently a Coordinator in the Programming and Operations division of Parks & Recreation. The award recognizes Beth’s body of work and decades of dedication to the field of Parks and Recreation and the state’s professional society, which included a tenure as past president of VRPS. Beth was also presented with the President’s Award for serving as Chair of the VRPS Strategic Plan for the last 5 years and for her loyal involvement with various committees in the VRPS organization.


Paul Berryman also received President’s Award for his years of service to the State Hershey Track and Field Program, and for his high level of dedication and commitment to the program. Paul is currently a Recreation Specialist at Great Neck Recreation Center.


Best New Program (Population greater than 150,000): Drums Alive. Drums Alive is a unique fitness and wellness program that captures the essence of music, movement, and rhythm. With both drumsticks and a Resist-a-Ball, the choreography is designed to burn fat, improve physical and mental fitness, and, above all, let participants have fun!


Best New Special Event (Population greater than 150,000): Passport to Fitness. This January special event allowed participants to sample a flight of land and water classes offered at the Virginia Beach Recreation Centers. This event is a unique way for individuals to try a class without intimidation and is offered at a time to coincide with fitness resolutions.


Best Promotional Effort Electronic Media (Population greater than 150,000): Parks & Recreation Electronic Newsletters. These department-wide email newsletters were implemented as a way to keep patrons and citizens informed of the many programs, services and events offered by the department. Facing budget constraints, staff decided that email newsletters provided an inexpensive, personalized way to deliver information directly to those who were interested in specific areas of the department. Since implementation of these newsletters, the department has seen an increased community awareness of and involvement in Parks and Recreation programs and events.


Best New Environmental Sustainability (Population greater than 150,000): Meadow Management Program. This program was initiated in January of 2010 to aggressively protect some of our most valued natural resources including parkland, water access areas, and other special municipal properties. Since implementing these practices, we have seen a significant increase in the number of all stormwater management facilities on City property demonstrating some degree of meadow management established. Also, more than 200 acres of City property, predominantly natural or man-made shorelines, have been converted from mowed lawn to meadow management, greatly reducing sediment and nutrient runoff into our waterways.


Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation’s vision is a balanced, sustainable and value-focused system of parks, recreation and public spaces that creates a sense of community.  We are accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 711 Virginia Relay), visit or sign up for our email newsletters at


The Virginia Recreation and Park Society is a private, non-profit professional organization, founded in 1953 and incorporated in 1956. Its purpose is to unite all professionals, students, and interested lay persons engaged in the field of recreation, parks and other leisure services in the Commonwealth of Virginia, into one body. For more details, visit