Oak Park, IL., November 16, 2020 – Park District of Oak Park joins the ranks of elite park and recreation agencies across the country by earning re-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 2020 NRPA Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience.
CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies, and is a measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community.This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.
As part of the accreditation process, Park District of Oak Park 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.
“The Park Board and staff of the Park District of Oak Park are extremely pleased with earning CAPRA accreditation once again. Preparation for this comprehensive review of District policies, procedures, operations, programs and facilities is a team effort,” said Sandy Lentz, Park Board President. “This achievement solidifies our District as a leader in the Parks and Recreation industry not only in the State but across the country,”
The process for accreditation involves a formal application, self-assessments, a site visit by a team of trained visitors that results in a written report, and a hearing with the commission to grant re-accreditation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s visitations were held virtually. The Park District will be recognized as an accredited park and recreation agency for a period of five years when the District will once again pursue the reaccreditation process.
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.