Arlington earns finalist recognition for the industry's most prestigious honor for the fourth time in five years.
The Arlington Parks and Recreation department (APRD) has been named a finalist for the 2018 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, announced by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), on Thursday.
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.
Arlington Parks and Recreation is a finalist in the Class II category (population 150,001–400,000). The department was also named a finalist for the prestigious honor in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
The other three finalists in Class II are Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation (Arlington, Va.), Tampa Parks and Recreation Department (Tampa, Fla.) and Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (Beaverton, Ore). The Grand Plaque Award winner will be announced at the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., Sept. 25–27, 2018.
Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.
"I am proud of the entire parks and recreation staff, park board, numerous advisory and volunteer groups, city management and the City Council for their tremendous support for the provision of parks and recreation services in our city", said Lemuel Randolph, director of parks and recreation. "The almost 400,000 citizens of Arlington directly benefit from the department's mission to provide quality facilities and services that are responsive to a diverse community and sustained with a focus on partnerships, innovation and environmental leadership. This NRPA Gold Medal Finalist designation is a true reflection of the critical alliance between City Council, department staff and our citizens."
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. Arlington released its 2018 gold medal application to the public, which can be viewed at gold.naturallyfun.org/.
For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.nrpa.org/goldmedal.