Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Agencies Honored with Awards

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Agencies Honored with Awards

Article excerpt

The National Gold Medal Award winners are announced.

Every year at NRPA's Congress, an attendee can scan the crowd of faces at the Opening Session and see a few that seem more anxious than most. Most likely, these faces belong to an agency that is a Gold Medal finalist, waiting to find out whether they will be named a winner this year.

The award is the most prestigious an agency can win, and honors the nation's outstanding park and recreation agencies for excellence in the field of recreation management. Presented by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with NRPA, finalists are selected each year by a panel of judges who have expertise in parks, recreation and conservation management.

When selecting finalists, judges look for how well the agency has established a long-range plan for the community, and how the agency is following that plan. They also look at revenues and expenditures to see how the agency has grown, as well as the areas and facilities the agency may own or lease.

Other judging criteria include how challenges were met; how new projects or services were implemented and received by the community; what advocacy programs are in place; whether conservation and preservation is a priority; how the agency uses technology; and how the agency includes recreation inclusion throughout its programs.

Once an agency is named a finalist, it then must submit a video or DVD that highlights the resources and accomplishments of the agency. In addition to the application, judges use this presentation to determine a winner.

This year, the judging was particularly tough, with several agencies that were worthy of Gold Medal awards. However, only one agency can claim the prize in each category. Take a look at some of the facilities or programs from each winning Gold Medal agency. Congratulations to all the finalists and especially the winners, for their hard work and dedication to parks and recreation!

[Sidebar]

(above left) Class I: City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation & Marine, Long Beach, Calif.

(middle left) Class II: Tempe Parks and Recreation Department, Tempe, Ariz.

(below left) Class III: Bend Metro Park District, Bend, Ore.

(middle right) Class IV: Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, Flossmoor, III.

(below right) Class V: Bloomingdale Park District, Bloomingdale, III. …

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