(HAZELWOOD, MO – Nov. 19, 2020) – The Hazelwood Parks & Rec Department has added an award to its case. The City of Hazelwood’s Parks and Recreation Department earned a 2020 Outstanding Local Government Award from East-West Gateway for Leadership in Planning and Design Innovation for the Hazelwood Obstacle Course Race (Hazelwood OCR) program, recognizing the innovativeness of the Hazelwood Parks and Recreation Department.
After seeing the popularity of the America Ninja Warrior competition and similar races, Hazelwood Parks and Recreation Superintendent Doug Littlefield developed the concept of creating the Hazelwood OCR program to transform underutilized and antiquated park equipment in Howdershell Park. Littlefield worked with Landscape Structures Inc. to design a completely custom line of equipment for the park. Now, the new OCR equipment is one of the Parks Department’s most popular features.
Since the equipment installation, Hazelwood has hosted six races, generating revenue for the Parks and Recreation Department, bringing participants from five different states, and creating a community of ninja obstacle course race enthusiasts, both within the City and regionally. To develop programming for the course, and to keep the challenges fresh, Littlefield works with top athletes in the area and the KOR Komplex.
In presenting the award to the Hazelwood OCR program, East-West Gateway recognized the uniqueness and innovativeness of the program. At the time of completion, no other existing municipal facilities in Missouri, or U.S., had anything similar.
“It was a great honor for Hazelwood OCR to earn the Outstanding Local Government Award for Leadership in Planning and Design Innovation by East-West Gateway,” said Littlefield. “This award represents the collective effort of many who believed we could build upon the excitement of our Ninja Course and bring Obstacle Course Racing to Hazelwood. A culture of wellness and camaraderie surrounds our races and it’s exciting to be part of. We are very fortunate to have the support of volunteers, the local OCR community, City staff, and the City Council. Hazelwood OCR is a team effort and I’m privileged to have met and be associated with such a great group of people.”
The next Hazelwood OCR race is the Valentine’s Day Massacre on Feb. 13.
For more information:
Becky Ahlvin, Assistant City Manager – Economic Development