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Champaign Park District Wins National Gold Medal Award

Champaign Park District won the 2023 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management! On Wednesday, October 11, Champaign Park District was presented the Grand Plaque at the National Recreation and Park Association Conference in Dallas, Texas.

“Receiving this award is the highest possible recognition in the industry proving our services are ranked at the top on a national level” said Sarah Sandquist, Champaign Park District Executive Director. “I’m immensely proud of our staff for the high level of service and innovation they provide to the community.”

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in 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. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class, awarded on odd numbered years, for state park systems.
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 both locally and nationally. 

Champaign Park District has now been named a National Recreation and Park Association Gold Medal Award Winning Agency four times: 1979, 1990, 1998, and 2023, and was named a finalist 12 times since 1970. Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation, a joint effort between Champaign and Urbana Park Districts, also won the NRPA Gold Medal Award in 1996. 

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.nrpa.org/goldmedal or www.aapra.org.

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