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Lakewood's Community Resources director receives Colorado Parks & Recreation's highest honor

Kit Newland, the City of Lakewood’s director of Community Resources, has received the Colorado Parks and Recreation’s (CPRA) Fellow Award. The award recognizes a parks and recreation professional who excels in leadership, strategic thinking and planning, partnership building, innovation and service. It is the highest honor bestowed on a member, according to CPRA.

Newland’s colleagues cited her “genuine care and devotion to serving the community by providing exceptional quality of life services” in the written nomination.

Lakewood City Manager Kathy Hodgson presented the award on Oct. 5 to Newland at CPRA’s annual conference attended by members, industry experts, vendors and sponsors.

Under Newland’s leadership, Lakewood’s Community Resources Department received its first National Gold Medal for excellence in the field of parks and recreation from the National Recreation and Park Association and has a won a number of other awards. The department has completed several notable projects that benefit the City’s 150,000 residents including the City’s first universal playground at Carmody Park; the renovation of the Lakewood Link Recreation Center’s pool; Surfside Spray Park; and the renovation of Ray Ross Park.

Known for fostering and developing partnerships, Newland has also spearheaded the formation of partnerships to bring a community urban farm and high-quality tennis programs to the residents of Lakewood. She is passionate about the role that community wellness programs play in helping residents achieve full health, and she has worked collaboratively with partners to bridge the gap between medical and recreation services, ensuring a “soft handoff” as patients become recreation participants. Newland is in the final stages of updating her department’s master plan, which she completed with robust and far reaching community engagement.

Newland began her career in parks and recreation with the City of Englewood in 1982 as a part-time program specialist. She served in various recreation-related roles with the City of Wheat Ridge and Foothills Park and Recreation District and joined the City of Lakewood as recreation division manager in 2002. She became the director of the City’s Community Resources Department in 2009 and manages over 180 full-time staff and budget of approximately $40 million.

Newland serves as the board chair of the CPRA Directors Section and is a member of the Ralston House board of directors. In 2014, Newland was a West Chamber Serving Jefferson County Celebrates Women honoree.

To find out more about what Lakewood’s Community Resources Department has to offer, visit Lakewood.org or contact Allison Scheck at 303-987-7872 or allsch@Lakewood.org.
Posted on: Tuesday, October 10, 2017