Maehl, Peterson earn state recreation honors

Two employees of the Fort Dodge Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department have been honored by a state association of recreation professionals.

Ryan Maehl, recreation administrator, received the Carole J. Hanson Outstanding New Professional Award from the Iowa Park and Recreation Association.

Rich Peterson, the parks and forestry operations supervisor, received the group’s T. Ray Frame Maintenance Award.

Both awards were presented at the association’s April 8 banquet in Cedar Rapids.

“You don’t do any of this to get awards, so when you do get that recognition it just takes your breath away,” Maehl said.

Peterson said he was surprised and honored to get the award. He is the second person from Fort Dodge to receive it. Tony Salvatore, a former parks superintendent, won it previously.

According to the association, the Carole J. Hanson Outstanding New Professional Award is given to someone who has been in the recreation profession for seven years or less and has provided exceptional service.

Maehl began working full-time for Fort Dodge in 2008. He is certified through the National Park and Recreation Association as pool operator, park and recreation professional and playground safety inspector. Maehl is an assistant girls basketball coach at Fort Dodge Senior High.

The T. Ray Frame Maintenance Award is for a maintenance worker who has demonstrated a high level of skill and does more than what would be considered sufficient in their capacity.

Peterson has worked for the department since 1999. He is an electrician who also does mechanical repairs, carpentry and forestry work.