Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Simply the Best

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Simply the Best

Article excerpt

Meet the 2005 Gold Medal Finalists-the nation's outstanding park and recreation agencies.

On Oct. 19, 24 agencies from across the nation will assemble in San Antonio, Texas, for one of the most anticipated ceremonies of the year in the park and recreation field. These agencies, the finalists for the 2005 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, will eagerly wait to hear if they have been named a Grand Award Gold Medal winner. This honor recognizes years of hard work, dedication and abilities of park and recreation agencies as they strive to provide services and programs for their diverse populations.

In the meantime, the 24 agencies bask in the knowledge that they have achieved the coveted status of Gold Medal Finalists. That is no easy task itself-in 2005, 228 agencies submitted nominations, and through an extremely competitive, multi-step application process, four finalists were selected in each of the six classes (five classes based on population and one class for state park systems in odd-numbered years). Each agency is judged on the collective energies of its staff, citizens and elected officials with regards to: long-range planning, fiscal resource management, citizen support systems, environmental stewardship and professional development and recognition.

Retired Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department Director Richard Johns has served in various capacities as a guiding force in the evolution of the Gold Medals, and was a guest judge for 2005. …

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