From left to right: Garry Whalen, Vickie Hilgemann, Dennis Esser

Two men who donate lots of time to Keizer’s parks were recognized at RIVERfair last weekend with the SPARKLE awards.

The awards are given out by the Keizer Parks Foundation, a nonprofit established to improve parks in Keizer.

Garry Whalen, a parks and recreation board member, “has been there to help the Keizer Parks Foundation from the very beginning,” said Vickie Hilgemann, who is on the foundation’s board. “He has said yes to any request for help we had from making paw pavers, to working on development of the Wild, Wild Rec program, to coordinating and doing a lot of the work on irrigating the Whittam Gardens.”

The other award went to Dennis Esser, who has built seven kiosks at city parks, assisted in Whittam Gardens and made “many” paw pavers, which raise funds for the Keizer Rapids Dog Park, Hilgemann said.