DOVER — The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced Tuesday that its Division of Parks and Recreation has been named a finalist for the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration’s 2021 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
The award is given by the AAPRA in conjunction with the National Recreation and Park Association.
“We are proud that the Division of Parks and Recreation is a finalist in this prestigious competition, especially while celebrating the 70th anniversary of Delaware State Parks this year,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.
“Achieving this level of recognition among other high-caliber park systems across the country is commendable and puts a spotlight on how talented and passionate our staff and volunteers are.”
This is the second time Delaware’s state parks are in the running for the award, having won it previously in 2015. The state park award category is given every other year, and Delaware State Parks was required to wait to apply again until this year. If selected as this year’s winner, Delaware would be the second state park system to win the award twice.
Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff members and elected officials.
Applications are separated into six classes, with five classes based on population and one class for armed forces. Delaware State Parks joins three other finalists in its class that will compete for the Grand Plaque, which will be awarded in September.
The National Gold Medal Awards program, founded in 1965 and sponsored by Musco Lighting LLC, 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.
More information on the awards is available here.