Ashburn, Virginia, Sept. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 National Gold Medal Grand Plaque Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. The sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program is Musco Lighting, LLC.  

The 2018 Gold Medal Grand Plaque recipients are: 

Class I (population 400,001 and over)

  • Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation – Lake Worth, Florida

Class II (population 150,001 – 400,000)

  • City of Arlington Parks and Recreation – Arlington, Texas

Class III (population 75,001 – 150,000)

  • Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department – Bloomington, Indiana

Class IV (population 30,001 – 75,000)

  • Town of Castle Rock Parks and Recreation – Castle Rock, Colorado

Class V (population less than 30,000)

  • Homewood-Flossmoor Park District – Flossmoor, Illinois

Armed Forces Recreation Award

  • Naval Air Station Pensacola – Pensacola, Florida

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities throughout the United States 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. 

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 recipients were announced live during the Opening General Session at the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, go to or

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a nonprofit organization founded in 1980 to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to encourage scholarly efforts by practitioners and educators to enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and, to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and/or sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, visit

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

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Heather Williams
National Recreation and Park Association