LOCAL AWARDS

  • 2015—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, Certificate of Recognition, Spring Forest Middle School
  • 2015—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, Honorable Mention, University of Houston Graduate Design/Build Studio for Lockhart Elementary School
  • 2014—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, University of Houston Graduate Design/Build Stuido for Paul Revere Middle School
  • 2014—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner, Certificate of Recognition, Ketelsen Elementary SPARK Park
  • 2014—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner, Certificate of Recognition, Stovall Middle School SPARK Park
  • 2013—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, Wilson Wonderground SPARK Park
  • 2013—Runner-Up—Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Parks & Natural Areas Best Practices Program, Wilson Wonderground SPARK Park
  • 2013—Museum District Business Alliance, Community Improvement Award, Wilson Wonderground SPARK Park
  • 2012—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, Travis Elementary SPARK Park
  • 2012—Houston History Magazine, article on history of SPARK Parks
  • 2011—Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, McReynolds Middle School SPARK Park
  • 2011—Keep Houston Beautiful, Distinguished Service Award, St. Johns Students/Berry Elementary SPARK Park
  • 2010—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner, Honorable Mention, Spring Woods Middle School SPARK Park
  • 2009—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner, Honorable Mention, Hogg Middle School SPARK Park
  • 2008—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, Meadow Wood Elementary School SPARK Park
  • 2008—Honor Award – Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Parks  & Natural Areas Best Practices Program, Tinsley Elementary SPARK Park
  • 2008—Graphic Excellence Award for 2008 SPARK Art Calendar
  • 2007—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, Douglas Smith Elementary School SPARK Park
  • 2007—Graphic Excellence Award for 2007 SPARK Art Calendar
  • 2006—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, Garden Villas Elementary School SPARK Park
  • 2006—Community Spirit Award, American General Life Insurance
  • 2006—Leadership Houston’s Leaders In Action Award for Young Scholars Academy SPARK Park
  • 2006—Graphic Excellence Award for 2006 SPARK Art Calendar
  • 2005—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, Roosevelt Elementary SPARK Park
  • 2004—SPARK Art Calendar, Graphic Excellence Awards, Best in Plant, Best in     Category. Award of Excellence for SPARK Art Calendar, Coloring Book, and Postcards.
  • 2004—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, Tinsley Elementary SPARK Park
  • 2004—Synergy Award – SPARK Executive Director, Kathleen Ownby
  • 2004—Graphic Excellence Award for 2004 SPARK Art Calendar – Best in Plant, Best in Category Award of Excellence, SPARK Art Calendar, Coloring Book, and Postcards
  • 2003—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner, Honorable Mention for SPARK Parks at Alcott Elementary and Petersen Elementary SPARK Parks
  • 2003—Travis Elementary recognized as a top five finalist in the Project for Public Spaces Great Parks Great Cities Award, Best New Park category
  • 2003—Leadership Houston’s Leaders In Action Award for Sharpstown High School SPARK Park
  • 2003—Trees For Houston Arbor Day Award for number of trees planted
  • 2003—Park People Visionary Award
  • 2003—Graphic Excellence Award for 2003 SPARK Art Calendar
  • 2002—Graphic Excellence Award for 2002 SPARK Art Calendar
  • 2002—Keep Houston Beautiful Mayor’s Proud Partner Award, 2nd place for Osborne Elem. and Benavidez Elem. SPARK Parks
  • 2000—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award for Chambers Elem., Valley West Elem., Wharton Elem., and Woodland Acres Elem. SPARK Parks
  • 2000—Leadership in Action Award from Leadership Houston for the Helms Learning Center SPARK Park in the Environmental category
  • 1999—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award for Poe Elem. and Carnegie SPARK Parks
  • 1998—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award for Valley Oaks Elem., Lamar Elem., and Burbank Elem. SPARK Parks
  • 1998—Leadership in Action Award from Leadership Houston for the Ridgecrest Elem. SPARK Park in the environmental category
  • 1997—Mayor’s Proud Partner Award for Best Elem., Shadydale Elem., and Hererra Elem. SPARK Parks
  • 1997—Shadydale SPARK Park – finalist Leadership Houston Leadership in Action Award
  • 1996—Douglass Elementary SPARK Park named “Best Park” by The Houston Press
  • 1996—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partners Award for Douglass Elem., Cunningham Elem., and Piney Point Elem. SPARK Parks
  • 1995—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partners Award for DeChaumes Elementary SPARK Park
  • 1995—Leadership in Action Award from Leadership Houston for “Atherton Elementary SPARK Park”, in The Cultural Arts/Non-profit category
  • 1994—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partners Award for Sherwood Elem. SPARK Park (first school selected in Spring Branch ISD)
  • 1994—Leadership in Action Award from Leadership Houston for “Community Funding and Support”, in The Economy/Non-profit category
  • 1993—Keep Houston Beautiful, Mayor’s Proud Partners Award for Codwell Elementary/Crestmont SPARK Park
  • 1993—The Travisaurus (dinosaur play structure) is featured along with the artist/designer on the cover of Museum and Arts Magazine, September issue
  • 1993—Leadership in Action Award from Leadership Houston for Travis Elementary SPARK Park, in the Leadership and Volunteerism/Non-Profit category.
  • 1993—Annual Award in the Government Category from The Greater Houston /Galveston Urban Forestry Council
  • 1993—Project Award from The Park People for parks at Travis Elementary and B.T. Washington H.S.
  • 1992—Eleanor Tinsley named Outstanding Proud Partner by Clean Houston at the Eighth Annual Mayor’s Proud Partners Awards Luncheon.  The development of the SPARK Program was cited as one of her significant contributions towards beautification in Houston.
  • 1992—Action Award in the Youth category from Leadership Houston for the Tijerina Elementary SPARK Park
  • 1992—Four SPARK Parks, Garden Oaks, Tijerina, Rhoads, and Travis were named by The Houston Chronicle in an article on Best Playgrounds.
  • 1992—Urban Forestry Award from the Houston-Galveston Urban Forestry Council for the SPARK Park at Ed White Elementary / Crain City Park.
  • 1991—Proud Partner Awards from Clean Houston for the Ed White Elementary and Rhoads Elementary SPARK Parks
  • 1990—Project Award from The Park People for the Foerster Elementary SPARK Park
  • 1989—Proud Partner Award from Clean Houston

STATE AWARDS

  • 2006—Texas Government/Agency Partnership Crystal Award
  • 2004—Community Forestry Award from Texas Forest Service and Texas Urban Forestry Council for Tinsley Elementary SPARK Park
  • 1999—Community Forestry Award from Texas Forest Service and Texas Urban Forestry Council for Cedar Brook/ Edgewood SPARK Park
  • 1997—Community Forestry Award from Texas Forest Service and Texas Urban Forestry Council
  • 1987—Award for Outstanding Service for Planning by a Texan from Outside the Planning Profession to Eleanor Tinsley from The Texas Chapter/American Planning Association.  SPARK was one of her outstanding contributions cited in the award.
  • 1987—Environmental Improvement Award given to SPARK and the Franklin Elementary SPARK Park, by the Houston Chapter, American Institute of Architects, the Houston-Gulf Coast Section of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Houston Municipal Art Commission
  • 1987—Environmental Stewardship Award from the Texas Chapter of the American Society for Landscape Architects

NATIONAL AWARDS

  • 2003—Travis Elementary recognized as a top five finalist in the Project for Public Spaces Great Parks Great Cities Award, Best New Park category
  • 1993—National Environmental Achievement Award in the Public Lands and Open Space Protection category from RENEW AMERICA.  SPARK was one of twenty programs honored by Renew America at an Environmental Ball at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
  • 1990—James C. Howland Award for Urban Enrichment from the National League of Cities.
  • 1988—honored at the Democratic National Convention as the Texas example of GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY IN ACTION.
  • 1987—presented at the Congress for Recreation and Parks.
  • 1986—Recognized by the National League of Cities
  • 1986—Recognized as a model project in the  1986 AMERICA CAN! REPORT ON MODEL COMMUNITY PROGRAMS.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

  • 2015—National Green Schoolyards Summit, Chicago, IL
  • 2015—Active Living Research Conference, San Diego, CA
  • 2014—Public Health & the Built Environment: Healthy Communities by Design, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
  • 2012—Texas Association of Partners in Educations (TAPE), San Antonio, TX
  • 2012—Greater and Greener Conference, City Parks Alliance, New York, NY
  • 2011—City of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
  • 2003—American Forest Conference, San Antonio, TX
  • 2002—NeoCon, World’s Trade Fair for Interior Design & Facilities Management Chicago, IL
  • 2002—Neighborhood USA Conference (NUSA), Houston, TX
  • 2001—National Urban Forest Conference, Washington D.C.
  • 2001—Neighborhood USA Conference (NUSA), Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2001—Texas Recreation and Parks Symposium, (TRAPS) Del Lago, TX
  • 2001—Administrators’ Midwinter Conference on Education, Austin, TX
  • 2000—Partner’s in Education Convention, Houston, TX
  • 2000—Texas Administrator’s and School Board, (TASB) Houston, TX

Our hope is that this national attention will result in other cities being able to adapt our program to meet their needs.

  • In 2001 SPARK registered its trademark and signed a licensing agreement with Baton Rouge Green to oversee a SPARK Program at Banks Elementary School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  That park was completed and dedicated in September of 2002.
  • In 2012 SPARK signed a licensing agree with San Antonio Sports to oversee a SPARK program in Southwest ISD; registration of that trademark is pending.
coredesignstudioAWARDS AND HONORS