IOWA CITY, Iowa -The Iowa Turfgrass Institute (ITI) honored Joe Wagner, turfgrass specialist for Iowa City’s Parks and Recreation Department, with its 2015 Meritorious Service Award.

Wagner has been employed by the city since 1997. He oversees maintenance of the city’s sports fields. He received the honor during the 81st Iowa Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show held in Altoon, Iowa, in January.

“The Meritorious Award is typically given to a professor or researcher, not an industry professional,” said Zac Hall, Parks Superintendent. “Joe is one of only a few who has received this designation, and it speaks highly of the work he has

Wagner is one of only two individuals to have received all three of the state’s top awards for turf management: the Iowa Sports Turf Managers Association (ISTMA) Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award in 2002, the ISTMA Golden Cleat Award for exemplary service to the association in 2009, and the Meritorious Service Award in 2015.