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Awards & Recognitions

2014 NACo Achievement AwardsNACo Achievement Awards

The National Association of Counties (NACo) granted Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces with two 2014 Achievement Awards for its programs.

The following Miami-Dade County Parks programs were selected for the 2014 NACo Achievement Awards:

The following Miami-Dade County Parks programs were selected for the 2013 NACo Achievement Awards:

  • Red Fields to Green Fields - Winner! "Best of Category"
    Award Category: "Parks and Recreation"
  • Parks Access and Equity Plan
    Award Category: ''Parks and Recreation''
  • Park-School Partnership for Nature Preserve Management Program
    Award Category: "Parks and Recreation
  • Bicycle Safety Education Program
    Award Category: "Parks and Recreation
  • Girls Empowerment and Mentoring (GEM) Program
    Award Category: "Parks and Recreation"
  • RAAM Work Distribution Center
    Award Category: "County Administration and Management

In 2009 Miami-Dade Parks received the following four (4) NACo Achievement Awards:

  • The Deering Estate at Cutler-Living Classroom
  • The Deering Estate at Cutler-Artist Village
  • Paralympic Partners
  • Parks and Recreation Improving the Delivery of Excellence (P.R.I.D.E) Award Category: "Parks and Recreation"

In 2009 Miami-Dade Parks received multiple awards from the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO):

  • EcoAdventures Naturalist Tours Brochure - Superior Award
    Award Category: "Brochures/Multiple-Page Booklets"
  • EcoAdventures Logo - Meritorious Award
    Award Category: "Graphic Design"
  • Ribfest 2008 - "Best in Show" Award
    Award Category: "Photography Series"
  • Ribfest 2008 - Superior Award
    Award Category: "Photography"
  • Ribfest 2008 - Meritorious Award
    Award Category: "Special Projects"
  • Great Park Summit 2008 - Meritorious Award
    Award Category: "Brochures/Multiple-Page Booklets"
  • Ives Estates Park Dedication - Meritorious Award

2013 Governor's Sustained Excellence Award

AwardGovernor Rick Scott and the Florida Sterling Council have announced the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (MDPROS) is being honored with the Governor's prestigious Sustained Excellence Award for 2013. The coveted award will be bestowed at the 2013 Governor's Sterling Award Banquet at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes on Friday, May 31, 2013.

Governor Scott said, ''The Governor's Sterling Award winners reflect our focus of making Florida the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family. I congratulate this year's top-performing Sterling Award recipients. This award is the highest recognition an organization in Florida can receive for performance excellence. The Governor's Sterling Award process is an efficient and robust tool for all organizations that saves Florida businesses millions of dollars annually.''

''We are both honored and proud that the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (MDPROS) has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Governor's Sustained Excellence Award,'' said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. ''MDPROS is a shining example of government doing its job the right way. Not only have we proven our ability to deliver high-quality public services to our residents, but we are constantly looking for ways to improve upon our past successes and serve our residents even better.''

Said Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys, ''The economic difficulties of the past few years have affected everyone, and what we have learned is that an organization's ability to weather this storm has much to do with the management systems it has in place. Miami-Dade Parks is resilient today, because of our commitment to the Sterling process. It has enabled us to be flexible and nimble, and to stay disciplined and focused on our customers. We are very excited to have won this award.''

2013 Governor's Sustained Excellence Award Recipient This award is an annual award to recognize Florida organizations that have previously received the Governor's Sterling Award and are sustaining excellent results, continuing to pursue systematic performance improvement.

Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (Miami) operates a large urban park system, managing 260 park properties comprised of active and passive parks, as well as protected, environmentally sensitive properties, serving 2.5 million residents and 1.1 million residents for the unincorporated area. Customer satisfaction scores have continued to improve. For example, the general population's overall satisfaction with the summer camp for children increased from 4.40 to 4.55, and overall satisfaction of parents increased from 4.75 to 4.95 on a scale of 5.0.

As the Department progresses toward its self-sustaining business model, the percentage of operational budget supported by user fees has increased from 36 percent in Fiscal Year 2008 to 40 percent in Fiscal Year 2012, exceeding the Florida Benchmarking Consortium average of 32 percent. Expenditures decreased from $129.6 million in Fiscal Year 2008 to $111.2 million in Fiscal Year 2012.

Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces was the recipient of the 2009 Governor's Sterling Award, and they are now the first county department to be recognized with the Governor's Sustained Excellence Award. 2013 Governor's Sterling Award Recipient For 21 years, the Governor's Sterling Award has recognized organizations and businesses in Florida that have successfully achieved performance excellence within their management and operations.

ASPA South Florida Chapter Touts Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys

ASPA South Florida The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) South Florida Chapter has selected our former director, Jack Kardys, for the prestigious Public Administrator of the Year Award for 2013. 

The ASPA South Florida Chapter Awards pays tribute to public servants that have given back to our community throughout the year. 

ASPA is the longest-standing and most prestigious organization devoted to enhancing excellence in public service. The Society is the professional home for more than 9,000 PA practitioners, academics and students with its South Florida Chapter consisting of 245 members strong and growing. 

ASPA provides its membership with education, research, technical assistance and networking opportunities between academics and practitioners.

2012 FRPA Distinguished Service Award

2012 FRPA Distinguished Service Award The Florida Recreation & Park Association Distinguished Service Award was presented to Miami-Dade Parks Director Kardys on August 31, 2012 at the Association's annual awards ceremony.  The award was the latest accolade received by Kardys who was bestowed the prestigious NRPA 2010 Recognition of Significant Effort (R.O.S.E.) Award. 

"We are very proud of FRPA's recognition of Jack's impact and service to the Miami-Dade County parks system and the industry overall," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.  "To be recognized by both the FRPA and NRPA within two years makes a powerful statement about the high caliber leadership and commitment Jack delivers."

The award honors individuals who have provided special or unusual service to the Association; or have made significant contributions to advancing the parks and recreation profession over time. It recognizes those that have consistently and without hesitation engaged in the work of the Association, and maintained a professional image in their community, agency and among peers. 

FRPA Awards Chair Don Decker stated, "It is with great admiration that I was able to present Jack Kardys the Distinguished Service Award on behalf of our Association. I know many others who join me in looking to Jack as a guiding figure not only in South Florida, but around the country. His many accomplishments are overshadowed only by the praise his staff members heap on him. It is a testament to what I'm certain will be a proud legacy."

Miami-Dade Parks Receives Coveted 2011 FLASLA Design Award

The Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FLASLA) has bestowed its 2011 Professional Design Award of Honor to the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department, in the category of Planning and Analysis, for its Miami-Dade County Trail Design Guidelines and Benefits Study This study provides standards and guidelines for County trails and greenways. In addition, this work establishes a methodology to analyze the benefits of trails such as vehicle trip reduction, increase in accessibility, reduction in pollution, effects on property values and job creation.

"We are very proud to have been selected for this prestigious award," said Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys. "This recognition is a validation of our tireless efforts to provide quality trails and greenways throughout Miami-Dade County." 

NRPA National Gold Medal and R.O.S.E. Awards

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), has announced their selection of the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department as a finalist for the 2011 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.  The Department has won the National Gold Medal Award three previous times, in 1979, 1987 and 1993.  Learn more.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has three times awarded the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department with its National Gold Medal Award (1979, 1987, 1993) for demonstrating excellence in long-range planning, resource management and agency recognition. Award recipients are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff, and elected officials. Miami-Dade Parks was a finalist for the 2010 Gold Medal.

2010 Recognition of Significant Efforts (R.O.S.E.) - The R.O.S.E. award recognizes individuals who have "gone the extra mile" to advance parks and recreation in their communities. Although this award is presented to an individual, MDPR Director Jack Kardys stated, "I am humbled by this award and it would not have been possible were it not for the hard work and dedication exemplified by every Miami-Dade Park & Recreation staffer on a daily basis. This award belongs to them as much as it does to me."


Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) Award


Nationally accredited since 1995, the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department is proud to announce it has been newly re-accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), as of October 2010. Currently serving a residential population of nearly 2.4 million people, Miami-Dade Parks was the first and only municipal park system its size to be honored with the accreditation recognition it originally received from CAPRA in 1995.

The Commission recognizes park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service. It provides quality assurance and quality improvement of accredited park and recreation agencies throughout the United States. CAPRA is the only national accreditation of park and recreation agencies, and it is a valuable measure of an agency's overall quality of operation, management, and service to the community. Our CAPRA accreditation is an assurance to the public that Miami-Dade Park & Recreation meets national standards of best practice.

"Through re-accreditation, the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department has demonstrated its commitment to providing park and recreation programming at the highest standards, and contributing to the health and wellness of its community," said Barbara Tulipane, CEO of NRPA.  "NRPA commends the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department for its long-standing excellence in the field."

FRPA Outstanding Agency Awards


The Florida Recreation & Park Association (FRPA) has twice honored The Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department with its Outstanding Agency Award (2006, 2009), recognizing excellence in the following categories: Parks development and/or recognition; recreation programming, including inclusion efforts; aquatics and athletics programming; administration and management; leisure and cultural arts; cultural diversity; fitness and wellness activities; promotion of programs and the benefits to your community; long and short range planning; staff training and development; environmental education; and citizen involvement through advisory boards, volunteer programs, etc.

2010 The Children's Trust Champions for Children Award

The Children's Trust announced Daryl Miller, Leisure Lake Park Manager for the Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department, a recipient of their 2010 Champions for Children Award for Excellence in Direct Service for Children and Families at their awards ceremony on November 19, 2010 at Jungle Island in Miami.

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