Former Mayor Jerry Smith, Recreation Supervisor Kevin Witte, and the Bicentennial Park Trail Project were all recognized at the Washington Recreation and Parks Association’s (WRPA) Annual Conference last week in Vancouver, Washington.
Former Mayor Smith, who passed away in December, was awarded the Citation of Merit – Citizen Award for his support and work in parks and recreation. This award is meant to honor a person’s “significant contributions to the field of parks and recreation.”
Throughout his life, Smith supported recreation and parks having served as Mountlake Terrace Youth Athletic Association (MTYAA) President for 25 years, soccer coach, and a champion for senior programs as a founder of the Mountlake Terrace Senior Center. Smith and his wife Judi, created and operated Tour de Terrace Seafair summer festival, and as Mayor, Smith lobbied to fund numerous park improvement projects. He also chaired the Lake Ballinger/McAleer Creek Watershed Forum for the past ten years. Judi Smith, their son Scott, and daughter-in-law Tisa accepted the award on his behalf.
Recreation Supervisor Kevin Witte was awarded the Citation of Merit – Professional Award. This award highlights a “park and recreation professional for their contributions to the field and WRPA.” Witte’s experience includes volunteering on the WRPA Board of Directors and committees, presenting at conferences on trends in the field, being published in the National Recreation and Parks Association’s magazine, and his contributions to City of Mountlake Terrace programs and events.
The new paved pathway at Matt Hirvela/Bicentennial Park was awarded the Facility Spotlight – Trails award. This award recognizes “the highest standards in design, development, and renovation of park and recreation areas.”
This project was selected because of the high level of community involvement in completing the trail. Over 1,000 volunteer hours were contributed including eight Boy Scout Eagle Candidate projects, five Girl Scout and Cub Scout projects, four successful small grant applications from Snohomish County, and numerous individual and community volunteer efforts and donations. The final portion of the trail was completed in September of 2018.
“Mountlake Terrace is known as a friendly and welcoming community with tremendous spirit,” stated Community Relations Director Virginia Olsen. “Each of these awards exemplifies how our city values working together to maximize available resources and make our city the best it can be.” She added, “Our former Mayor often bragged that Mountlake Terrace is the best darned city in the State of Washington. I know he would be very proud of these accomplishments.”