On Nov. 12, John “Linky” Erskine, park operations manager at South Portland Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront, received the 2020 Outstanding Parks Professional Award from the Maine Recreation and Parks Association. Erskine thanked everyone over Zoom during a city council meeting. Courtesy photo

SOUTH PORTLAND — On Nov. 12, John “Linky” Erskine, operations manager for South Portland Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, received the 2020 Outstanding Parks Professional Award.

The award was presented to Erskine by the Maine Recreation and Parks Association.

Dedicated to improving the quality of life for all those in Maine, the MRPA has members working all year to try to increase recreational opportunities and promote a healthy lifestyle to citizens of all ages, Tracy Willette, representing the MRPA, said.

“We do this by supporting the professionals in Maine Public Parks and Recreation programs, those who serve statewide as a voice for access to all those public recreation amenities and open spaces,” Willette said.

Rick Perruzzi, recreation manager of outdoor athletic facilities for the South Portland, said that Erskine has worked for the city for over 30 years in a variety of capacities. Now the parks operations manager, Erskine oversees the day-to-day operations for the entire parks division.

“During these past 30 years, Linky has always brought an unwavering passion and vision to serve the citizens of South Portland,” he said. “His ability to think outside the box in a variety of situations has not only made him a great steward for the city of South Portland, but more importantly, so has his ability to share and teach his techniques and vision with people who have the pleasure working with him for over 30 years.”

Erskine thanked the MRPA and South Portland Parks, Recreation and Waterfront for the recognition.

“I’d like to thank the crew I work with, too,” he said. “These men and women get it done every day, and without them I wouldn’t be getting this tonight. I’d also like to thank my dad. My dad helped me get into this profession, and as a mechanic, I had to go and ask him, ‘What do you think dad? You think I can do this?’ And he said, ‘You’ve got it. You can do it.’ From mechanic, I’ve moved up, and here we are today, an operations manager.”

He said that he’s had a great career in South Portland.

Erskine’s recognition was “well deserved,” Perruzzi said.

It’s been a long time coming, and we’re very happy for you.

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