Vondelinde honored by national association

Anoka County Parks and Recreation Director John VonDeLinde has been honored by the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) with the Fellow Award.

Anoka County Parks and Recreation Director John VonDeLinde.

Anoka County Parks and Recreation Director John VonDeLinde.

The award is presented annually to a park and recreation professional to recognize exemplary performance.

“I can think of no one more deserving of this honor than John VonDeLinde,” said Anoka County Commissioner Jim Kordiak, who chairs the county’s Parks and Recreation Committee.

“He is a tireless champion of the county and regional park systems and is tenacious in pursuing outside funding to expand and improve parks and trails,” Kordiak said.

VonDeLinde has been the director of Anoka County’s Parks and Recreation Department since 1994.

Under his leadership, the county’s park system has grown by 2,000 acres to total more than 11,000 acres today; the regional trail system has increased from 15 to 45 miles; and the number of county park visitors has jumped from 1.9 million in 1995 to nearly 3.4 million in 2011.

VonDeLinde has helped secure more than $40 million in grants for county parks and regional trails since he joined Anoka County.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award from the national association representing county park agencies,” VonDeLinde said.

“This award would not be possible without the county board’s vision and support of our park system, the great generosity of our funding partners and a very dedicated team of staff and volunteers.

“I have been very fortunate to be part of a county park system that was established nearly 50 years ago and has a long history of success in serving the citizens of Anoka County.”

The award will be presented to VonDeLinde in July at NACPRO’s conference and awards ceremony in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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