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Johnson County Park & Recreation District announced as one of four finalists for prestigious national award
POSTED: 05/10/2016
The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the Johnson County Park & Recreation District (JCPRD) as a finalist for the 2016 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 over 10 years.

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. 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 for state park systems awarded on odd numbered years.

JCPRD, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015, is a finalist in Class I, the largest of the five population-based categories. The district was previously a finalist in 1991, 1993, and 1994, and won the Gold Medal Award in 1995.

The district offers more than 4,000 programs and activities each year, and it manages over 9,700 acres of parkland, 90+ miles of trail, and multiple recreational facilities. In a recent study by The Trust for Public Land, JCPRD parks, trails and programs were identified as key economic drivers that contribute over $97 million annually in economic benefits to the community. Last year alone there were 2.5 million participations in the programs presented by JCPRD, and 7 million visitations to the district’s parks.

"Our board and staff are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Johnson County by providing high-quality parks, services, and recreation programs, and for our efforts and accomplishments to be acknowledged nationally in such a prestigious way is very gratifying,” said JCPRD Executive Director Jill Geller.

For the Gold Medal Awards, agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. JCPRD joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year. The other finalists are Cleveland Metroparks, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and BREC in Baton Rouge, La.

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 Grand Plaque recipient in each of the categories will be announced in October at the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference in St. Louis.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit or

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

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

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,


Media Contact:

Randy Knight, (913) 438-7275

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