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Paula McDevitt
Parks and Recreation Department
(812) 349-3711

Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department Named Best in U.S. by the National Recreation and Park Association

Bloomington, Ind.— In a ceremony in Indianapolis this morning, Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department was named the 2018 National Gold Medal Award Winner for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).  

“We could not be prouder of our Parks Department,” said Mayor John Hamilton.  “This award is a tribute to their vision, hard work, and stewardship of our properties.  Bloomington residents should also take ownership of this distinction, for not only cherishing our parks, but investing in them.”

This is the second time Bloomington has been distinguished with this award.  One of only 166 agencies in the U.S. accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, the parks department first won the Gold Medal in 2007.  Since then, Bloomington has seen significant additions to its parks and programming, including the completion of Phase 2 of the B-Line Trail and groundbreaking on Switchyard Park, one of the largest park projects in the city’s history, slated for opening in November 2019.

Bloomington Parks and Recreation took top honors in the Class III category, where it was selected from among communities with a population between 75,000 and 150,000, including finalists City of Evanston (Illinois) Parks, Recreation and Community Services; Greeley (Colorado) Culture, Parks and Recreation; and Lawrence (Kansas) Parks and Recreation.  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. 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.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized nationally in our field of parks and recreation. Our dedicated and talented staff are committed to excellence and to the highest standards of operations," said Paula McDevitt, Administrator of the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department. "We are especially proud to share this award with the people of Bloomington, whose longstanding support of parks and recreation programs and properties is an instrumental part of our success."