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Finalists Announced for the National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation
Selected by NRPA and AAPRA


The NRPA and AAPRA have announced the finalists for the 2016 Gold Medal Awards. The winners will be announced at the NRPA Conference in October.

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.

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.
Johnson County Park and Recreation District, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Class II (population 150,001 - 400,000):
Arlington Parks and Recreation Department, Texas.
Cary Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources, North Carolina.
Grand Prairie Park, Arts and Recreation, Texas.
Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, Beaverton, Ore.

Class III (population 75,001 - 150,000):
Allen Parks and Recreation Department, Texas.
Arlington Heights Park District, Illinois.
Mountain View Community Services, California.
Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs, Georgia.

Class IV (population 30,001 - 75,000):
Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, North Dakota.
Decatur Park District, Illinois.
Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation, Washington.
Willamalane Park and Recreation District, Springfield, Ore.

Class V (population less than 30,000):
Frankfort Square Park District, Frankford, Ill.
Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, Flossmoor, Ill.
Itasca Park District, Illinois.
Middleton Public Lands, Recreation and Forestry, Wisconsin.

Armed Forces Recreation:
Fort Carson, Colorado.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine.
U. S. Army Garrison Fort Riley, Kansas.
USCG Base Kodiak, Alaska.

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 during the NRPA General Session at the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference in St. Louis, Oct 5-8.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit or

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a nonprofit 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. For more information, visit

Association news and events are listed at To view the calendar of upcoming events, visit the "Event Search Center" on

If your association has news and/or events that you would like featured on, please send your information via email to

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May 19, 2019, 12:19 am PDT

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