Patti Solano/City Of Riverside Receives National Award For Parks And Recreation

Published: 09/01/2017

Media Contact:

Erica Green

Recreation Supervisor



Riverside, CA September 1, 2017 — Patti Solano, Community Services Superintendent in the City of Riverside Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department was recently selected to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Award for Health Equity. The award will be presented by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) at its annual conference in New Orleans on Wednesday, September, 27, 2017.

The RWJF Awards for Health Equity is supporting nine national membership organizations to find and honor individuals who are successfully using systems changes to advance health equity within their communities. NRPA is one of these national membership organizations. The RWJF-NPRA Award for Health Equity recognizes one person, or team of two, who has successfully implemented system-wide policies and strategies to reduce health disparities in his/her community through parks and recreation within the past two years. This award supports RWJF’s vision for a Culture of Health in which everyone has the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. 

The RWJF-NPRA Award for Health Equity is one of 11 NRPA National Awards presented to individuals and agencies across the United States to honor their efforts in the field of parks and recreation. Recipients are selected from a pool of applicants by NRPA’s National Awards and Scholarship Committee and are chosen for excellence in a variety of topics, including professional and voluntary service, programming, leadership, research and public outreach. 

With over 15 years of service for the City of Riverside’s Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department, Ms. Solano was selected for her ability to build partnerships, execute city-wide initiatives, and make positive system-wide changes focused on Riverside residents’ health and well-being.  Specific accomplishments include the creation of the Children’s Health Education Enrichment Resource (CHEER) building on the Bobby Bonds Park campus, adopting City-wide Healthier Food and Beverage Guidelines, the implementation of a “Walk with Ease” program at La Sierra Senior Center, overseeing Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL Zone) programs, and, administering Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch (NEOPB) events.

City of Riverside’s Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Director, Adolfo Cruz states, “We are thrilled Patti Solano is being honored for the outstanding work she does here in Riverside.  Thanks to Patti’s efforts, Riverside residents are benefitting from improvements in health education, we have more opportunities to make healthy choices through improved accessibility and policy changes, and PRCSD offers additional programs and services focused on healthy/active behaviors.”

“With the serious health concerns and disparities we face today, local park and recreation agencies are well-positioned in every community across the country to create environments that promote healthy, active living and support a Culture of Health,” said Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of NRPA. “NRPA is pleased to honor our nation’s park and recreation heroes — agencies and individuals who work tirelessly and with passion to improve lives and make their communities great.”

A full list of NRPA National Award winners is available at www.nrpa.org/nationalawards

See video here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNAg4q0okMk