Excellence award for man behind YK ballpark renovation

The NWT Recreation and Parks Association is giving this year’s award of excellence to a man who “spearheaded the revitalization” of a downtown Yellowknife ballpark.

The association said Rob Johnson had dedicated decades of his life to the city’s baseball and fastball community, culminating in leading the Tommy Forrest Ballpark’s restoration – including a grass outfield, new bleachers, and a new community playground this summer.

“The park’s revitalization has produced one of the nicest-looking outdoor facilities in the territory, and Rob has been in the very centre of it,” read the association’s tribute, issued on Monday.


“The park revitalization is a monumental achievement by a volunteer organization and thanks to Rob’s tireless efforts … the Yellowknife Fastball Association has managed to improve and preserve a major amount of community green space right in the heart of Yellowknife.”

The association, known as NWTRPA, has issued awards annually since 1991.

Four other winners of 2020 awards were announced this week. Included among them was an NWT-based winner of the national Canadian Parks and Recreation Association president’s award of distinction.

It’s the first time that award has been given to an NWT resident. Geoff Ray, who spent more than 16 years as NWTRPA’s executive director, is the recipient.

“As the organization’s first full-time executive director, Geoff grew the NWTRPA from an organization of one to a staff of seven with a number of long-standing, much-needed, and well-respected programs that serve residents in all of the territory’s 33 communities,” the association said.


Fort Simpson’s Elizabeth Hardisty receives this year’s active Elder award; Inemesit Graham receives the innovation award for her business Mummy Fitness, offering personal training and fitness help for new moms; and Norman Wells’ Ava Pope receives the Scott McAdam youth leadership award.