SOURCE: National Recreation and Park Association

National Recreation and Park Association

May 05, 2016 13:00 ET

2016 Finalists Announced for the National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

AAPRA and NRPA Select Agencies to Compete for Prestigious Honor in the Park and Recreation Field

ASHBURN, VA--(Marketwired - May 05, 2016) - 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 2016 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 over 10 years.

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. 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 for state park systems awarded on odd numbered years.

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 2016 Gold Medal finalists are:

Class I (population 400,001 and over)

  • BREC -- Baton Rouge, LA
  • Cleveland Metroparks -- Cleveland, OH
  • Johnson County Park and Recreation District -- Shawnee Mission, KS
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board -- Minneapolis, MN

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

  • Arlington Parks and Recreation Department -- Arlington, TX
  • Cary Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources -- Cary, NC
  • Grand Prairie Park, Arts and Recreation -- Grand Prairie, TX
  • Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District -- Beaverton, OR

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

  • Allen Parks and Recreation Department -- Allen, TX
  • Arlington Heights Park District -- Arlington Heights, IL
  • Mountain View Community Services -- Mountain View, CA
  • Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs -- Roswell, GA

Class IV (population 30,001 - 75,000)

  • Bismarck Parks and Recreation District -- Bismarck, ND
  • Decatur Park District -- Decatur, IL
  • Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation -- Olympia, WA
  • Willamalane Park and Recreation District -- Springfield, OR

Class V (population less than 30,000)

  • Frankfort Square Park District -- Frankford, IL
  • Homewood-Flossmoor Park District -- Flossmoor, IL
  • Itasca Park District -- Itasca, IL
  • Middleton Public Lands, Recreation and Forestry -- Middleton, WI

Armed Forces Recreation

  • Fort Carson -- Fort Carson, CO
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard -- Kittery, ME
  • U. S. Army Garrison Fort Riley -- Fort Riley, KS
  • USCG Base Kodiak -- Kodiak, AK

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 six Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, Oct 5-8, 2016.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit or

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

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

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