BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) and National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) have named BREC as a finalist for the 2020 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
“While this award recognizes the service BREC provided to the community in 2019, I am incredibly proud to receive this honor at a time when residents have needed us most, both at our parks and in their homes, during the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced our agency to quickly change our service model,” said BREC Superintendent Corey K. Wilson. “We know that parks are perfectly situated to address the underlying health conditions that have caused the COVID-19 virus to hit Louisiana so hard, and we will continue working to provide residents and visitors great places to reap the physical and mental benefits that parks provide,” said Wilson.
The Gold Medal Awards program has honored United States cities demonstrating excellence in parks and recreation in these areas:
- Long-range planning
- Resource management
- Environmental stewardship
- Program developmen
- Professional development
- Agency recognition
“BREC is a finalist in the Class 1 Recreation category, which is the largest category and includes agencies serving communities with populations over 400,000,” a recent BREC press release said. “Previous winners in this category include Fairfax County, Virginia (2019) Palm Beach County, Florida (2018), Johnson County, Kansas (2017), Cleveland Metro Park System (2016), Maryland-National Capital park and Planning Commission (2015), Chicago Park District (2014). BREC is a two-time national Gold Medal award winner (1991 and 1975) and a 17-time national finalist, including the past four years in a row.”
Those who qualify are separated into six classes.
Five classes are based on population and one class is set aside for armed forces.
Park and recreation service agencies are judged based on “energies of community members, staff members and elected officials,” according to BREC.
BREC joins three other finalists competing for this year’s top honors.
BREC has won the National Gold Medal Award twice before in 1975 and 1991.
“A panel of five park and recreation professionals with considerable experience will review and judge all application materials,” said BREC. “This year’s finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the six Grand Plaque recipients will be announced during the 2020 NRPA Conference, which will be held virtually in October.
The Gold Medal and Grand Plaque presentation plans are not yet finalized.