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City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department Announced as Finalist for the 2020 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

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Tampa Parks and Recreation Department to compete for prestigious honors in the park and recreation industry

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration(AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department as a finalist for the 2020 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting, LLC is proud to continue sponsoring the Gold Medal Awards program as it has for more than 20 years.

Founded in 1965, the 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.

The City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department is a finalist, for the third consecutive year, in the Class II (population 150,001-400,000) category. Operating on over 3,540 acres of parkland with 194 parks, 36 community centers, 12 pools, 10 splash pads, five art studios, five cemeteries, three skate parks, two gymnastics and dance facilities, and one amazing Riverwalk; we are dedicated to providing a quality park system that meets the community’s needs for recreation and learning opportunities. Ranging from the Stay & Play program that offers teens a safe alternative from the summer streets; to the Tree-Mendous tree program that is helping to renew the urban forest; or over a thousand free Head Start swim lessons offered at our pools; Tampa Parks and Recreation is leading the way in innovative recreational opportunities for everyone.

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. The City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.

“It’s no surprise that our Tampa Parks & Recreation Department is once again nominated for one of the top honors across the nation,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “In this time, more than ever, their tireless and nimble efforts have created a sense of hope, a sense of peace, and a place of respite for Tampa’s families. Whether they’re calling our seniors and checking in, teaching art classes on their YouTube pages, launching video competitions, rapping about COVID-19, or spreading a message of hope with visuals across this great city, we couldn’t ask for a better team. Now, bring home the gold – you’ve earned it!”

A panel of five 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 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 presentation of both the Finalist and Grand Plaque recipients is being finalized and details will be forthcoming on the virtual conference website.

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

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.  

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 spaces. 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 superspeedways. For more information, visit www.musco.com.