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Jun 28

JCPRD programs and facilities lauded with recent honors and awards

Posted on June 28, 2018 at 10:03 AM by Becky Burnside

JCPRD has recently received a number of awards and honors that we’d love to tell you about!
Winning facilities included Shawnee Mission Park, The Theatre in the Park, and the Johnson County Museum. 
Specific honors included Money Magazine’s naming of Shawnee Mission Park as the best park in Kansas, Shawnee Mission Park’s recognition on the Shawnee Post’s 2018 Best of Shawnee list as both Best Local Attraction and Best Event Venue, and the KC Parent readers naming The Theatre in the Park as a Favorite Outdoor Family Destination. In addition, The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), recently selected the Johnson County Museum for a 2018 Award of Merit honoring its signature exhibit, “Becoming Johnson County,” and the museum also recently announced its participation in the Blue Star Museums program, through which it is offering free admission to military personnel and their families this summer.
In its May 25 issue, Money Magazine listed “The Best Park in Every U.S. State” and the District of Columbia based on a Yelp algorithm which “considered both the number of positive park reviews and its business star ratings.” Winning parks included quaint local parks, bustling community hubs, as well as some massive national parks.
Parks recognized from adjoining states included: Omaha’s Zorinsky Lake Park for Nebraska, Forest Park in Saint Louis for Missouri, Rocky Mountain National Park for Colorado, and Tulsa’s Guthrie Green for Oklahoma. Other parks on the list included some very recognizable names including: Acadia National Park in Maine, New York City’s Central Park for the state of New York, Great Smoky Mountains National Park for Tennessee, Custer State Park in South Dakota, Glacier National Park for Montana, Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico, Grand Teton National Park for Wyoming.
In naming Shawnee Mission Park Best Local Attraction, the Shawnee Post points out that the park is the largest in the county and mentioned unique features like the off-leash dog area. In naming the park best event venue, the paper notes it has 11 shelters with access to amenities like grills, restrooms, and playgrounds, and notes that The Theatre in the Park complex is also available for events. 
In naming The Theatre in the Park a Favorite Outdoor Family destination, KC Parent had it share this distinction with two other notable facilities: the Kansas City Zoo, and Worlds of Fun / Oceans of Fun.
The AASLH Leadership in History Awards is the nation’s most prestigious competition for recognition of achievement in state and local history.  The group’s Leadership in History awards committee recognized the local museum’s “Becoming Johnson County” exhibit with a 2018 Award of Merit. The actual award will be presented during AASLH’s annual meeting in late September in Kansas City. The Johnson County Museum was a major contributor to bring the national conference to the Kansas City area this year, which has not happened since 1970. The museum has been awarded five previous awards from AASLH in past years, including two awards of merit in 2007, a commendation award in 2002, and two awards of merit in 1999. Since 1988, the Johnson County Museum has been recognized for excellence by national, state, and regional organizations.
While mentioning museum exhibits, it’s worth noting that the museum also currently has a temporary exhibit called “Let’s Celebrate: Johnson County Museum Turns 50!” on display through Aug. 4. This exhibit is included in regular museum admission of $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for children. 
Through the Blue Star Museums program, more than 2,000 museums across America offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  While this program is now in its ninth year, this is the first time the local museum has participated.  Blue Star Museums, is a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and participating museums.