The award is presented annually by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to honor excellence in management and planning of parks and recreation agencies. This is the second year in a row the department has been named a finalist for the award.
Recreation professionals consider the Gold Medal Award as the top national recognition of excellence in their profession.
"I'm very proud of the work and professional dedication of our staff and volunteers to earn this recognition," said Jim Garges, director of the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department.
A panel of leading experts chose the department as a finalist for the Gold Medal in the category for communities with a population of more than 250,000. The choice was based on an extensive written description of the department and its activities, both statistical and narrative, in response to a series of specific questions posed by NRPA.
The Gold Medal Award honors the top communities in the United States which demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. According to the NRPA, each agency is judged on its ability to address the needs of those it serves through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.
A single winner in the “large population” category will be announced in October.