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Jaxparks earns national accreditation

The Department of Recreation and Community Services (JaxParks) has received a coveted national accreditation from the Commission Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). JaxParks is one of only 99 parks in the country to receive the accreditation. This designation was announced during the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) 2011 Legislative Forum in Washington, D.C.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the leadership and staff who work hard each day to make sure our park system meets the needs of our community, safeguards and highlights our natural resources and serves as an attraction to our city’s visitors,” said Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton. “When you consider that we are maintaining the largest urban park system in the country while spending the least amount per capita compared to other major cities in Florida, this recognition is even more significant.”

National accreditation through CAPRA is an extensive, multi-year process. It includes the completion of an application and detailed self-assessment report, a site visit by a committee of experienced park and recreation professionals, and a final assessment completed by the agency and CAPRA. The accreditation process measures agencies by 144 standards representing elements of effective and efficient park and recreation operations. To become accredited, agencies must fully meet 36 standards deemed fundamental to a quality agency and at least 92 of the remaining standards.

CAPRA, which meets twice a year to review applications, rates each agency in 10 areas: agency authority, role and responsibility, planning, organization and administration, human resources, finance, program and services management, facility and land use management, safety and security, risk management, and evaluation and research.

CAPRA reviewers praised JaxParks in particular for its active role in developing successful partnerships and implementation of Summer Night Lights, a summer youth anti-violence initiative.

“It is our goal to provide a high level of service and programming in our parks and recreational facilities. The CAPRA accreditation helps to validate these efforts and I commend our staff for performing at such a high level.  Of course, there are areas where we’d like to improve, but we know we are headed in the right direction,” said Roslyn Phillips, director of Jacksonville’s Recreation and Community Services Department.

CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies. It is valid for five years and is meant to display an agency’s commitment to quality and efficiency.

“By successfully completing the CAPRA accreditation process, these agencies have proven their ability to provide the highest level services and programs. NRPA truly commends our 2010 accredited agencies for their overall excellence in serving their communities and contributing to the health and vitality of America,” said Barbara Tulipane, chief executive officer of NRPA.

For additional information on JaxParks call (904) 630-CITY or visit

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