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Lewiston Recreation Coordinator is Young Professional of the Year 

LEWISTON, ME (March 31, 2023) – The Lewiston Recreation Department is celebrating its Recreation Coordinator, Alyssa Clark, who has been designated the 2023 recipient of the Maine Recreation and Park Association’s ‘Dr. Bill Eckart’ Young Professional of the Year Award. The annual award is given to a Maine rising parks and recreation professional who has displayed an outstanding community performance level through innovative programming, partnerships, and civic involvement.

      “I am truly honored to receive the Dr. Bill Eckart Young Professional of the Year Award! It was a great surprise and motivates me to continue working hard to give the City of Lewiston quality programs to enjoy for years to come,” said Clark who began her tenure with Lewiston Recreation in August of 2021.

      Dr. Bill Eckart, for whom the award is named, retired from the University of Maine at Machias in 2011 after 31 years as Professor of Recreation Management. During his tenure, he built the program into one of the most respected programs in the country, being Maine’s only nationally accredited recreation degree program. Dr. Eckart was also an active member of the Maine Recreation and Park Program, served as its Board Treasurer, spearheaded a professional certification program, and managed membership.

Mayor Carl L. Sheline and Recreation Director Nicole Welch recognized Clark at the March 21, 2023, City Council meeting and highlighted her contributions to the department and community.

 “She has developed valuable partnerships with Healthy Androscoggin, Bates College, and Lewiston High School, to name a few, which have resulted in low-cost and free programs for our residents, supporting our mission of increased organized recreation and leisure access. Her approach to offering both traditional and non-traditional programs support a welcoming environment where families can confidently receive an organized, fun, safe program,” said Director Welch. 

“Alyssa’s infectious smile and can-do attitude are a winning combination for Lewiston Rec and our city’s kids. I’m glad she’s on the team,” said Mayor Carl L. Sheline.

Recreation Coordinator Clark daily serves as a programmer and administrator. From the 325 basketball players ranging from pre-k to grade 12 to the 34 Safe Sitter Program graduates, and the 140 Lewiston Rec summer campers in 2022, Clark continues to weave positive municipal recreation and leisure traditions into the City of Lewiston. She oversees more than 40 volunteer coaches and annually assists with the supervision of 35-40 part-time employees.  

Clark graduated from Endicott College in 2015 with a Sports Management Degree. Early in her career, she worked for the Gorham Recreation Department part-time before accepting her first full-time position at Saco Parks and Recreation in 2016. 

Reflecting on the journey to this point in her career, “I’ve been a Parks & Rec kid my whole life from participating in youth sports and summer camps to my first job being a summer camp counselor. After that, there was no turning back. My family, past co-workers, mentors, colleagues, and my current Lewiston Recreation Team have all helped me become the professional I am today. I am very thankful.”

The Lewiston Recreation Department is certainly thankful for her contributions to its team, plans, and vision. “Alyssa is an advocate for recreation, a cheerleader for her colleagues, and an absolute joy to work with every day. If the past 18 months are her getting her feet wet, then the greater Lewiston community is in for a treat over the coming years,” said Director Welch.

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