A member of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority Board is being honored with a national award for her work in the community. Suzan Prince Garnett is the National Association of Park & Recreation Officials’ “Public Official of the Year” for 2020. The VLPRA nominated Garnett for her years of service to parks and recreation.
In nearly ten years on VLPRA’s board, Garnett helped lead the Authority in building six new tennis courts, an eight-field soccer complex, and a five-field baseball complex that includes a Miracle Field. Garnett has also worked to grow programs and bring in sports tourism dollars.
She led the charge to add half a dozen courts to VLPRA’a tennis facility, resulting in 18 courts and the ability to host large tournaments. In fact, Garnett herself lobbied to bring two USTA State Mixed Doubles Championships to VLPRA’s tennis facility that resulted in nearly $1 million in economic impact for the community. She was Tournament Director both years, and USTA Georgia named it their Tennis Event of the Year in 2019. Garnett also procured a grant from USTA to add permanent 10 & Under lines to three of the courts which led to VLPRA’s juniors program doubling in size. She’s also spent years as a volunteer coach for youth tennis & volleyball, championing young athletes and encouraging them to be their best selves.
Garnett received her award at VLPRA’s Authority Board meeting on August 19th.