Apex PRD Wins Colorado Special District Association’s Annual Collaboration Award

Apex Park and Recreation District was recently honored for its efforts to improve the community through its extensive efforts to collaborate and share resources with other local agencies.

The district received the prestigious Collaboration Award at the statewide Special District Association (SDA) annual conference, held in Breckenridge in mid-September.

As a special district, Apex PRD was created in 1956 by a group of citizens interested in safe, quality recreation facilities for the area. Special districts are created by state statute to serve specific areas of the community, such as recreation, education, water, sanitation, fire and others. Since they usually exist within or around other cities, counties and municipalities, special districts often have the opportunity to work together with other agencies, cities and counties for the community benefit as a whole.

The 2011 Collaboration Award recognizes the efforts of Apex PRD and the City of Arvada to offer affordable, accessible and excellent recreation to citizens. The SDA notes that “…the collaboration between Apex PRD and the City of Arvada is a long-standing partnership….the two have effectively managed resources, demand, and land use through expense sharing and cooperative master planning involving projects such as the Ralston Central Park, K-8 Neighborhood Park, the Apex Field House and the Apex Simms Street Center.”

Although none of these projects could have happened without collaboration, the most visible current example is the Apex Field House, a new sports complex housing two year-round turf facilities. This facility is currently under construction at 5724 Oak St. and slated for completion in late 2011. It replaces the Garrison Street Sports Center, 9101 Ralston Road. The new facility emerged from the need to relocate activities and programs at Garrison, which is scheduled for demolition due to the Army Corps of Engineers floodplain project.

APRD and the City of Arvada initiated discussions in 2009 to develop a plan to share resources to further the community’s best recreational and economic interests. Through extensive public input, creative and entrepreneurial use of resources, energy and hard work, they delivered significant results: the Ralston-Central Park master plan, the Apex Field House and the Apex Simms Street Center.

“We are eagerly looking forward to the completion of these projects, and we look forward to many more collaborative efforts in the future,” said Jim Whitfield, Apex Park & Recreation District Board President. Whitfield accepted the Collaboration Award on behalf of APRD at the SDA conference. “I was honored and overwhelmed to see how many other outstanding collaborative efforts took place around the state at other special districts,” Whitfield said. “It’s inspiring to be part of this work, done in a cooperative and entrepreneurial spirit for community recreation.”

More about the Apex Park and Recreation District and the Special District Association can be found at apexprd.org and www.sdaco.org.