The Park District works to be a leader among park and recreation agencies throughout the country.  By voluntarily submitting itself to the accreditation and awards processes listed below, the community and staff can be assured that the Park District meets or exceeds current industry standards and has processes in place to best serve the Oak Park community.   

National Parks & Recreation Association (NRPA) Gold Medal Award

2023 Gold Medal Finalist

2022 Gold Medal Finalist  

2021 Gold Medal Finalist

2015 Gold Medal Winner 

1966 Gold Medal Winner

The Gold Medal Award, managed through the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, honors communities in the United States that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. A Gold Medal Award is valid for five years.

Commission for Accreditation of Park & Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) National Accreditation



CAPRA is the only national accreditation of park and recreation agencies and is a valuable measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management, and service to the community. Achieving CAPRA accreditation is the best way to demonstrate that the agency and staff provide the community with the highest level of service.

Illinois Distinguished Agency Accreditation



This accreditation is awarded to Park Districts by the Illinois Association of Park Districts and the Illinois Parks & Recreation Association. It is granted to those that work toward improving the quality of life for Illinois residents and to recognize those agencies that provide exceptional Park and Recreation services to their community through a voluntary, comprehensive, professional accreditation process.

IPRA Outstanding Park or Facility Award

2024, Community Recreation Center

The IPRA Outstanding Park and Facility Award is presented to public agencies for outstanding and unique achievements in the design and development of new or renovated recreations parks and facilities.

IPRA Exceptional Workplace Award



The Health and Wellness Committee awards the EWA to agencies who identify and achieve a high level of health and wellness for their employees and recognize their achievements.

IPRA Champions for Change


The IPRA Champions of Change award is presented to an agency with unique and exemplary practices of increasing access and fostering diversity and inclusion within their community or organization. These are measurable practices that remove barriers, result in positive social change, and inspire others to follow in their path. It improves the working experience and engagement levels of employees from underrepresented communities, and/or the lives of all people through the delivery of excellent services that provide social equity and access in the community.

IAPD Best Green Practices


The IAPD Best Green Practices Award is presented to a park district, forest preserve, conservation, recreation, or special recreation agency that has taken the initiative to incorporate and encourage environmentally friendly business practices and policies.

Illinois Green Alliance Emerald Award


The Illinois Green Alliance Emerald Awards celebrate outstanding green building achievements in Illinois by providing recognition to organizations, people, buildings, and technologies. 

Alliance for Innovation Robert J. Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government

2017, “Launch Pad: Getting Good Ideas Off the Ground”

Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA) Level A Accreditation

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting


Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award



Platinum International Aquatic Safety Award




Ellis & Associates: International Audit Awards benchmarking aquatic safety excellence via unannounced audits.

ILSTMA Field of the Year

2016, Longfellow Park

Soccer Field of the Year

2017, Longfellow Park

Environmental Facility Certification

2017-2012, Longfellow Park

American Camp Association (ACA) Accreditation 

Accredited since 1998

The American Camp Association is the only nationwide accrediting organization for all types and designs of organized camps. ACA standards focus on health, safety, and risk management practices. Accreditation provides a framework to manage resources, offer best practices in policies and procedures, and strive for continuous improvement.

Rehm Pool is opening Saturday, May 25! Ridgeland Pool opens Tuesday, May 28 for lap swim only. Click the button to view pool schedules.

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