2017 Finalists Announced for the National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

(May 10, 2017)

AAPRA and NRPA select agencies to compete for prestigious honor in the park and recreation field

Ashburn, Va. (May 10, 2017) – The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting, LLC has been a proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program for more than 10 years.

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the United States that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class, awarded on odd numbered years, for state park systems.

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. Four finalists in each class are chosen to compete for grand honors each year.

The 2017 Gold Medal finalists are as follows:

Class I (population 400,001 and over)

  • BREC — Baton Rouge, La.
  • Johnson County Park and Recreation District — Shawnee Mission, Kan.   
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board — Minneapolis, Minn.   
  • Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department — Lake Worth, Fla.  

Class II (population 150,001 – 400,000)

  • Arlington Parks and Recreation — Arlington, Texas
  • City of Grand Prairie — Grand Prairie, Texas
  • Metro Parks Tacoma — Tacoma, Wash.
  • Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District — Beaverton, Ore.

Class III (population 75,001 – 150,000)

  • Arlington Heights Park District — Arlington Heights, Ill.
  • City of Evanston Parks, Recreation and Community Services — Evanston, Ill.
  • City of Mountain View Community Services Department — Mountain View, Calif.
  • City of Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs — Roswell, Ga.  

Class IV (population 30,001 – 75,000)

  • City of Alpharetta Recreation and Parks — Alpharetta, Ga.
  • Bismarck Parks and Recreation District — Bismarck, N.D.
  • Lombard Park District — Lombard, Ill.
  • City of Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation — Wheat Ridge, Colo.

Class V (population less than 30,000) 

  • Glencoe Park District — Glencoe, Ill.
  • Homewood-Flossmoor Park District — Flossmoor, Ill.
  • Itasca Park District — Itasca, Ill. 
  • Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture — Windsor, Colo.   

State Park Systems

  • Arizona State Parks and Trails — Phoenix, Ariz.  
  • Tennessee State Parks, TN Department of Environment and Conservation — Nashville, Tenn.
  • Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission — Olympia, Wash.
  • Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails — Cheyenne, Wyo.

Armed Forces Recreation

  • MCAS Cherry Point — Cherry Point, N.C.
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard — Kittery, Maine
  • Marine Corps Ground Combat Training— Twentynine Palms, Calif.
  • Fort Carson — Fort Carson, Colo.

A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviews and judges all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels. 

This year’s finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the seven Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2017 NRPA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Sept. 26–28, 2017.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.nrpa.org/goldmedal or www.aapra.org.

# # #

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a non-profit organization founded to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators that would enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and, to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, visit www.aapra.org

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

Musco Lighting, LLC is a company that has specialized in lighting systems for sports and large areas for more than 30 years. Musco has pioneered dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and affordable ways to control wasted spill light and glare. Permanent and temporary lighting services range from neighborhood fields to NASCAR super speedways. For more information, visit www.musco.com.