Thursday October 18, 2012
Louisville Metro Parks has earned national re-accreditation, conferred by the Commission for the Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The designation means that Metro Parks, which first earned accreditation five years ago, remains ranked among the nation’s best parks and recreation departments.
“Louisville is one of only 109 parks and recreation departments nationwide to have achieved this status, and one of just a dozen or so major U.S. cities to be recognized,” said Metro Parks Director Mike Heitz. “Despite a difficult economy and a reduced workforce over the last five years, this renewal of accreditation demonstrates that Metro Parks remains a department of which our citizens can be proud.”
Heitz pointed to this achievement as another measure of performance and progress in a year that has included a favorable departmental assessment by an independent review committee appointed by Mayor Greg Fischer, as well as participation in LouieStat, a process by which the city’s departments track effective performance measures to provide better service to citizens.
In its review and recommendation for renewal of accreditation, the CAPRA visitation team identified several areas of strength at Metro Parks including the diversity of facilities, a very knowledgeable staff, partnerships developed with the private sector to fund parks projects, and the number parks and open space it manages for the community, which totals approximately 12,500 acres.
“This designation underscores what citizens and visitors to Louisville already appreciate --- that we enjoy one of the best parks systems in America,” Mayor Fischer said. “From sports fields to woodlands, wetlands, hiking and cycling our 120 parks and other parks facilities offer fitness, fun and social activities for everyone. Congratulations to our Metro Parks team for their hard work and dedication.”
The accreditation process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation. Achieving and maintaining CAPRA accreditation is a mark of distinction and indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.
Heitz accepted, on behalf of the city, official reaccreditation recognition at the “Best of the Best” ceremony at the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) annual Congress and Exposition underway this week in Anaheim, California.
About CAPRA accreditation:
To achieve CAPRA accreditation, park and recreation agencies must demonstrate compliance with recognized standards and, as part of the accreditation process, document all policies and procedures. The process for accreditation involves self-assessments, a formal application, a site visit by a team of trained visitors that results in a written report, and a semi-annual meeting of the commission to grant accreditation. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards and is reviewed again in five years.