LAPORTE | LaPorte County Parks Chief Naturalist Niki Schmutte was the recipient of the top award from the Indiana Park and Recreation Association.
The award was presented to Schmutte in Bloomington earlier this month at the IPRA’s state conference.
The Award of Excellence Leadership Award was given under the category of “Outstanding Professional." The award is the highest honor the association can confer upon an individual.
Schmutte has been employed with LaPorte County Park Department as the chief naturalist since February 1994. During her tenure, more than 134,000 individuals and families have participated in environmental education.
LaPorte County Parks Superintendent, Tim Morgan said, “Niki exemplifies the true meaning of an outstanding professional. She has a track record of being a great storyteller, an invaluable fountain of facts and knowledge, and an icon as a naturalist, interpreter, and environmental educator. She demonstrates outstanding leadership in enhancing the quality of life and enjoyment of the outdoors for all ages.”