City employees were present at the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association banquet to congratulate Mike Riggs on winning the Parks Professional Award.

MARICOPA — A city official has been recognized for his achievements by the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association.

Mike Riggs, Maricopa’s public services director, has won the Parks Professional Award, a recognition that is given to one employee per year in the state.

The award came as a surprise to him, as the city put in the application instead of Riggs himself.

“I was very honored. I was impressed that Nathan (Ullyot), community services director, put the application in,” Riggs sad.

According to the AZPRA, “This award recognizes the continuous dedication of a park employee who has demonstrated outstanding service to the field of parks and recreation.”

Riggs has worked for the city for a little over five and a half years. He started out as a parks crew lead while Copper Sky Recreation Center opened, working his way up to director of public services in July. His job entails parks, street and facility maintenance as well as managing the department’s fleet.

Major projects that Riggs has been involved in include the historic Zephyr railcar being moved from the Amtrak station to Heritage Park in January along with rapid cleanup of the monsoon damage from the summer. He has been a key player in the Mud Run in the past several years and other events throughout the city.

Riggs has also helped 23 Boy Scouts in just this past year alone to become Eagle Scouts in Maricopa.

“The city put that (application) in for me so that was an honor in itself,” Riggs said. “I enjoy what I do and enjoy the projects. I get the support from the community to the City Council, and the key players are the staff that make it work.”

He now works under City Manager Rick Horst and says he will strive to finish projects and to “beat the expectations of the community.”

“I get the credit for it but I don’t do all the work,” Riggs said. “Support from the community is second to none.”