'Father of Parks and Recreation' recognized with lifetime achievement award

Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan

Dubbed Douglas County’s “father of Community Services and Parks and Recreation,” Community Services Director Scott Morgan received the Nevada Recreation and Parks Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Morgan is only the second person to receive the award in the organization’s 77-year history, according to the county. Named after Dundee Jones, who was the first Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Henderson, it requires a long-lasting career along with significant service contributions nationally, regionally, locally, and to the State of Nevada, the Nevada Recreation and Park Society, and the National Recreation and Park Association.

The award was presented to Morgan by Sally Jones, the widow of the award’s namesake.

“I am honored to be nominated and receive this prestigious award, and having it presented by Sally made it all the more special,” Morgan said.

Morgan celebrates 30 years with Douglas County in January. He is the only person to hold his current title.

During his tenure, he has overseen construction of four award-winning community parks, two nationally recognized community multi-generational centers, a nationally recognized skate park, disc-golf course, historic working ranch, and shooting facility.

Morgan worked with the National Parks Service on the Historic Pony Express Trail and was a founding planning member of the country’s most beautiful bike path—the Lake Tahoe Stateline to Stateline Bike Path. Morgan has over seen the completion of more than $100 million worth of public works and park projects including special event venues, trails, trailheads, and park additions.

His legislative efforts were recognized for successfully modifying the Residential Construction Tax for Parks to allow for equipment replacement in existing parks and broadening the definition of community and neighborhood parks to include amateur athletic facilities.

Morgan and Douglas County also led the charge to amend Nevada law to establish liability immunity and tort liability caps for municipalities that operate skateboard parks and immunity for private property owners who own property next to a trail or trailhead. Both of these legislative acts significantly and positively affected governmental entities’ ability to develop trails, trailheads, and skateboard parks.

His awards include

• California Parks and Recreation Society-Inland Valleys Don Allen Outstanding Professional Award in 1993

• Cashman Good Governance Nevada Taxpayers Association Finalist Award in 1998 and 2023

• Multiple NRPS Elmer H. Anderson Parks Excellence Awards, NRPS Citation Award, and a President’s Award from Gene Trombetti in 2005

• Carson Valley Medical Center Health Provider of the Year in 2018

• Douglas County Business Council Lifetime Achievement Award - Leaders and Legends in 2022

Morgan served as the Society’s President and was a committee chair for the National Association. He has been married to wife Kristi for 38 years. The couple has two sons, Jordan, a missionary in Thailand, and Hunter who works for a private college in Sterling, Kan., and three grandchildren.


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