Months of preparation and commitment to the highest level of service in parks and recreation has paid off for Glencoe Park District. They have been awarded the 2019 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), awarded this honor to Glencoe Park District live during the Opening General Session at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
Glencoe Park District has won the Grand Plaque in the Class V category. This is the first time Glencoe Park District won the award; the District was a finalist for the award in 2017 and 2018. 2019 finalists in the category included East Goshen Township Parks and Recreation (West Chester, Pennsylvania), Rolling Meadows Park District (Rolling Hills, Illinois), and Vernon Hills Park District (Vernon Hills, Illinois).
Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.
"It's no one thing, but it's a combination of all these things that makes the district stand out," said Lisa Sheppard, Executive Director. "We are grateful for the support of the Board of Commissioners and our wonderful residents who gave us the confidence to go for the Gold Medal. It is an honor to be among the best of the best and be acknowledged for the phenomenal services, parks, and facilities that we provide to the public. Our team works hard to provide beautiful parks, innovative programs and outstanding customer service all while carefully and thoughtfully stretching every cent we have for the good of the community!”
The rigorous process examined Glencoe Park District’s strong community mission, commitment to innovation and financial responsibility, well-rounded programs, and intergovernmental cooperation. The District’s shared resources with local government and community partners, such as the Active Transportation Committee, are "truly exceptional," Sheppard said.
"Achieving this accomplishment is only possible with the support of residents, cooperation with local government, guidance of park board members, and efforts of a professional staff who work together to make the Glencoe community a great place to live," Sheppard said.
Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities throughout 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. Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, 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.
Musco Lighting, LLC is the proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program. For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.nrpa.org/goldmedal or www.aapra.org.