For the first time, a team of City of Greensboro employees won a government improvement award, and it seems fitting the team is from Parks and Recreation.

Each year the city honors city employees with Tom and T. Cooper James Government Improvement Awards that recognize city employees who have devised innovative solutions to improve services or productivity.

In recognizing the team from Parks and Recreation, Assistant City Manager Larry Davis noted that Parks and Recreation had plenty of programs for those under 21 and over 50, but had been somewhat lacking in serving those between 21 and 50.

The team made up of Jennifer Hance, Chamreece Diggs, Elizabeth Jernigan, Elyse Tishuk and Alex Zaleski came up the idea of Adult Recess.

The Adult Recess program allows adults to unwind and engage with other adults playing childhood games while, if they so choose, enjoying adult beverages. It turns out a lot of adults enjoy playing games that take them back to the playgrounds of their youth and over 600 adults have participated in Adult Recess.

Not only that but Adult Recess replaced “Parks and Rec Fest” and saved the city about $2,000. It also got some national recognition for Greensboro in the Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio.  

The team will share the $2,500 cash prize.

Keenan Collier, a signals technician with the Greensboro Department of Transportation, also won a James Government Improvement Award and he doesn’t have to share his $2,500 prize.

Collier identified a way to improve disposal of aerosol cans by finding a safer method of allowing the residual pressure and material in the cans to be released before disposal. Aerosol cans can cause environmental hazards such as liquid or gas seeping into the ground or emitting fumes if they are disposed of improperly.

Collier’s method allows the city to dispose of the cans safely and is less expensive than the previous disposal method.