Finalists Announced for the 2014 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

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

AAPRA and NRPA Gold Medal finalists exemplify excellence in park and recreation management.

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 2014 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. This year’s proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program is Musco Lighting LLC.

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 communities and the State Park System Class awarded during 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 2014 Gold Medal finalists are:

Class I (population 400,001 and over)

  • Chicago Park District, Illinois
  • Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Georgia
  • Maryland-National Capital Park and Planing Commission, Maryland
  • Mesa Parks, Recreation and Commercial Facilities, Arizona

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

  • Arlington Parks and Recreation, Texas
  • Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Department, California
  • Henderson Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Nevada
  • Plano Parks and Recreation Department, Texas

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

  • Allen Parks and Recreation, Texas
  • Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation, Indiana
  • Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs Department, Georgia
  • St. George Leisure Services Department, Utah

Class IV (population 30,001 – 75,000)

  • Carol Stream Park District, Illinois
  • Eau Claire Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, Wisconsin
  • Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts, Ohio
  • Willamalane Park and Recreation District, Oregon

Class V (population less than 30,000)    

  • Frankfort Square Park District, Illinois
  • Lafayette Recreation Department, Colorado
  • Middleton Public Lands, Recreation and Forestry, Wisconsin
  • Oak Brook Park District, Illinois

Armed Forces Recreation

  • Fort Carson, Colorado
  • Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center , California
  • Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida
  • Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia

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 2014 NRPA Congress in Charlotte, North Carolina, October 14-16.

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 40,000 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

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

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Lauren Hoffmann
National Recreation And Park Association
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