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City Named Gold Medal Finalist

Post Date:05/15/2019 10:05 AM
(Westerville, Ohio) – The City of Westerville Parks & Recreation Department has been named a Finalist for the 2019 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation. Westerville joins three other finalists in its class that will compete for the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) highest award. If awarded, Westerville will be a five-time Gold Medal winning department. The department previously won the Gold Medal in 1974, 2003, 2007 and 2013 (the last year in which it was eligible).

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with NRPA announced Westerville as one of four finalists for the 2019 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in its Class IV category, communities serving a population of 30,001 – 75,000. This year’s sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program is Musco Lighting LLC.

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.

“As a four-time gold medal winner, we are thrilled to have this opportunity to continue the tradition,” said Randy Auler, Westerville Parks & Recreation Director. “Westerville’s history with the gold medal, along with the support from our residents, participants and community partners, are reasons why our parks system has an outstanding reputation.”

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.

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.

Westerville and other finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors in September. The seven Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 24–26, 2019.

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

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More Information:
Westerville Parks & Recreation is a four-time Gold Medal winning department (1974, 2003, 2007 and 2013), including back-to-back-to-back recognitions. The Department serves more than 850,000 people each year ranging from preschool-age to senior adults. On an annual basis, more than 80,000 attend free events and classes offered or register for nearly 3,000 programs. Westerville Parks & Recreation grows through citizen commitment: giving volunteers, engaged residents, active program participants and park system users along with generous, dedicated funding. For more information, please visit www.westerville.org/parks.

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 ensuring that all Americans 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.

Musco Lighting, LLC is a company that has specialized in lighting systems for sports and large areas for more than 30 years. Musco has pioneered dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and affordable ways to control wasted spill light and glare. Permanent and temporary lighting services range from neighborhood fields to NASCAR super speedways. For more information, visit www.musco.com.