American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration: Serving the Parks and Recreation Field with Research, Publications, National Awards, and Consulting

By Lovell, Tom | Parks & Recreation, July 2012 | Go to article overview

American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration: Serving the Parks and Recreation Field with Research, Publications, National Awards, and Consulting


Lovell, Tom, Parks & Recreation


THE AMERICAN ACADEMY for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) is dedicated to advancing knowledge related to the administration of parks, recreation, and conservation; encouraging scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators to enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; promoting broader public understanding of the importance of parks, recreation, and conservation to the public good; conducting research, publishing papers, and sponsoring seminars related to the advancement of the field; and providing services either directly or indirectly that advance the profession.

AAPRA was established in 1980 by 50 founding members and is a nonprofit, 501(c)(S) educational organization. Membership is made up of practitioners and educators who have served for at least 15 years in high-level administrative capacities in parks and recreation and demonstrated leadership contributing to the advancement of the field. Membership is limited to 125 practicing professionals at any one time, of which no more than 25 percent may be educators. In addition, members can hold emeritus status after they retire.

The Academy spearheads several select projects. The Journal of Park and Recreation Administration is an official publication of the Academy. In partnership with Sagamore Publishing, it is designed to bridge the gap between research and practice for administrators, educators, consultants, and researchers, and it publishes original manuscripts that move theoretical management concepts forward in the field of park and recreation administration. It also provides clear implications of theory and research for problem solving and action in parks and recreation organizations.

The Academy provides professional services including consulting, workshops, lectures, and open discussions to park and recreation agencies. Consultation services are offered free of charge, except for expenses, to provide agencies and institutions with guidance to enhance quality for park, recreation, and conservation services. In addition to professional services, AAPRA manages the Legends of Parks and Recreation Videotape Library, sponsored in partnership with Landscape Structures, Inc., which consists of interviews with distinguished administrators and educators sharing their personal background, professional insights, advice, and philosophical beliefs.

Several prestigious awards and recognitions are managed by the Academy. The National Gold Medal Awards Program is a program of the Academy in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and sponsored by Musco Lighting. This award, presented annually in conjunction with NRPA Congress, honors communities and military bases that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development, and agency recognition. The Honorable Cornelius Amory Pugsley Medals, sponsored in partnership with Davey Tree Company, recognize individuals at all levels who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion and development of services and resources that constitute public parks and conservation practices in the United States. …

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