City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department Announced as Finalist for the 2019 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

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Tampa Parks and Recreation Department to compete for prestigious honor in the parks and recreation industry

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department as a finalist for the 2019 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.


City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department is a finalist in the Class II (population 150,001-400,000) category. Operating on over 3,540 acres of parkland with 178 parks, 36 community centers, twelve pools, ten splash pads, 5 art studios, 5 cemeteries, three skate parks, two gymnastics and dance facilities, and one amazing Riverwalk; we are dedicated to providing a quality park system that meets the community’s needs for recreation and learning opportunities. Ranging from the Stay & Play program that offers teens a safe alternative from the summer streets; to the Tree-Mendous tree program that is helping to renew the urban forest; or over a thousand free Head Start swim lessons offered at our pools; Tampa Parks and Recreation is leading the way in innovative recreational opportunities for everyone.


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. The City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.


“What an honor to once again be in the running for this prestigious award,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “Our Parks & Recreation program is our lifeblood and the world class programming, pristine parks, and glistening pools, and multi-functional recreation facilities allow people of all ages to take advantage of all that Tampa has to offer. Here in Tampa, we dream big and that’s exactly what our Parks & Recreation Department will continue to do for years to come!”  


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 seven Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 24–26, 2019.


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
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, 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, visit