El Paso Parks & Recreation is Nationally Accredited
The Parks and Recreation Department joins the ranks of elite park and recreation organizations across the country by earning accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
This distinguished accomplishment was awarded during the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation organizations, and is a measure of an organization’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community. This mark of distinction indicates that an organization has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.
“This national accreditation is a major milestone for our City and testament of leadership, dedication, and hard work by our City staff and the support from our Mayor and City Council,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “We as an organization have a desire to improve, to be the best for our community now and in the future. The City has received multiple awards and recognitions over the past year all pointing to our operational excellence and this is another recognition that demonstrations we are leading at the local, state and national levels.”
As part of the accreditation process, El Paso Parks and Recreation had to demonstrate compliance with 151 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.
“Becoming accredited is one of the highest benchmarks of excellence that an organization can attain and El Paso continues to meet and exceed quality standards,” said Deputy City Manager Ted Marquez. “It acknowledges staff’s commitment to provide to residents and visitors the very best in terms of recreation, amenities and programming when they visit any one of the City’s 274 parks.”
The process for accreditation involves a formal application, self-assessments, and a site visit by a team of trained visitors resulting in a written report and a hearing with the commission to grant accreditation. Once accredited, the organization must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and is reviewed again in five years.
“We are extremely proud of our staff that stepped up to the plate and delivered”, said Tracy Novak, Parks and Recreation Director, and added “our staff is truly committed to customer service and enhancing the quality of life for all. We could not have been successful in meeting the standards, if not for their truly dedicated work, sometimes without recognition. We recognize them all with this Accreditation!”.
The Commission is comprised of representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Leisure Sciences, the Armed Forces Recreation Network and the Council of State Executive Directors. For more information about CAPRA accreditation, visit www.nrpa.org/CAPRA.
Key Benefits to National Accreditation:
- The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies strict criteria to meet 151 standards is best in practice
- Only one percent of 12,000 parks and recreation agencies nationwide earn this distinction
- El Paso joins the other Texas parks and recreation agencies as number 15 in the State to be nationally accredited
- El Paso will formally renew its accreditation every five years, but annually must show progress on meeting the standards
- Accreditation is not an award, rather it’s an acknowledgement that the City is constantly pursuing excellence in its operations