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The Indiana Park and Recreation Association presents awards

Lake County Parks CEO Robert Nick- ovich was awarded the highest acknowl- edgement by the Indiana Park and Recreation Association at its annual con- ference in Bloomington. Named Pro- fessional of the Year, Bob was recog- nized for his continued service in the field of parks and recreation. During Bob’s 36 years of service to the commu- nity his efforts toward the development and promotion of parks and recreation and quality of life issues for Northwest Indiana have been well recognized.

It was noted, however, that Bob’s impact extends far beyond one county. Through his work with IPRA and many other professional organizations Bob has been a strong voice in support of P&R for decades. He has been a mentor to dozens of young professionals, some of whom began their careers at Lake Coun- ty fresh from college and later moved into leadership roles of their own.

Even in these times of financial crisis Bob continues to see the vision of the future for parks and rec. As he wrote in a recent article, “The challenge now is how best to meet the public demands for quality active and resource-based recre- ation opportunities while confronting financial storm clouds.” Each of the parks in the Lake County system are a testament to his leadership, and the many, many friends he has made over the years in the profession are a reflection of his willingness to help where ever he can.

Over the years, Mr. Nickovich has received many other acknowledgements. He received the Professional of the Year award from the Lake County Conven- tion and Visitors Bureau in 1998 for his outstanding contribution to the Lake County tourism industry and the Con- servationist of the Year Award in 2000 from the Department of Natural Resources. He is a past board member and past president for the Indiana Park and Recreation Association and a mem- ber of the National Recreation and Park Association, in addition to being a board member and past president of the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials. Bob is also a for- mer board member of Great Lakes Regional Council, National Recreation and Parks Association and a charter Member and project manager of the Indiana Grand Kankakee Marsh Restoration Project Steering Committee and partner in the North American Coastal Pro- ject. And the list goes on. His community involvement includes board membership on The Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation and board member of Waterfowl USA – North- west Chapter. He is the past president of Drifting Dunes Girl Scout Council Board of Directors and a 2008 member of the Editorial Advisory Board for The Times newspaper

Congratulations to Robert Nickovich for a job well done.

Lake County Parks also receives program awards

The Lake County Parks also received the 2008 Outstanding Park Program Award for its popular and unique participatory theatrical event, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow presented at Buckley Homestead Living History Farm.

The department was also presented a 2008 Outstanding Special Award for the wheelchair accessible hayride wagon, which allows individuals to take a hayride without being removed from their wheelchairs. The one-of-a-kind ramp and wagon anchoring system is located in Oak Ridge Prairie County Park.

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