ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Park Board of Commissioners and staff are finalists for the 2012 National Recreation and Park Association’s Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. They were recognized with a plaque Oct. 23 at a park board meeting. The district was honored recently at NRPA’s annual Congress and Exposition in Anaheim, Calif.
The award recognizes park and recreational agencies throughout the country for excellence in long-range planning, resource management, citizen support systems, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.
The district was a finalist in the population category of 25,001 to 50,000 residents. Other finalists included the Town of Castle Rock Parks and Recreation Department in Colorado, the Town of Leesburg Parks and Recreation Department in Virginia, and West Bend Parks, Recreation and Forestry in Wisconsin.
In a recent news release, park district director Ray Ochromowicz said: “The Park District is honored to be a Gold Medal Award finalist and to be viewed nationally as a leader in the park and recreation field. Our agency won the award in 1998 and we have been a seven-time finalist over the years. Receiving this national recognition and acclaim is a tribute to the board of park commissioners, the entire staff and the residents of our community ... .”
Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. In each class, four finalists are chosen to compete for grand honors every year.