Forsyth County Earns National Accreditation in Parks and Recreation October 6, 2017 Parks & Recreation, Photo Mark of distinction recognizes commitment to highest level of service to the community The Forsyth County Parks & Recreation Department has earned a distinction so prestigious that it is now one of only 165 departments nationally to hold the recognition. The department has earned 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 recent 2017 NRPA Annual Conference in New Orleans. At their meeting October 5, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners recognized the Parks & Recreation Department for earning the accreditation. 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. In addition to being one of only 165 agencies across the country to have earned the accreditation, Forsyth County is also one of only 11 agencies in Georgia, and just the second county agency in the state to do so. As part of the accreditation process, Forsyth County Parks & 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. “The national accreditation process sets forth operational standards for how a model parks and recreation agency should operate,” said Forsyth County Parks & Recreation Director Jim Pryor. “In my role leading the Parks & Recreation Department, it is my expectation that our agency not only strive to meet but also exceed these standards in order to provide the best possible service to the community. Being recognized as a national model agency is a tremendous honor for our staff, officials and community. It is great to see Forsyth County listed among the top communities in the nation.” 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 accreditation. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and is reviewed again in five years. 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. About Forsyth County Parks & Recreation The Forsyth County Parks & Recreation Department was created in 1978. Since then, the department has grown tremendously and now operates 25 parks and an expansive greenway and trail system. The county’s park system encompasses 2,709 acres and provides a wide range of active and leisure recreation areas, as well as many acres of undeveloped open space. The mission of the Forsyth County Parks & Recreation Department is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Forsyth County by providing passive and active recreational, educational and cultural programming services and to provide parks and recreational facilities that are safe, accessible and aesthetically pleasing to the entire community. To learn more about Forsyth County Parks & Recreation, visit www.forsythco.com/parks. About The National Recreation and Park Association The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.