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2024 Young Professional Externship Opportunity

The Young Professional Externship Program enables outstanding young professionals 35 years of age and younger in the parks and recreation field to interact with and learn from members of the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, and other individuals who attend the NRPA Conference and its associated meetings. Up to four Externs are selected each year, of which two are Ernest T. Atwell diversity externships. Selected Externs each receive (1) reimbursement for the 2024 NRPA Conference registration; (2) up to $1,000 in reimbursement for conference. Learn more and apply here.

The Academy Announces Membership Nomination Period April 9 – May 30, 2024

In preparation for a successful nomination the Academy highly recommends viewing this webinar, 6 Tips to Nominate a Future Academy Member. If you are interested in becoming an Academy member, you are encouraged to reach out to a current member and inquire if they would nominate you for membership. Not sure who is a current Academy member? Click here to view Academy members by state. If are not familiar with a current Academy member, please reach out to and efforts will be made to connect you. Learn more about the Academy mission and purpose and about the process and criteria for membership.

Call for Best Paper Master Doctoral Dissertation Open Through June 1st

In support of its research goals, AAPRA annually hosts a research competition that alternates between best master’s thesis / special project (odd years) and best doctoral dissertation (even years). The following three awards will be given in 2024: One (1) Disseration Paper Award of $1,000 and up to $500 in travel funds to attend the NRPA 2024 Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA, October 8-10, 2024, and a Disseration Award Certificate. Two (2) Certificate of Merit awards to two Dissertation Paper finalists

Call for Pugsley Medal Candidates Open April 9 - June 7, 2024

2024 nominations will open Thursday, April 9th and close Friday June 7, 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time with the medal presented in the fall. The Pugsley Medal purpose is to honor outstanding contributions in parks and conservation. The Pugsley Medal is awarded to citizens, political leaders, park and conservation professionals who have dedicated their efforts to the advancement of parks and conservation at the local, regional, state, or national levels. Medal recipients inspire us as they have accomplished great things in furthering the parks and conservation agenda in the United States in their community in their region or state or nationally. 

Grand Plaque Recipients Announced in the 2023 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

Public, State Parks and Armed Forces Agencies receive premiere award in the park and recreation industry

Lacey, Washington, October 13, 2023– The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the 2023 Grand Plaque recipients in the 2023 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting, LLC is proud to continue sponsoring the Gold Medal Awards program as it has for more than 20 years.