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Posted: October 08, 2013

Cleveland Metroparks is proud to announce it has been accredited by The Commission for Accreditation of Park
and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), the most prestigious organization for certifying standards of excellence in park districts in the U.S.

The announcement was made today at the 2013 National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition in Houston. 

The accreditation process for CAPRA consists of an agency’s compliance with 144 standards. Agencies must meet 36 Fundamental Standards and at least 85 percent of the remaining 108 standards. Only 106 of the thousands of parks and recreation agencies in the country meet these high standards and are accredited by CAPRA. Cleveland Metroparks met, or exceeded, 99 percent of the accreditation standards. 

“It’s easy for us to say to the people of Northeast Ohio ‘Hey, we think we have a great park district here,’” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman. “It’s another thing to be able to prove it by achieving accreditation through an organization like CAPRA.”

“The stringent CAPRA standards met by Cleveland Metroparks show the Park District’s commitment to the public that it holds itself to a set of very high benchmarks in all areas of operation from financial reporting to human resources and from natural resource management to educational programming,” said Cleveland Metroparks Board of Park Commissioners President Debra Berry.

“Cleveland Metroparks is a very well-respected and well-run park district,” said Zimmerman. “We also have a very dedicated and professional staff that deserves the recognition of this accreditation as evidence of the fantastic job they do day in and day out.”

The CAPRA accreditation process began in spring of last year and included contributions from more than 100 Cleveland Metroparks staff members and more than 1,000 supporting documents. The application process culminated with a three-day, on-site visit from CAPRA’s inspection team.

“CAPRA’s Visitor Committee was very pleased with the preparation Cleveland Metroparks put into its self-assessment report and we were impressed by the knowledge and dedication of the staff,” said the Visitor Committee’s Chairman, Bob Hall. “I’ve done 40 of these inspections and I’d put this one up there with the best. The accreditation is well-deserved.” 

CAPRA is sponsored by the National Recreation and Park Association, an organization Cleveland Metroparks is familiar with, having received three of its Gold Medal Awards for excellence in parks and recreation management over the last several years. 

Cleveland Metroparks is a separate political subdivision of the State of Ohio. The Park District manages nearly 23,000 acres, 18 reservations, eight golf courses and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The Park District is governed by the Board of Park Commissioners, composed of three citizens who serve three-year terms without compensation. Board members are appointed by the presiding judge of the Probate Court of Cuyahoga County.




SUE ALLEN – 216-780-1368,

 SANAA JULIEN – 216-533-9247,