Christopher K. Jarvi Scholarship
for the Advancement of Partnerships

About Chris

Christopher K. Jarvi

Chris Jarvi enjoyed a full and rich career as a parks and recreation professional and left us too soon. Graduating from Cal Poly, Pomona in Ornamental Horticulture/Park Administration, he served with Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, Catalina Conservancy and the City of Anaheim. His roles included Lead Planner, Park Superintendent and Director of Community Services. He spent the last six years of his career with the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. as an Associate Director responsible for Partnerships and Visitor Experience. 

Chris was active in leadership with prominent organizations working to support recreation and parks professionals including the California Parks and Recreation Society and the National Recreation and Park Association and was a fellow of the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.

Throughout his career he viewed his job as building a stronger community rather than simply delivering services. At his request, the Foundation for Sustainable Parks and Recreation established this scholarship to encourage parks and recreation professionals to continue to explore how partnering efforts can help us achieve parks, recreation, and community goals.

Ideas for Scholarships

Want to better understand what you could use the scholarship for? Here are TEN IDEAS for how to use the Scholarship!

Application Materials

Purpose of the Scholarship 

The Christopher K. Jarvi Scholarship to Advance Partnerships was created to help dedicated professionals explore ways to enrich existing and integrate more partnerships into their work to benefit and bring value to parks, public lands and the communities that host them.

Learning about partnerships and developing skills is an iterative process. The more one learns and practices, the greater the innovation and partner engagement in all aspects of recreation and parks.

The concept and practice of partnering will change as the needs of parks and recreation professionals evolve. This scholarship encourages applications to take the practice of partnerships to the next level.


Chris wanted this scholarship to be open to all parks and recreation professionals working in the field who want to advance their knowledge and skills in the practice of partnering for effective delivery of services and improvement of the communities they serve.

Expectations of Applicants

The Scholarship Committee challenges applicants to be creative in seeking and gaining the knowledge and experiences to improve their partnering skills. While state and national recreation-oriented conferences are invaluable, the Committee encourages requests to choose workshops, conferences or training sessions that are in fields such as health, insurance, community development, art, or other industries and fields where partnerships could be leveraged to serve parks and recreation programs and interests. The Committee especially encourages applicants to learn more about philanthropy and planned giving, fields that are certain to deliver long-term results for parks and recreation efforts. Online or in-person programs are equally eligible.

Range and Number of Awards

Scholarships range from $500-$1,500 and up to ten scholarships will be awarded each year. Scholarship awards may be used over the 18 months following the award. This will ensure that scholarship recipients are able to attend the training, workshop, conference, program or activity of interest and that the scholarship will fit the needs of any budgeting cycle or matching funds that may be available.

Application Dates

The application period is closed.

Expectations of Recipients

  • A 1000 word report regarding your learning experience to be published on the Scholarship webpage so that others might gain from your learning and insights.
  • Cost sharing (approximately 25%) to cover the costs of your learning journey are appreciated and connote individual and/or agency commitment.

Make a contribution!

If you want to support Chris’ vision to help parks and recreation professionals gain invaluable partnering skills, please consider a gift to the Christopher K. Jarvi Scholarship Fund.

Stay Informed

The Christopher K. Jarvi Scholarship to Advance the Field of Partnerships is a project of
the Foundation for Sustainable Parks and Recreation and is administered
by the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP).