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James City County Parks & Recreation was recognized in two top service categories at the 63rd Annual Virginia Recreation & Park Society (VRPS) Conference, held in November in Richmond. Parks & Recreation's new Capital Color Ride earned top honors as the Best New Special Event and the Historic Rivers Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists were recognized with the Distinguished Private Sector Service Award. Honored with VRPS’ Distinguished Private Sector Service Award, the Historic Rivers Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists were chosen for their significant organizational service in Parks & Recreation, successful special events and programs, and contributions toward park resources. In 2017, their activities encompassed more than 2,500 volunteer program and event hours, including 410 hours of direct educational instruction. Additionally, the Chapter worked with the James River Association to create an interpretive plant and wildlife guide for use along the area’s local Powhatan Creek. L-r: Gary Driscole, Chapter Board Member; Adrienne Frank, Chapter President; and Kyle Loving, Park Operations Manager, accept the VRPS Distinguished Private Sector Service Award on behalf of the Historic Rivers Chapter during the annual VRPS conference. The award-winning Capital Color Ride was recognized for its outstanding program elements of creativity, funding, promotion, execution, use of resources and satisfaction of community needs, among other criteria. The event featured families riding bicycles along a 15-mile stretch of the Virginia Capital Trail from Chickahominy Riverfront Park to the James City County Marina. Along the way, bikers could stop and be decorated with different shades of paint at designated “color” stations. Promoting fitness and recreational activities at local parks, the ride provided a low-cost opportunity for all ages and abilities to participate. Supported by community volunteers and sponsored by 15 local businesses, the 2017 inaugural “Capital Color Ride” had 90 participants, ranging from one year to 76 years old. Special Events Program Coordinator Joy Johnson accepts the VRPS Best New Special Event award in the population category of 50,001-100,000.The mission of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society is to unite all professionals, students and interested lay persons engaged in the field of recreation, parks and other leisure services in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Highlighting each year's conference is a formal presentation of awards which recognizes individuals, agencies and organizations within the state as best in business.James City County Parks & Recreation offers more than 3,400 successful programs each year that provide opportunities for exercise and recreation, social interaction, learning, growth and relaxation. Included are 17 parks and 1,592 acres of parkland, boasting historic, scenic and recreational sites. In September 2017, James City County Parks & Recreation joined the ranks of elite agencies across the country by earning national accreditation from the National Recreation and Park Association and the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. For more information on Parks & Recreation, visit us online, call 757-259-5415 or write firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Virginia Recreation and Park Society, call 804-730-9447 or visit www.vrps.com.Media Contact:Veda McMullen, Senior Communications Specialist757-259-5415; email@example.com