Nominations for the 2024 awards are now open through August 9th, 2024. 

Annual Awards

The Vermont Recreation and Parks Association recognizes the importance of honoring certain of its recreation and park professional and volunteer members who have rendered outstanding service to this association and the profession, and established the following awards to do this. The nomination deadline is typically in late March and the awards are presented each year at the VRPA Annual Meeting in May.

The Young Professional Award
The Young Professional Award was introduced in 2005, to recognize parks and recreation professionals who are 40 years of age or younger and have been employed in the State of Vermont for at least two years. All nominees must be current members of VRPA.

Young Professional Award nomination form 

The Facility of Merit Award
The Facility of Merit Award was introduced in 2007 for the first time, to recognize an outstanding and/or creative renovation or development of a recreation facility or amenity. More than one Facility of Merit Award may be presented. The director of the agency must be a current VRPA member.  

Facility of Merit Award nomination form

The Unsung Hero Award
The Unsung Hero Award was introduced in 2008 and recognizes lay persons or professionals who have demonstrated consistent or outstanding service in their community and whose commitment has been in furthering the field of parks, recreation, and/or cultural and community services through excellence, service, and execution of their talents and skills. The nominee must be affiliated with a VRPA member in good standing; the nominator must be a current VRPA member.

Unsung Hero Award nomination form

For a list of Past VRPA Annual Award Recipients, CLICK HERE.

Theresa S. Brungardt Awards

The Theresa S. Brungardt Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Vermont Recreation and Parks Association. This award was established in 1975 to recognize recreation pioneer, Theresa S. Brungardt. Mrs. Brungardt was Vermont's first state Director of Recreation and she traveled tirelessly throughout Vermont to help communities with their recreation programs. Mrs. Brungardt was nationally recognized for her expertise and in 1952 was elected the first female president of the American Recreation Society. In 1977 was inducted into the NRPA Hall of Fame.

Professional Award
Full-time leader, supervisor, administrator, manager, educator, planner, researcher, designer, or consultant who has made outstanding contributions to the recreation and/or park field. The candidate must have at least ten years' professional experience, three years serving in Vermont; and have contributed to the field over a period of time and not just a single occurrence. The area of contribution may include the following: leadership, job performance, education, research, innovative programming, public relations, or other area not defined.

Professional Award nomination form 

Friend Award
A layman, board member, community or state leader, public official, or volunteer who has made outstanding, contributions to the recreation and/or park field. The individual must have demonstrated a continuing interest in some phase of recreation and/or park service and exhibited a full measure of leadership in some project or area of service. The service must have been rendered over a period of at least two years. 

Friend Award nomination form

Organization / Agency Award

A commercial, professional, private, governmental, or nonprofit organization or agency that has made outstanding contributions to the recreation and/or park field. The contributions may be for an outstanding program that has made a unique impact on its participants, a distinctive indoor or outdoor facility notable for its architectural character or functional use, an outstanding interpretation of recreation and parks, or a similar achievement.   

Organization Award nomination form

CLICK HERE for a list of past Brungardt Award recipients.

Eligibility and criteria vary by category. Nominations are reviewed by an Awards Committee consisting of the past professional Annual & Brungardt Award recipients who are still working in the field full-time. 

All awards will be presented at the Annual Vermont Conference on Recreation. 


In celebration of the 75th Annual Vermont Conference on Recreation in October 2018, the photo-documentary “Theresa S. Brungardt: Through the Lens of Photography” was compiled by VRPA members Muriel More (South Burlington) and Candice Holbrook (Burlington). Very special thanks to Muriel and Candice and to members of Mrs. Brungardt’s family who provided so many of the photographs. CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW to view.

In 2012, Cindi Wight, with the help of the staff at the Rutland PEG TV Community Access  Channel, completethree great videos about recreation  pioneer, Theresa Brungardt. These are a great way to learn a little more about Mrs. Brungardt.

The VIP Incentive Program (currently paused  in 2024)

The Mission of the VIP Program is to increase membership participation in all aspects of the VRPA by providing an incentive plan that will reward members for their professional efforts and recognize members for years of service, involvement and contributions to the VRPA. The plan will encourage current VRPA members to continue their individual career growth and dedication to the field of Recreation and Parks.

The VIP calendar year starts each year at the VRPA Annual Meeting. Participants will receive raffle tickets for their VIP Points and the raffle tickets will be entered into the VIP Drawing held each year at the VRPA Annual Meeting.  

​One Grand Prize Drawing of $1,000 for a professional development experience of your choice will be awarded annually. Other smaller awards will also be given.

2019 VIP Details and Tabulation Form      Having trouble with the fillable pdf file? Here it is in Word.

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