Portland Parks & Recreation recently was nominated as a finalist for the National Gold Medal Award. This top national recognition is awarded by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). AAPRA and NRPA are regarded as the country's most prestigious park professional organizations. Portland is one of only four communities of its size nationwide to receive this recognition.

"We are delighted to earn this recognition," says Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. "Portlanders care deeply about our parks, natural resources, and recreation facilities. This national recognition is a tribute to the hard work of PP&R employees, private partners, and dedicated volunteers."

As part of PP&R's application for the Gold Medal Award, the bureau contracted Uncage the Soul Video Productions of Portland to produce a video highlighting PP&R's environmental stewardship, program development, long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, professional development, and agency recognition.

Award candidates are divided into five categories, based on community population. Four finalists are chosen from each category. The Rose City falls into AAPRA's Class I, the largest division, which includes all U.S. park and recreation departments serving populations of 250,000 or more. The other Class I finalists include Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Parks and Recreation Department; Miami-Dade County, Florida Park and Recreation Department; and Kansas City (MO) Parks. The Grand Award winners will be announced during the NRPA's Annual Congress & Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, November 1-3, 2011.

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