The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) joins the ranks of elite park and recreation agencies across the country by earning accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This distinguished accomplishment was awarded during the 2023 NRPA Annual Conference.
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. This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.
As part of the accreditation process, PARD had to demonstrate compliance with 154 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.
PARD maintains 355 parks and over 20,000 acres of land and water, and also provides a range of services including historic sites, seasonal events and community programs which increase the quality of life of Austin residents and visitors. The Department also provides essential services to the community based on three core values that the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) has identified as being vitally important to establishing and maintaining quality of life.
"Receiving CAPRA accreditation is a remarkable achievement that reflects the unwavering dedication and professionalism of our exceptional team," said Kimberly McNeeley, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
The process for accreditation involves a formal application, self-assessments, a site visit by a team of trained volunteers that results in a written report, and a hearing with the commission to grant accreditation.
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 Academy for Leisure Sciences, the Armed Forces Recreation Network, the Council of State Executive Directors, The National Recreation and Park Ethnic Minority Society, The National Association of State Park Directors, and the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. For more information about CAPRA accreditation, visit nrpa.org/CAPRA.
About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit nrpa.org.