Johnson County residents have access to some of the best parks and recreation destinations and programming in the nation, according to the National Park and Recreation Association.
The Johnson County Park and Recreation District on Tuesday learned it had earned the organization’s prestigious National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in the category of agencies serving populations of 400,000 or more at the annual National Park and Recreation Association conference in New Orleans.
“We’re absolutely thrilled about this terrific accomplishment,” said Jill Geller, executive director of Johnson County Park and Recreation District. “This award is not about a single park or a single program. It’s about teamwork, collaboration, and an outstanding commitment to public service.”
Given each year since 1965, the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management recognizes agencies that demonstrate top performance in resource management, long-term planning, programming, environmental stewardship and volunteer involvement, among other factors. JCRPD was a finalist in its category with agencies from Minneapolis, Minn.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Palm Beach County, Fla.
JCPRD had been a finalist for the award in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 2016. It won the award in 1995.
“Today is a very proud day for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and our community,” said Jeff Steward, JCPRD deputy director. “We’re very proud of all of our staff, volunteers, board, board of county commissioners, and patrons. We hope that they all can celebrate being recognized as the best in the country.”