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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

2019 Finalists Announced for the National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

May 15, 2019

Ashburn, Va., May 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting, LLC has been a proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program for more than 10 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 seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class, awarded on odd numbered years, for state park systems.

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. Four finalists in each class are chosen to compete for grand honors each year.

The 2019 Gold Medal finalists are as follows:

Class I (population 400,001 and over)

-- Chicago Park District – Chicago, Illinois -- East Baton Rouge Recreation & Park Commission (BREC) - Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- Fairfax County Park Authority - Fairfax, Virginia -- Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities – Mesa, Arizona

Class II (population 150,001 – 400,000)

-- City of Norfolk Recreation, Parks & Open Space – Norfolk, Virginia -- City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department – Tampa, Florida -- Greensboro Parks and Recreation – Greensboro, North Carolina -- Metroparks Tacoma – Tacoma, Washington

Class III (population 75,001 – 150,000)

-- City of Greeley (CO) Culture, Parks and Recreation – Greeley, Colorado -- City of Thornton (CO) Community Services – Thornton, Colorado -- The Woodlands Township – Texas -- Waukegan (IL) Park District – Waukegan, Illinois

Class IV (population 30,001 – 75,000)

-- City of Westerville – Westerville, Ohio -- Coppell Parks and Recreation – Coppell, Texas -- Glenview Park District, Glenview, Illinois -- Lombard Park District – Lombard, Illinois

Class V (population less than 30,000)

-- East Goshen Township Parks and Recreation – West Chester, Pennsylvania -- Glencoe Park District – Glencoe, Illinois -- Rolling Meadows Park District – Rolling Hills, Illinois -- Vernon Hills Park District – Vernon Hills, Illinois

State Parks

-- Department of Environmental Protection — Florida State Parks -- Maryland Park Service -- Department of Environment and Conservation — Tennessee State Parks -- Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

Armed Forces Recreation

-- Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler – Okinawa, Japan -- Naval Air Station Whiting Field – Milton, Florida -- United States Army Garrison Bavaria – Grafenwoehr, Germany -- USAG Rheinland-Pfalz - Kaiserslautern, Germany

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.

This year’s finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the seven Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 24–26, 2019.

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

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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 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.

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.

Suzanne Nathan National Recreation and Park Association 703-858-4748 snathan@nrpa.org