Metro Parks employee honored by Coalition for Developmental Disabilities
The Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities has recognized Heather Reddington, a recreation specialist in Metro Parks’ Specialized Recreation program, for her dedication to the needs of people with developmental disabilities.
Reddington, 32, of Olympia, has been a Metro Parks employee for more than three years. She was among three people honored with a “Difference you Make in the World” award at the coalition’s annual legislative forum on Nov. 29 at Mount Tahoma High School. The others were state Sen. Jeannie Darneille of Tacoma and Hugh Flint, White River School District student support services director.
Reddington received a crystal commemorative trophy that commends her for “unwavering support and service to individuals who experience developmental disabilities.”
The Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities, also known as PC2, is a resource and advocacy group that aims to empower individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
BethAnn Garteiz, the coalition’s executive director, has known Reddington for a couple of years. She said she is impressed with Reddington’s “can-do attitude” and passion for the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in community activities.
“She identifies the outcome that we want and is able to search for a way to make that happen,” Garteiz said. “She goes above and beyond all the time. This is a young woman who will make a difference in our community. She is a leader.”
On behalf of Metro Parks, Reddington coordinates and organizes several different Specialized Recreation programs including:
- Realize Recreation, a joint effort with Tacoma Public Schools to empower 18- to 21-year-olds with developmental disabilities
- Voices, a once-weekly self-advocacy group
- Cinderella Ball, an annual formal dance hosted by the Tacoma Yacht Club
- Youth programs for those with developmental disabilities
- Outreach to the community of people with developmental disabilities in unincorporated Pierce County
Reddington said she “feel(s) a deep connection” with people with developmental disabilities, an affinity she first recognized during a college internship. Before discovering her chosen career path, she worked with at-risk youth and, separately, with an alcohol-and-drug dependency program.
Reddington was raised in Puyallup, graduated from Rogers High School graduate and earned her bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Brigham Young University.