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For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2010

Media Contact:
Laura Phillips

Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Earns National Recreation and Park Association Accreditation

Accredited Since 1995, MDPR Is One of Only 90 Agencies Nationwide To Receive Prestigious Award

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has announced that the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department (MDPR) has been awarded re-accreditation by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) this year.  This distinguished accomplishment was announced during the NRPA 2010 Congress & Exposition in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  MDPR has been accredited by CAPRA since 1995 and is one of only 90 agencies in the United States to be awarded accreditation status.

National accreditation through CAPRA is an extensive multi-year process, which includes the completion of an application and detailed self-assessment report, a site visit by a committee of experienced park and recreation professionals, and a final assessment completed by the agency and CAPRA.  Accreditation requires agencies to respond to 144 standards representing elements of effective and efficient park and recreation operations.  To become accredited, agencies must fully meet 36 standards deemed fundamental to a quality agency and at least 92 of the remaining standards.

CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies, and is a measure of an agency's overall quality of operation, management and service to the community.  Accreditation is valid for a period of three years.

The Commission is comprised of representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation, the Armed Forces Recreation Society, and the Council of State Executive Directors.

"Being re-accredited by CAPRA and having received honors from the national and statewide leaders of the park and recreation industry throughout the past two years, serves as validations of the effort we make every day to provide Miami-Dade County residents with facilities, programs and services that are above standard and truly enriching," said Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Director Jack Kardys.  "We greatly appreciate the accolades that have been bestowed on us and are very proud to receive the endorsements of the standard bearers."

"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."

MDPR is also the recipient of numerous other awards including:

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."

2010 NRPA National Gold Medal Award Finalist & Prior Three-Time Winner - The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has three times awarded MDPR 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.  MDPR was a finalist for the 2010 Gold Medal Award.

2009 FRPA Outstanding Agency Award - The Florida Recreation & Park Association (FRPA) has twice honored MDPR 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 the Community; Long- and Short-Range Planning; Staff Training and Development; Environmental Education; and Citizen Involvement Through Advisory Boards, Volunteer Programs, etc.

2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award - Parks received the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award.  The award, presented by Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida Sterling Council, recognizes organization and businesses in Florida that have successfully achieved performance excellence within their management and operations.  Miami-Dade County's Park & Recreation Department is the first park and recreation agency to receive the Governor's Sterling Award, the state's equivalent of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Award.

About Miami-Dade Park and Recreation:
Accredited and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 263 parks and more than 12,848 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; swimming pools; and more.

About the National Recreation and Park Association:
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people.  Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.  For more information, visit  For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit


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