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Posted on: November 18, 2021

Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department Named GRPA State Agency of the Year

Agency of the Year Parks Staff Photo

Department and volunteer honored

The Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) selected the Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department as the 2021 State Agency of the Year in the 20,001 to 50,000 resident population category. The award was presented at the GPRA Annual State Awards Banquet held on Wednesday, November 3, in Columbus.

The GRPA Agency of the Year Award recognizes excellence and leadership in providing quality recreation programs, parks, and facilities that enhance the quality of life in communities. 

Over the past year, Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department safely coordinated programs with over 4,300 participants and 650 user group participants, as well as managing over 16,500 volunteer hours.  In addition, the department held a “Don’t Touch a Truck” event for the community, partnered with the local libray to offer storytime and storywalks in the parks and held 9 invasive plan removal volunteer workdays.  Other events included hosting the USTA Adult State Tennis Tournament, Little League State Softball Tournament, Georgia Cycling Association and Memorial and Veteran’s Day ceremonies.  Additional partnerships had SORBA replacing 3 mountain bike bridges at Heritage Park and a local scout installing 3 more Little Free Libraries in the parks.   Other accomplishments noted included the completion of a $150,000 water infiltration project at Oconee Veteran’s Park Community Center, resurfacing 8 tennis courts and 2 outdoor basketball courts, and building a new maintenance shop. 

At the GRPA District 7 Awards banquet, long-time volunteer coach Jamie Antwine received the GRPA District 7 Volunteer of the Year Award.  For nearly 10 years and 25 seasons, Mr. Antwine has volunteered to coach 31 teams.  His focus on providing a positive youth sports experience to all participants, teaching skill development, and ensuring kids have fun him makes him the ideal coach to young adults.  The time and energy Coach Antwine gives has impacted the lives of hundreds of youth in our community.

“It is an honor to be recognized by our peers throughout the state," said Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Davol.  "Our parks team exemplifies professionalism with a commitment to serving our citizens through high quality recreation programs and park facilities.  We appreciate our dedicated volunteers and the continuous support of the Board of Commissioners to ensure we are able to maintain this high standard of service.”

For more information about the Oconee County Parks & Recreation Department, visit www.oconeecounty.com/ocprd.

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