On Wednesday, April 27, the Louisiana Recreation and Parks Association (LRPA) honored Lydia Martin, foundation initiatives manager for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, with a citation at its annual conference.
According to LRPA president Carl Stages, the award was given in recognition of Martin’s dedication to the betterment of Louisiana’s parks over the last five years.
“Through the years, I’ve come to know Lydia as someone who is passionate and compassionate in the work she does. She has truly made a difference in communities that are part of the Blue cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation’s programs. She has helped to create a path forward to a better Louisiana – and we are honored to present this award to her,” said Stages.
In her role at the Foundation, Martin has supported a dozen projects involving park systems around the state. These projects were part of the Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana grant program, which brought together hundreds of community partners in a grassroots movement to get Louisianians eating right and moving more.
For example, one Baton Rouge challenge grant project included the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) partnering with the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative and others to create mobile play units. In places where the children of hardworking families may not have access to safe play nearby, the mobile play unit provides a healthy outlet for physical activity. The partnership also made fresh fruits and vegetables available in local food deserts.
“It’s been a privilege to work with the folks at LRPA and with organizations all across the state,” said Martin, who recently announced that she was relocating to Medford, Oregon with her family. “I’m glad to have been a part of their great work in improving the health and wellbeing of Louisianians, though I think they did most of the heavy lifting!”
Foundation president Michael Tipton added his praise for Martin’s work: “Lydia was the lynchpin in our three-year Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana program. She was at the middle of everything, and I’m not sure we would have achieved the same kinds of results without her. She is a bright and inspiring force and we will miss her dearly.”
Martin joined the Foundation in 2011 after having served as the human resources manager for the Alliance Safety Council. She has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and leadership, including a long tenure with Girl Scouts throughout the United States. Her background includes compliance, meeting accreditation standards and evaluating programs.
Ms. Martin is a graduate of Tarleton State University, holds PHR Certification and SHRM-CP certification, serves on the Board of Directors for Playmakers BR, and is an avid backyard gardener.