FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: John Yarbrough, Lee County Parks & Recreation, (941) 461-7410
LEE PARKS SYSTEM NAMED NATIONAL GOLD MEDAL AWARD FINALIST
FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 17, 2002) – Lee
County’s Parks & Recreation Department is a finalist for the 2002 National
Gold Medal Award, which recognizes communities throughout the United States for
excellence in park and recreation administration.
The award is co-sponsored by the National
Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the National Sporting Goods
Association’s (NSGA) Sports Foundation Inc.
Lee County is one of four finalists in the Class
I (population 250,000+) category. The
others are Fairfax County Park Authority, Fairfax, VA;
Howard County Recreation & Parks, Columbia, MD; and Recreation and
Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA.
Bartley’s Sporting Goods of Fort Myers nominated the Lee County System.
There are five award classes based on population.
This is the second honor bestowed upon the
county’s parks system in the last year. In
October, Lee Parks & Recreation become one of only 33 systems across the
country to receive national accreditation.
The Accreditation Program for Park and Recreation Agencies is
administered by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation
Agencies, an independent body that is sanctioned by the NRPA and the American
Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA).
National Gold Medal Award, selection of the Grand Award Winner in each class
will be based upon improvement, service, continuing development, extent of
future planning and degree of participant involvement and acceptance by the
community. Winners will be
announced and honored at the NRPA Congress, October 16 in Tampa.
Sports Foundation is a non-profit membership organization founded to stimulate
interest in the development of new recreational activities and facilities and to
encourage participation in sports. It
established the National Gold Medal Awards Program for park and recreation
management in 1965.
The NRPA, headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia, is
a national nonprofit organization devoted to advancing park, recreation and
conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all Americans. It is the main professional organization for practitioners
and has a nationwide membership of 23,000 recreation and park professionals and
Lee County’s Parks & Recreation Department
maintains and operates 3,500 acres of developed park land, 14 centers, 9 pools,
five boat ramps, three Gulf beach parks, one lakefront beach, 76 beach accesses,
60 tennis courts, 73 ballfields, and 13 preserves. The department also manages the more than 7,500 acres of
environmentally sensitive lands the county has purchased in the last five years
through its Conservation 2020 Program. Its
fiscal year 2002 operating budget is $16.2 million.