City of Ventura earns national award for Public Works Project of the Year

Eric Berg, Principal, Pacific Coast Land Design; Stacey Zarazua, Parks Manager, City of Ventura; Phil Nelson, Public Works Director, City of Ventura; Buddy Jones, Construction Inspector, City of Ventura

The American Public Works Association (APWA) is proud to announce the City of Ventura has won APWA’s 2023 Public Works Project of the Year Award. Award winners publicly developed, owned, and maintained infrastructure projects that promote excellence in construction management and administration.

“Built in 1961, Arroyo Verde Park spans 129 acres of open space and features a large turf field area, playground, picnic area, hiking trails, and more. In 2017, the Arroyo Verde Park’s main play structure was destroyed in the Thomas Fire,” shared Public Works Director Phil Nelson. “Rather than simply rebuilding the former structure, our Parks Department sought to reimagine the space to make it the City’s first inclusive play area for children of all abilities.”

Primary playground features include structures offering social and play designs using movement and ability, uses topography as a natural playground, offers an open-ended sensory experience, music areas, native landscapes, and more.The American Public Works Association is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 30,000 members involved in the field of public works. The City of Ventura earned APWA’s 2023 Public Works Project of the Year Award in the Structures category, in the less an $5 million division. The recent July edition of the APWA Reporter, shared highlights of award winners across the nation including the Arroyo Verde Park Inclusive Playground Rebuild.

“Each year APWA receives hundreds of entries for our Project of the Year Awards. It’s always a challenging process to select the winners as so many worthy projects are submitted. The Project of the Year Awards highlights the best projects that showcase amazing collaborative efforts and vision. Congratulations to this year’s winners!” said APWA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Scott D. Grayson, CAE.

An awards and recognition ceremony will take place during the APWA Public Works Expo on Monday, August 28, in San Diego. APWA will recognize this year’s Project of the Year Award winners in a video posted to on August 30.


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