In Memoriam, Karon Badalamenti, CPRE (1961-2014)

It is with heavy hearts that we are announcing that, after a valiant battle with cancer, Karon Badalamenti, CPRE, Principal with GreenPlay, passed away peacefully on the morning of June 9th, 2014. Karon had an incredible spirit, and will be missed by so many. She leaves behind her loving husband, Charlie, her daughters and grandchildren. She was a vital force in our field, and contributed many years and innovations to our profession.

Karon was a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive who brought over 25 years in Parks and Recreation administration, and senior management experience consulting for both special district and municipal government in planning, marketing, operations, maintenance and construction, board development and project management. Karon joined GreenPlay as a Principal in 2004. Over the next 10 years she was involved in dozens of projects projects as well as presenting at workshops and conferences. She was truly committed to community parks and recreation. In recent years, she facilitated and led successful consulting projects for communities of all sizes around the nation, including Master Planning, Program and Needs Assessments, Market Analyses, and Financial Planning. Karon brought a keen focus on helping agencies create a strong vision and articulate that work through comprehensive strategic planning.

She loved working with performing and cultural arts, exploring the role of parks and recreation in tourism, and helping agencies achieve financial sustainability for their communities to thrive. She played a key role in the development of GreenPlay’s Pyramid Methodology for determining cost recovery, and improving the Public Sector Services Assessment for determining an agencies core services and service strategies, along with other community planning and stakeholder involvement strategies. Her love for her profession was infectious, and she was a prime example of someone with a thriving entrepreneurial spirit combined with a public sector heart.

Prior to working for GreenPlay, Karon was the Assistant Director of Leisure Services for Commerce City, Colorado, and before that held many positions, working her way up through the ranks of the Foothills Parks and Recreation District in Colorado. Over the years, she held many volunteer positions for the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA), and received the President’s Award and the Outstanding Service Award in the 1990s. She also served the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) for many years, as a representative for the Midwest Region, on many schools and committees, and providing strong education for her fellow colleagues. She fully believed in professional and personal development, and was part of the first group in the country to obtain Certified Parks and Recreation Executive (CPRE) standing.

In honor of her many years of service and dedication to our world, GreenPlay and GP RED have established a fund to offer a scholarship through the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA). Click here for more information about the “Karon Badalamenti Change Agent Scholarship”. If you would like to contribute to that fund contact GP RED at