The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), announced that the Town of Fountain Hills is a finalist for the 2021 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
“This is an exciting recognition for the Town and the staff of our outstanding Community Services Department,” said Mayor Ginny Dickey. “We are fortunate to have world-class parks, trails, and services that residents and visitors enjoy. Our small, but mighty department, deserves this acknowledgement of their creative and professional accomplishments.”
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.
Fountain Hills is a finalist in the Class Five (population 30,000 or less) category. The Community Services Department oversees, and works collaboratively with many community organizations, in maintaining and providing services with Town parks, trails, Community Center, parks and recreation, community arts program, volunteers, special events, and Home Delivered Meals, and more.
“It is a collaborative team approach with our partners and staff to create programs and services, and continually improve our parks to meet the needs and desires of our residents,” said Community Services Director Rachael Goodwin.
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. Fountain Hills joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for Grand Plaque which will be awarded in September.
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 and the Town of Fountain Hills Community Services Department, visit www.fh.az.gov/187/Community-Services.