Des Moines Parks and Recreation Named Finalist for the 2021 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation Management

PRESS RELEASE 
 
DES MOINES, IOWA — Thursday, May 13, 2021 — The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce Des Moines Parks and Recreation as a finalist for the 2021 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting, LLC is proud to continue its 20+ years of sponsoring the National Gold Medal Awards program.


Founded in 1965, the National Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the United States 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 six classes, with five classes based on population and one class for armed forces.  Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff members and elected officials.

Des Moines Parks and Recreation is a finalist in Class II, which includes cities with a population of 150,001 to 400,000. Other finalists in the category include Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation (Chester, Virginia), Tampa Parks and Recreation (Tampa, Florida) and Wichita Parks and Recreation — (Wichita, Kansas).

“For the third time since 2015, our organization is being recognized for their contribution to the city as an NRPA Gold Medal Award finalist,” said Benjamin R. Page, Director of Parks and Recreation. “Our team has worked extraordinarily hard to provide safe places and programs for residents to escape to throughout the pandemic. We’d like to bring this award home for them, as well as our City Council and board in appreciation for their support.”

A panel of five highly qualified park and recreation professionals will review and judge 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 the Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and seven Grand Plaque recipients will be announced during the 2021 NRPA Conference, which will be held virtually and in-person September 21-23 in Nashville, Tennessee. The presentation of both the Finalist and Grand Plaque recipients is being finalized and details will be forthcoming.

For more information on the National Gold Medal Award Program, visit www.aapra.org.


CONTACT:
Benjamin R. Page
Director, Parks and Recreation
515-237-1386
parks@dmgov.org

About Des Moines Parks and Recreation
Founded in 1892, the Parks and Recreation Department’s mission is “Helping Des Moines Live Well, Play Hard and Protect the Earth.”  Our department is responsible for the management of 76 parks, over 4,000 acres of parkland, 88 miles of trails, seven cemeteries and numerous municipal facilities.  In addition, we offer numerous programs in the areas of sports, urban conservation, environmental education, sports instruction, volunteerism, rentals and special events.  For more information on Des Moines Parks and Recreation programs or facilities, visit our website (dmparks.org), Facebook (facebook.com/desmoinesparks), Twitter (@desmoinesparks) or Instagram (instagram.com/desmoinesparks).

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a nonprofit 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

Partner: The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people 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.

Sponsor: 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.