The Robert W. Crawford Recreation and Park Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who had made outstanding and lasting contributions to the advancement of recreation and parks. The concept for the Hall of Fame was suggested by Robert W. Crawford in 1987 and was subsequently named in his honor. Crawford had a long and distinguished career in park and recreation and was recognized as one of the great leaders in the field.
The Hall of Fame concept was expanded and refined by the Joseph Lee Memorial Library Committee with startup funds provided by a grant from the National Recreation Foundation. The first induction ceremony took place at the National Recreation and Park Association National Congress and Exposition held in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1988.1 The first inductees were recreation pioneers who made great contributions to the development of the recreation and park movement: Frederick Law Olmstead, Joseph Lee, George A. Parker, Luther H. Gulick, Theodore Wirth, Howard S. Braucher, and Lebert H. Weir.2
The Hall of Fame Committee and selection process is a joint project of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration. Nominations are submitted to NRPA and must meet the following criteria:
- They must have made an extraordinary and lasting contribution to the advancement of the park and recreation movement in the United States.
- Their contributions must have been consistent with the mission of the National Recreation and Park Association and its predecessor organizations.
- No nominee shall be considered until at least five years after his or her death. Selection to the Hall of Fame is a posthumous honor.
- Nominees will be considered for their contributions to the recreation and park field warranted by historical review and evaluation of long-term impact upon the recreation and park movement without regard to race, sex, religion, or age.
- In most years, no more than two individuals will be elected to the Hall of Fame.3
Special commemorative plaques are on display at the Ahrens Institute, National Recreation and Park Association headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia.4 Induction ceremonies continue to be held at NRPA Congress. Recipients include:
- 1989 – Jane Addams, Dorothy Enderis, Ernest T. Atwell, Stephen Mather, Henry S. Curtis
- 1991 – Robert B. Garrett, Lemuel Alonzo Garrison, George Hjelte, Otto T. Mallery, Josephine Randall
- 1995 – Charles K. Brightbill, Pearl H. Vaughn, George D. Butler, Charles E. Doell, Harold D. Meyer
- 1997 – William Penn Mott, Jr., Theresa S. Brungardt, Thomas E. Rivers, Garrett G. Eppley
- 1999 – Beatrice H. Hill, Joseph Prendergast, Conrad Wirth
- 2001 – Robert Wilson Crawford, Robert Moses
- 2003 – Edith Ball, Woody Sutherland
- 2005 – Kathryn Krieg
- 2009 – Laurance S. Rockefeller, Ralph C. Wilson
- 2013 – Charles H. Odegaard, Frances Wallach
- 2014 – Thomas I. Hines
- 2015 – Richard A. Tapply, Allan V. Sapora
- 2016 - Stewart G. Case5
- 1. “Robert W. Crawford Hall of Fame.” National Recreation and Park Association. < http://www.nrpa.org/uploadedFiles/nrpa.org/Membership/Awards/Robert_W_Crawford_Hall_of_Fame/Brochure.pdf > 29 Nov. 2016.
- 2. “Hall of Fame Inductees.” National Recreation and Park Association. < http://www.nrpa.org/uploadedFiles/nrpa.org/Membership/Awards/Robert_W_Crawford_Hall_of_Fame/HALL-OF-FAME-INDUCTEES.pdf > 29 Nov. 2016.
- 3. Op. cit., “Robert W. Crawford Hall of Fame.”
- 4. “NRPA Robert W Crawford Hall of Fame.” National Recreation and Park Association. < http://www.nrpa.org/halloffame/ > 29 Nov. 2016.
- 5. Op. cit., “Hall of Fame Inductees.”