St. Charles Park District has been recognized as an Illinois Distinguished Accredited Agency by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA). The award was presented to Park District representatives at the Annual Parks & Recreation State Conference Luncheon on Friday, January 28 downtown Chicago.
The two statewide associations administer the Illinois Distinguished Accreditation program with the goal of improving the delivery of park and recreation services to Illinois residents. “Illinois has a reputation for the best park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation and special recreation agencies in the nation,” said Peter Murphy, IAPD President and CEO. “The Illinois Distinguished Accreditation program provides an opportunity for these agencies to undergo a voluntary, comprehensive evaluation process to demonstrate that they have met state guidelines to provide exceptional park and recreation services to their community. The end result is to improve the quality of life for Illinois residents.”
“This program gives recognition to park and recreation agencies that go above and beyond in dedicating themselves to offering quality programs and services designed to fulfill their community’s needs,” said Barry Franks, IPRA Interim Executive Director.
“There are tremendous benefits for an agency that achieves Distinguished Accredited status,” said Bill McAdam, IPRA Co-Chair of the JDPRAC. “The agency’s application and review process is an excellent self-evaluation and agencies that apply realize increased operational efficiency and effectiveness. Communities can have confidence that their park district or recreation agency employs qualified professionals and has met professional standards.”
This comprehensive review provided an opportunity for the St. Charles Park District to review and enhance policies, management practices, services, programs, parks, and facilities to best meet the needs of the community.
Park Board President James F. Cooke added, “This is truly an honor for the St. Charles community. Receiving this prestigious award is a testament to the St. Charles Park District, in particular its staff, and its mission to enrich the quality of life for its residents through excellence in programs, parks, facilities and services.”
IAPD is a non-profit service, research and education organization that serves park districts, forest preserves, conservation, and recreation agencies. The association advances these agencies, their citizen board members, and professional staff in their ability to provide outstanding park and recreation opportunities, preserve natural resources and improve the quality of life for all people in Illinois.
Established in 1944, IPRA’s mission is to provide and promote exceptional standards of education, networking, and resources for all professionals in the Illinois park, recreation, and conservation communities.