National association awards St. George Leisure Services the gold, Grand Plaque

Front L-R: Jeff Peay, Brandon Evanson, Kent Perkins, Dawn Eide-Albrecht, Nikelle Pledger, Cody Schmitt. Back L-R: Larry Shane, Aaron Metler, Chris Beckstead, Kelly Humphreys, Steve Bingham, Las Vegas, Nevada, Sept. 15, 2015 | Photo courtesy of City of St. George, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The National Recreation and Park Association awarded a gold medal and its Grand Plaque to the Leisure Services Department of the City of St. George last week, the only city in the population category 75,001-150,000 to achieve this high honor.

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, awarded this honor to St. George Leisure Services live during the Opening Session of the national association’s annual conference Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. Last year, St. George was a finalist in this same category.

Left to right: Mayor Jonathan Pike, Cody Schmitt, Kami Ellsworth, Kent Perkins, Emilie Pinkelman, Steve Bingham, Nikelle Pledger, Jeff Peay, Larry Shane, Sept. 15, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham, St. George News
Left to right: Mayor Jon Pike, Cody Schmitt, Kami Ellsworth, Kent Perkins, Emilie Pinkelman, Steve Bingham, Nikelle Pledger, Jeff Peay, Larry Shane, Las Vegas, Nevada, Sept. 15, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the City of St. George, St. George News

Months of preparation and a commitment to the highest level of service in parks and recreation has paid off for the St. George Leisure Services, the department said in its press release.

“We are honored to be recognized by this prestigious organization comprised of our peers,” Director Kent Perkins, for the city’s Leisure Services Department, said. “The City of St. George puts a high priority on providing its citizens easy and affordable access to recreation and parks, no matter where in the City they live. We are continually looking for innovative ways to enhance the active lifestyles the people of St. George embrace. It is important, however, that we be inclusive and an example of that value is the ‘all abilities park, which is currently under construction.”

The City of St. George Leisure Services Department received a gold medal and the Grand Plaque from the National Park and Recreation Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, Sept. 15, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham, St. George News
The City of St. George Leisure Services Department received a gold medal and the Grand Plaque from the National Recreation and Park Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, Sept. 15, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the City of St. George, St. George News

The St. George Leisure Services Department encompasses five divisions: Recreation, Parks, Parks Planning, Community Arts and the Dixie Center St. George. The mission of the St. George Leisure Services is to enhance the quality of life and aesthetic beauty of the community through outstanding parks, facilities and programs.

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 communities and the State Park System Class awarded every other year.

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.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit the National Recreation and Park Association website or American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration website.

About AAPRA

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a nonprofit 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. Go online for more information.

About NRPA

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. Go online for more information. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, “Parks & Recreation,” visit its website.

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1 Comment

  • BIG GUY September 22, 2015 at 11:28 am

    St. George has excellent parks and trails. This award is well deserved. Congratulations.

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