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News & Events

L to R: Joe Turner; Dianne Hoover; Susan Trautman; Bill Foelsch; Janet Bartnik;

Mary Beth (Thaman) O’Dell; Michael McCarty; Carolyn F. McKnight; Tracey Crawford

The Academy 2019-2020 Board of Directors

President: Dianne Hoover, Bakersfield, CA
President-elect: Michael McCarty, Glenview Park District, IL
Past President: Carolyn F. McKnight, Dallas, TX
Treasurer: Bill Foelsch, Township of Morris, NJ
Secretary: Janet Bartnik, Mountain Recreation District, Gypsum, CO
Director: Tracey Crawford, Northwest Special Recreation Association, Rolling  Meadows, IL
Director: Joe Turner, New Braunsfel, TX
Director: Terry Schwartz, Greensboro, NC
Director: Susan Trautman, Great Rivers Greenway District, St. Louis, MO
Director: Steve Wolter, Eppley Institute, Bloomington, IN
Director: Mary Beth O'Dell, Kettering, OH


The following individuals have been approved as candidates for the 2021 Academy Board of Directors:

Candidate Bios and Statements
Bill Foelsch, Morris Township, NJ
Brett Wright, Clemson University, SC
Janet Bartnik, Mountain Recreation Metropolitan District, CO
Judy Weiss, Phoenix, AZ
Terry Schwartz, Greensboro, NC
Detrick Stanford, Clayton County, GA
Directors (5 candidates/2 highest voter receivers are elected):
Darrell Crittendon, Norfolk, VA
Carrie Fullerton, Arlington Heights, IL
Roslyn Johnson, Baltimore County, MD
Michael Kalvort, Boca Raton, FL
Dirk Richwine, Parker, CO

2020 National Gold Medal Finalists

The National Gold Medal Awards Program is sponsored by Musco Lighting, LLC and is administered by the National Recreation and Park Association, under the direction of the American Academy. 

Armed Forces Recreation
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Riley — Fort Riley, Kansas
U.S. Army Garrison RP Kaiserslautern — Kaiserslautern, Germany
U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria — Grafenwoehr, Germany
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Knox — Fort Knox, Kentucky

Class V (population less than 30,000)    
Green River Parks and Recreation — Green River, Wyoming
East Goshen Township Parks and Recreation — West Chester, Pennsylvania
Vernon Hills Park District — Vernon Hills, Illinois
Valley City Parks and Recreation — Valley City, North Dakota
Class IV (population 30,001 to 75,000)
Decatur Park District — Decatur, Illinois
Coppell Parks and Recreation — Coppell, Texas
Centerville-Washington Park District — Centerville, Ohio
Evanston Parks, Recreation and Community Services — Evanston, Illinois
Class III (population 75,001 to 150,000)
Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation — Carmel, Indiana
City of New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department — New Braunfels, Texas
Thornton Parks, Recreation & Community Programs — Thornton, Colorado
Arlington Heights Park District — Arlington Heights, Illinois
Class II (population 150,001 to 400,000)
Greensboro Parks and Recreation — Greensboro, North Carolina
City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department — Tampa, Florida
City of Henderson Parks and Recreation — Henderson, Nevada

Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department — Des Moines, Iowa                           

Class I (population 400,001 and over)
Dallas Park and Recreation — Dallas, Texas
East Baton Rouge Recreation & Park Commission — Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Metroparks Toledo — Toledo, Ohio
Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities — Mesa, Arizona
Class II (population 150,001 to 400,000)


Research Committee Identifies 10 Themes for Future Research to Address Challenges

Establishing evidence-based management strategies has been a primary concern of the profession for many years.  In 2018 the AAPRA Research for the Advancement of P & R Task Force was charged to conduct a survey to identify the primary research needs and interests among the AAPRA members.   There were 59 respondents; of these respondents, 55 were Fellows not associated with an academic institution.  Since the charge was primarily focused on research needs as identified by practicing professionals, the responses from the four academic affiliated Fellows were not included in the final analysis. Ten overriding themes were identified. The Board of Directors determined the Task Force is now a standing committee of the Academy.  Click here to read full descriptions of the themes and next steps.