Twenty years after initially joining an elite group of park and recreation agencies which have received accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), the Johnson County Park and Recreation District was recently accredited for a fourth time and was the first of only four accredited agencies in Kansas.
The formal announcement of the District's reaccreditation was made on Oct. 25 in Baltimore, Maryland, during the "Best of the Best Ceremony" at the Annual Conference of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which sponsors CAPRA in conjunction with the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.
“The accreditation process is a monumental task that JCPRD first achieved in 1999,” said JCPRD Executive Director Jeff Stewart. “Going through re-accreditation process every five years provides us the opportunity to evaluate and improve our overall quality of operations and services in our efforts to not only meet, but exceed the national standards of best practices. I am thankful for the leadership and support of the JCPRD board and am so proud of the amazing team of professionals that make JCPRD the best park and recreation agency in the country. “
When it was initially accredited two decades ago, JCPRD was only the 23rd agency nationally to do so. Today, there are still only 169 agencies which have received accreditation. Accreditation must be renewed every five years to ensure compliance with the 151 standards that have been established by the commission. JCPRD was previously reaccredited in 2004, 2009, and 2014. As it did in 2009 and 2014, JCPRD again garnered a perfect score by meeting all 151 standards.
Accreditation standards represent all areas of operation for parks and recreation departments, including administration, planning, human resources, financial management, programs and services management, facility and land use management, public safety and law enforcement, risk management, and evaluation and research. Thirty-seven of the 151 standards are designated as fundamental to quality operations and are required of all agencies. An agency must comply with at least 95 percent (or 107) of the remaining 114 non-fundamental standards to be granted accreditation.
The reaccreditation announcement follows an extensive self-assessment based on CAPRA guidelines and a visit by a three-member review team which took place June 24-27. While here, the team reviewed files, toured facilities, and interviewed staff. Members of the review team were: Michael Phelps Foundation Program Manager Stacy Beadle, Bismarck (N.D.) Parks & Recreation District Executive Director Randy Bina, and Burlington (Vt.) Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Director Cindy Wright.