By Kelly Kelbly, Parks & Recreation Assistant Director
In late June, a professional review team representing the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies recommended reaccreditation for the College Station Parks and Recreation Department.
The achievement culminated in months of evaluation of our departmental and city-wide policies and procedures by peers from Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida. We submitted a self-assessment in April, then spent the last week in June meeting with the review group. Athletics & Tourism Manager Gene Ballew led our Parks and Recreation team.
In its recommendation, the review team observed that our department is “incredibly prepared,” “energetic and receptive,” “easy to work with and dedicated,” “well-developed plans and budget,” and “determined, passionate and well-rounded.”
The National Recreation and Park Association requires reaccreditation every five years, which we have completed four times in the last two decades. As a result, we are one of only 21 Texas cities – and 188 in the country – to be nationally accredited. We’ll officially receive the designation at the national conference in September.
Here are 10 significant benefits of having a nationally accredited Parks and Recreation Department:
- Demonstrates the agency meets national standards for best practices regarding management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety, and services.
- Recognizes our community as an outstanding place to live.
- Helps secure external financial support and reduces costs for residents.
- Ensures staff consistently provides high-quality customer service and responsiveness by holding agencies accountable to the public.
- Provides positive public and political recognition.
- Proves to decision-makers, stakeholders, and the public that the agency operates under the industry’s best practices.
- Increases credibility and improves internal and external funding.
- Enhances operations and overall efficiency.
- Encourages teamwork and pride by engaging staff in the accreditation process.
- Creates an environment for a regular review of operations, policies, and procedures and promotes continual improvement.
We’re incredibly proud of our reaccreditation and remain steadfast in our mission to provide exceptional parks, facilities, and programs for the benefit of our residents.
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