For the second consecutive year, the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District is a finalist for the prestigious National Gold Medal Award. THPRD is one of four Class II finalists (agencies serving 150,000 to 400,000 residents) nationwide.
Awarded for excellence in park and recreation management, the Gold Medal is presented annually by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
“Our mission is to bring high-quality programs, services and facilities to our diverse community every day,” said Doug Menke, THPRD general manager. “Being named a Gold Medal finalist for the second straight year is one more measurement of success, and we are honored to be recognized in this way.”
In the last 12 months, THPRD’s accomplishments include bringing Davis Cup tennis to Beaverton, earning a $3.7 million grant to fund a new trail segment, saving taxpayers $31 million through bond measure refinancing, and concluding an unprecedented $1.5 million fundraising campaign to support a new park that will offer amenities for people experiencing disability.
Finalists must submit a short video supporting their nomination by June 5. A panel of five park and recreation professionals will review the video and all previously submitted materials. The winner will be announced at NRPA’s 2017 annual conference in New Orleans Sept. 26-28.
The Gold Medal program honors communities that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applicants are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.
Only seven agencies nationwide will receive the Gold Medal -- five based on population, one for armed forces recreation and the other for state park systems.
THPRD submitted its Gold Medal application in March, providing quantitative data about district resources (miles of trails, park acreage, sports fields, etc.) and answering nine essay questions about accomplishments in key areas, including innovation, health and wellness, conservation and social equity.
“We’re ecstatic to again be among the finalists,” said Deb Schoen, THPRD’s superintendent of Community Programs, who led the nomination process. “The support and recognition from our industry peers is meaningful, but preparing the nomination is its own reward, because it’s a reminder of just how many great programs and services we are able to provide for our community.”
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 nearly 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.
Formed in 1955, THPRD is the largest special park district in Oregon, spanning 50 square miles and serving about 240,000 residents in the greater Beaverton area. The district provides year-round recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Offerings include thousands of widely diverse classes, 95 park sites with active recreational amenities, nearly 70 miles of trails, eight swim centers, six recreation centers, and about 1,500 acres of natural areas. For more information, visit www.thprd.org or call 503-645-6433.
Director – Communications
|Date: May 11, 2017
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