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The New Year brings with it a fresh start, new opportunities, new hope and promises for all the things that are yet to come. It also allows us to reflect on the prior year. And, 2016 was a good year for the Dallas Park & Recreation Department.
In October the Dallas Park and Recreation Department achieved CAPRA accreditation at the annual NRPA Convention in St. Louis, Mo. This was a historic achievement for us, as we joined an exclusive group of elite park and recreation agencies who are nationally accredited. Less than 2 percent of agencies in the country have attained accreditation.
CAPRA only grants accreditation to departments that have exhibited excellence in service and operations and adherence to national best practices, as demonstrated by compliance with 151 standards of excellence. Furthermore, we are the second department in the nation to receive accreditation on the first try, and that is a testament to our Park Board and staff.
Achieving accreditation was a 3-year effort that initiated shortly after I become Director. It was ambitious and it didn’t come easily, but we did it! Now we face a soaring challenge, to maintain our accreditation and to demonstrate our worthiness of this accomplishment.
I’m confident that in 2017 we have the strength to march into this great challenge, determined to not only continue our highest standards, but to exceed them. This year, in addition to maintaining our CAPRA accreditation, we plan to pursue the Gold Medal Award. It’s the highest recognition of park system excellence in our field. We won the Gold Medal back in 1985 and it is time for the honor to return to Dallas.
This year promises to be another great year for the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. We look forward to seeing you and your family at our Dallas parks and trails.