Roswell Rec & Parks Brings Home National Gold Medal
Roswell has become the first city in Georgia to be awarded the prestigious National Recreation and Parks Association’s (NPRA) Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Parks and Recreation Management. The City received this honor in the Class III category (population 75,001–150,000) at the NRPA conference in New Orleans on September 26, 2017.
“It takes many years of hard work to get to this level. The department has always had quality, dedicated and loyal staff since its inception. Enormous support from our citizens, Mayor and Council, and Recreation Commission has also been essential in making our department the best in the country,” said Jeff Pruitt, Interim Director of Roswell’s Recreation, Parks, Historic & Cultural Affairs Department.
Only one other agency in Georgia has won this award, Gwinnett County; however, Roswell is the only municipality to have earned this honor.
“The City is thrilled and so proud of our Rec & Parks Department. Each day, our staff goes above and beyond to offer the best recreational experiences and facilities to our residents and visitors. Receiving the Gold Medal is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and their commitment to our citizens,” said Mayor Jere Wood. “And of course, we want to thank the citizens, the Roswell taxpayers, for supporting our Rec and Parks Department. None of this would be possible without them.”
Accepting the award on behalf of Roswell was Councilmember Nancy Diamond, liaison to the Recreation and Parks Department; Recreation Commission Chair Debra Ewing; and Interim Director Jeff Pruitt. Ewing said they could not have been more thrilled with the announcement.
“The Recreation Commission is so proud of every Recreation and Parks employee who works so hard every day to be gold!” said Ewing. “Of course, this would also not be possible if it were not for the tremendous support from Mayor and Council.”
Councilmember Nancy Diamond shared Ewing’s excitement. “Now the country knows what we have always known—that Roswell’s Recreation and Parks Department is the best of the best. It has been an honor to be the council liaison with this outstanding department, and I have seen firsthand the employees are Gold Medal employees.”
The award comes as the result of an extensive application process, overseen by a panel of five judges chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both local and national levels. Roswell was previously chosen as a Gold Medal finalist for seven consecutive years before finally clinching top honors.
The Gold Medal award is presented by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal awards program honors communities in the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.
Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic & Cultural Affairs proudly maintains more than 900 acres of parkland, 22 parks, and hundreds of annual classes, programs, camps, and special events, as well as the City’s Southern Trilogy Historic House Museums (Barrington Hall, Bulloch Hall and Smith Plantation). To learn more, visit www.roswellgov.com/parks.
Pictured above, left to right:
Rusty Pruitt, Park Services Manager; Rick Dreger, Roswell Recreation Commission; Jimmy Yanulavich, Administrative Services Manager; Nancy Diamond, Roswell City Councilmember and Liaison to Rec & Parks; Debra Ewing, Chair of Roswell Recreation Commission; Jeff Pruitt, Interim Director of Recreation, Parks, Historic, and Cultural Affairs Department; Jay Small, Roswell Recreation Commission; Theo Keyserling, Roswell Recreation Commission; Steven Malone, Recreation Services Manager; and Katie Troline, Community and Facilities Manager.