Zoe Rascoe will be awarded the 2009 Individual Citation Award by the Southwest Region of the National Recreation and Parks Association this month – an honor that has never before been given to a Temple resident.
“We were so excited to receive the call from the National Parks and Recreation Association,” Temple Parks & Leisure Services director Ken Cicora said. “Our department nominated Zoe earlier this year, and the association could not have selected a more deserving recipient.”
Zoe Rascoe, a local volunteer and activist, is the recipient of the 2009 Individual Citation Award by the Southwest Region of the National Recreation and Parks Association. An avid mountain biker, Rascoe also enjoys photography, snow skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, scuba diving and most any adventure that takes her outside.
The citation “is awarded to individual citizens and organizations or groups who have made an outstanding contribution to the recreation, park and conservation movement,” according to the association.
Rascoe, who serves as a volunteer, will be presented the award during the opening ceremony of the Texas Recreation and Parks Society’s annual institute in Austin at 4 p.m. on Feb. 25.
“I think the Parks and Leisure Services Department gives me too much credit,” Rascoe said. “Temple is blessed with a great many volunteers who help to make our city special – and all of them deserve as much or more credit than I do. I just hope this gets Temple Parks some well-deserved recognition. They do a great job for our city.
“It does make me smile, though,” Rascoe said. “Looking back on all the great projects we’ve worked on the last couple of years. I really feel the community has accomplished a lot just by working together.”
Rascoe has been instrumental in a number of parks projects, Cicora said, including initiating the city’s efforts to get Temple recognized as a Tree City, USA community. She also played a major role in organizing and mobilizing the Citizens for Parks group that advocated the passage of the 2007 Temple Parks Bond, he said.
To receive the Citation Award, nominees had to have prepared or sponsored legislation, supported and promoted the parks movement, served on committees, boards and councils, or helped secure the approval of a bond issue.
“Zoe has really been active in each of those ways,” Cicora said. “For a long time, she has been one of the department’s best friends and fiercest advocates. I think it is safe to say we might not have been able to serve the community the way we do today without her involvement.”
Rascoe, who works at Blackland Research Center, volunteers with a number of community non-profit organizations, serving on the boards of Keep Temple Beautiful, the Cultural Activities Center, the Medical Alliance of Bell County, City Federation of Women and the Central Texas Council of Government’s Solid Waste Advisory Council. She is a certified Master Naturalist, a docent and tour guide for the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, and assists with the Central Texas Astronomy Society’s star parties.
James Stafford, marketing coordinator for the parks department, said Rascoe didn’t find out about the nomination until after it was submitted.
“I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of this kind of recognition,” he said. “She’s so active and so involved in so many ways in our community. She’s a huge asset for Temple.”
The association’s Southwest Regional Council covers five states: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
–Reprinted with permission of the Temple Daily Telegram