Magazine article Parks & Recreation

And the Award Goes to

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

And the Award Goes to

Article excerpt

One of the big goals of Congress is to recognize members and agencies in the field of parks and recreation that have made notable strides to advance the profession. Each year, NRPA highlights the accomplishments and achievements of these individuals and groups through a variety of ceremonies and recognition events. For more information on the Gold Medal Award finalists, categories for the National Award winners, the new additions to the Hall of Fame, the list of new agencies and university programs accredited or reaccredited through CAPRA and COAPRT, and the Pugsley Award winners, visit

Gold Medal Awards

Highly prized and equally respected, the Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management is the highest national award that a park and recreation department can receive. Presented by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) in partnership with NRPA, and proudly sponsored by Musco Lighting, the Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and agency recognition. The Gold Medal Award Program includes seven classes: five classes based upon population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems in odd numbered years.

The 2013 Gold Medal Grand Plaque recipients are:

* Class I (population 250,000 and over): City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, California

* Class II (population 100,001-250,000): Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department, Texas

* Class III (population 50,001-100,000) Waukegan Park District, Illinois

* Class IV (population 25,001-50,000): City of Westerville Parks and Recreation Department, Ohio

* Class V (population less than 25,000): Town of Erie Parks and Recreation Department, Colorado

* State Park System Class: Florida Park Service, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

* Armed Forces Recreation Class: Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Fort Knox, Kentucky

National Awards

At the Best of the Best Ceremony held the evening of Wednesday, October 9, NRPA presented a number of awards and recognized several agencies and individuals for their professional development. National Awards were presented to Dundee L. Jones; Thomas G. Venniro; the Northwest Special Recreation Association, Roiling Meadows, Illinois; the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation, Texas; Smale Riverfront Park, Cincinnati, Ohio; the McHenry County Conservation District, Woodstock, Illinois; and the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for excellence in a variety of areas including professional and voluntary service, programming, leadership, research and public outreach.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Also at the Best of the Best Ceremony, scholarships and fellowships were awarded to seven candidates who have demonstrated significant contributions to the field of parks and recreation. Marcus Coates and Edward Matthews won the Diversity Scholarship, Sarah Walters and Antonio Washington won the Student Scholarship, and Brooke Burk, Mariana Espinoza, Jennifer Jones and Anna Wood were this year's Young Professional Fellowship recipients.

Robert W. …

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