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Posted on: May 15, 2019

The City of Norfolk Announced as Finalist for the 2019 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Rec

Norfolk Recreation Parks & Open Space to compete for prestigious honor in the park and recreation industry.

NORFOLK, VA – The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce Norfolk Recreation, Parks & Open Space (RPOS) as a finalist for the 2019 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting, LLC has been a proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program for over 10 years.

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 and one class for state park systems awarded on odd numbered years.

Norfolk Recreation, Parks & Open Space is a finalist in the Class II (population 150,001 – 400,000) category. RPOS is one of only 169 parks and recreation agencies in the country and one of 11 in Virginia to have successfully achieved national accreditation.

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. RPOS joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.

“I would like to thank the National Parks and Recreation Association and the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration for selecting the City of Norfolk Recreation, Parks & Open Space as a finalist,” said Director Darrell Crittendon.  “I am extremely honored by my amazing staff, support from the City Manager’s Office, City Council, and the amazing community that we serve.  To be the first parks and recreation department in Hampton Roads to receive such recognition speaks volumes of the great things happening here in Norfolk and in the department.”

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 finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the seven Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 24–26, 2019.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit or
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