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Ted Clark
/ Categories: National Gold Medal

Grand Plaque Recipients Announced in the 2021 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

Public, State, and Armed Forces Agencies receive prestigious honor in the park and recreation industry

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the United States 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 six classes, with five classes based on population and one class for armed forces.

The following agencies received the Grand Plaque award after first receiving the Finalist award:

Class I (population 400,001 & over): Cleveland Metroparks, Cleveland, Ohio
Class II (population 150-001 – 400,000): City of Tampa Parks & Recreation, Tampa, Florida
Class III (population 75,001 – 150,000): Provo Parks and Recreation, Provo, Utah
Class IV (population 30,001 – 75,000): Coppell Parks & Recreation, Coppell, Texas
Class V (population under 30,000): Vernon Hills Park District, Vernon Hills, Illinois
Armed Forces Category: Naval Base Coronado, San Diego, California
State Park Category: Delaware State Parks, Dover, Delaware

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff members and elected officials. Each of these agencies first received the Finalist Plaque in their category. For the Grand Plaque round of judging, each Finalist had to submit a five-minute video which supports their application and the judges reviewed progress on the agency’s strategic plan.

A panel of five park and recreation professionals judged all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels. 

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.nrpa.org/goldmedal or www.aapra.org.

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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 www.aapra.org

The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

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