Foundation receives state award for community projects - November 4 2011

OSHKOSH, WI -- The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation was recognized this week for its leadership and contributions to park and recreation in Oshkosh by the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association.

The Partnership Award, presented Thursday evening during WPRA's annual conference and trade show in Green Bay, is the organization's highest honor and recognizes the Community Foundation for showing its spirit of service and volunteerism.

In his nomination, Oshkosh Parks Director Ray Maurer listed several community projects the Community Foundation has helped guide from idea to reality in the last 10 years, including the planting of thousands of trees through the Taking Root campaign, the reconstruction of Red Arrow Skatepark and Pollock Community Water Park, the construction of the Leach Amphitheater and adjacent riverfront redevelopment.

"It's the success of projects like these that makes Oshkosh a model for the rest of the state, and the Midwest," Maurer said. "If it wasn't for the Community Foundation coming forward to provide leadership and funding, we wouldn't have these venues in Oshkosh today."

Public-private ventures are necessary in today's economy for the community to continue to thrive, said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, the Community Foundation's president and CEO.

"We're very proud to receive this recognition, and we're so thankful for our donors and their support for the projects that make our community a better place to live," she said.

The Community Foundation has earned recognition for its efforts to collaborate with government from the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council and City of Oshkosh. The Community Foundation's Taking Root campaign also was presented as a model for other cities at symposiums held regionally by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and internationally by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The Community Foundation also received the WPRA Partnership Award in 2007 for its community-wide effort to build the Little Oshkosh playground in Menominee Park, the Releaf Oshkosh project to replace trees damaged in a storm, the sponsorship of Fourth of July fireworks display and the Pollock Community Water Park restoration.

WPRA is a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to extending the social, health, cultural and economic benefits of parks and recreation through park professionals and civic leaders.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.

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