Commission Wide Innovation Challenge


The Innovation Challenge is designed to creatively engaged the department in finding innovative solutions to a major goal or big problem through highly collaborative efforts. This year's major goal focuses broadly on conservation as defined by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) and will target the priorities of Formula 2040 and the Commission’s Sustainability Plan. We are looking for innovative ways to cut costs and minimize our impact on the environment through energy and water conservation. Conservation is a broad term and can include recycling, environmental protection and stewardship, energy conservation, reducing pollution and energy consumption, wildlife management, sustainable best practices, and the use of technology to increase access and quality of life. The challenge is a fun way for inter-divisional teams to come up with the best solution to a big problem that can be implemented by all other divisions.


All career staff are encouraged to participate and be a part of a team. Any amount of teams can enter the challenge as long as they are inter-divisional and have 5-20 people. Each team will select (2) staff team leads from different divisions. Each team will need to hold at least (3) meetings to brainstorm, develop their idea, refine their plan and complete the application and video.


Each team will submit their idea on an application and do a brief video describing their idea that will be shared with the entire department (produced by PAMD or self-produced by following the required video guidelines). All applications and videos will be available online for viewing and voting for 3-4 weeks. Career staff can vote online one time using their employee id as the unique identifier for the idea that best meets the criteria.

Criteria includes:1) alignment with conservation goals from master plan, sustainability plan and NRPA, 2) measurable and 3) contribution and/or participation by all divisions. The idea with the most votes will be implemented by the entire department through each division. The team with the most votes for their idea will provide hands-on support to each division.


The Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for DPR to collaborate in new ways and show the power of “we” and how much we can accomplish by working together. The challenge allows us to take calculated risks, be creative, be innovative and do meaningful great work. The challenge will move our mission forward and advance our goals from the master plan and the sustainability plan. We are a six-time gold medal-winning agency and must maintain high standards for management in the field and for service to our community especially through conservation. We are striving to reduce our impact on the environment and conserve natural resources, reducing our operating costs in the process. We are also looking for innovative products, processes or services and programs that reduce waste, minimize energy consumption, and contribute to a healthier planet. The purpose of the challenge is to reward a CONSERVATION-related innovation or idea that is the product of a collaboration of cross-divisional teams to make the DPR the greenest, healthiest and most sustainable parks and recreation department in the nation.