Strathcona County was rewarded for their hard work on park spaces.
 
The 2016 Parks Excellence Award (from the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association) was presented for their work on Emerald Hills Regional Park, Centennial Park and Millennium Place sports fields.
 
The new Emerald Hills Regional Park is a 27-acre park site featuring a grass sports field, two ball diamonds and the county’s first artificial turf field.
 
"Any FIFA major international soccer teams could compete on it. It also has a shock pad on it so it's really resilient and it's really good for concussions, it's really a safe field for landing," said manager of outdoor services with Strathcona County, Don Polinski
 
In addition to being well used by the community, Emerald Hills Regional Park, Centennial Park and the sports fields at Millennium Place have hosted a number of competitions including college soccer games, university football practices, the 2014 Canada 55+ Games, Argentina National Team, River Plate Football Club and Everton Football Club as well as the Alberta Soccer Nationals.
 
"It really is significant for the various departments that were involved with this, so it's really for the whole corporation and it really exemplifies excellence in the field," beamed Polinski.
 
The Parks Excellence Award was initiated by Alberta Recreation and Parks Association’s Parks and Open Space Network to recognize achievements or innovative ideas in parks and open space operations.
 
The last time Strathcona County won a Parks Excellence Award was in 1996.

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