Cleveland Metroparks to compete for prestigious honor in the park and recreation industry
CLEVELAND, OH., May 5, 2016 - The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce Cleveland Metroparks as a finalist for the 2016 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting LLC has been a proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program for over 10 years.
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. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems awarded on odd numbered years.
Cleveland Metroparks is a finalist in the Class I category. As an organization approaching its 100th year, Cleveland Metroparks has grown to more than 23,000 acres located in 47 diverse communities in Cleveland and surrounding areas. A 2013 Trust for Public Land study identified Cleveland Metroparks significant economic impact in the region. This study determined Cleveland Metroparks trails and parks as key economic drivers that contribute at least $855 million annually in economic benefits to Northeast Ohio. Our trails and parks increase the value of nearby residential properties by $123 million.
Since 1917, Cleveland Metroparks has been committed to a mission of conservation, education and recreation. Those tenets have not changed in 99 years time, as the Park District continues to enhance the quality of life for Northeast Ohioans evidenced by nearly 18 million recreational visits in 2015.
Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. Cleveland Metroparks joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.
"We are honored to be named as a Gold Medal finalist for this prestigious award. It is a privilege to be recognized along with Park Districts from across the country," said Cleveland Metroparks Chief Executive Officer, Brian Zimmerman. "Gold Medal caliber standards are embedded in Cleveland Metroparks at every level."
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.
This year's finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the six Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, Oct 5-8, 2016.
For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.nrpa.org/goldmedal or www.aapra.org.
The oldest Park District in Ohio, Cleveland Metroparks encompasses more than 23,000 acres in an "Emerald Necklace" around Greater Cleveland. The Park District is home to 18 park reservations, 8 lakefront parks, 300 miles of all-purpose, hiking, biking, and bridle trails, eight golf courses, five nature centers and the nationally acclaimed Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a non-profit 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 is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, 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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