For Immediate Release
Contact:  Heather Weishaar
[email protected]

Five Illinois Park and Recreation Agencies are Awarded Finalist Medal in 2022 National Gold Medal Award Program

La Grange, IL – Congratulations to five Illinois park and recreation agencies, recently named as finalists for the 2022 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.

The five Illinois agencies receiving the Finalist plaques are the Champaign Park District (Class III); the Waukegan Park District (Class III), the Hoffman Estates Park District (Class IV); the Park District of Oak Park (Class IV) and the Deerfield Park District (Class V). Presentation of the Finalist and the Grand Plaques in each class will occur at the NRPA Annual Conference, September 20-22, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors park and recreation agencies in the United States and military installations worldwide that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and community engagement. 

“Congratulations to the five 2022 Gold Medal Finalists from the Great State of Illinois! AAPRA is proud to administer this program which recognizes excellence in park and recreation management from a variety of perspectives,” says Jane H. Adams, Executive Director, AAPRA. “We thank the agencies who applied in 2022 particularly considering the continued impact and management demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applying during this challenging time speaks to the importance of this national award to park and recreation professionals and the profession.”

“We are proud to serve the parks, recreation, and conservation community in Illinois and are thrilled that five finalists for this prestigious award are from our home state! We commend their dedication to the communities they serve. ” – Barbara Arango, CAE, IPRA Executive Director. 


Established in 1944, the Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) serves over 2,500 park, recreation, and conservation professionals throughout the state, and is a national leader in providing premier education, networking, and resources. For more information about IPRA, its board and mission, please visit the IPRA website:

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1984 to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators to enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and, to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, visit