The following is a press release on his honor from the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department.
In recognition of his tireless commitment to protecting and preserving open space in Los Angeles County, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has been selected as the 2013 honoree for Outstanding Public Official by the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO). The awards ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 9 in Houston, Texas.
The supervisor was nominated for the award by the Department of Parks and Recreation in honor of “visionary and collaborative leadership” in his advocacy for expanding and improving the county’s system of trails.
“The National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials Executive Board is pleased to support the selection of Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich as the Outstanding Public Official for 2013,” said NACPRO Executive Board President Randy Burkhardt. “Supervisor Antonovich’s dedication and commitment to the citizens of Los Angeles County is apparent with all that he does.”
In the Fifth Supervisorial District – which he has represented since 1980, and encompasses 2,000-plus square miles and 75 county Parks – Supervisor Antonovich’s leadership has resulted in the allocation of millions of dollars for the creation, improvement and expansion of facilities such as bike paths, multi-use trails, and essential public access points like trailheads and trail staging areas.
In 2007, Antonovich led the Board of Supervisors to increase the number of trail miles in a key County master plan, which included approximately 191 miles of proposed new trails in the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys, led the County to preserve historical multi-use trails and encourages the creation of additional open space in perpetuity. In 2009, he awarded grants to expand, rehabilitate, and improve 15 trails in 19 cities, in amounts of up to $150,000 each.
To raise awareness of the County’s vast network of trails, the supervisor in 1992 founded and has led the “Antonovich Trail Dusters Ride.” Its popularity has resulted in the ride’s growth into a biannual event, where some participants have enjoyed the special opportunity to ride a horse for the very first time.
“Open space is essential to our quality of life in Southern California,” said Department of Parks and Recreation Director Russ Guiney. “Supervisor Antonovich’s dedication to trails has been instrumental in ensuring that future generations of Los Angeles County residents will enjoy the natural beauty, recreational opportunities and educational advantages that our trail system provides. This award is well-deserved, and we congratulate the supervisor on his selection.”