Park Board invites community to CAPRA accreditation celebration
The Springfield-Greene County Park Board has invited parks partners and the greater Springfield community to help celebrate its recent accreditation by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) at a special event Monday, Dec. 5, 6-9 p.m. at the Old Glass Place, 521 E. St Louis, downtown Springfield.
The celebration will include hors d’oeurvres and live music by the M-Dock Band, with a brief program at 7 p.m. Admission is $10, with proceeds benefitting the Park Board Scholarship Fund. Cash bar available. Attire is casual. RSVPs are requested at 417-864-1329 or Karen Herron.
The park board received full accreditation from the at the National Recreation and Park Association annual conference in St Louis at a hearing Tues., Oct. 4, followed by a ceremony Thursday, Oct. 6. The park board is now among only 155 CAPRA-accredited parks and recreation agencies in the U.S.
Fewer than two percent of parks and recreation agencies in the country are accredited, including four other agencies in Missouri: Chesterfield, Kansas City, Lee’s Summit and Clayton.
The park board spent more than two years in the extensive accreditation process, including extensive documentation of compliance with 151 national standards as well as a thorough site visit by CAPRA representatives in June. This is the first time the park board has achieved this accreditation, which will be renewed every five years.
The CAPRA accreditation team noted the park board’s 103-year history, its 2000 NRPA Gold Medal Award, its diverse and varied parks system, its leadership in sports tourism, its Community Olympic Development Programs, and above all, its community involvement and numerous partnerships as elements that stand out among peer agencies.
Parks Director Bob Belote and Park Board Chair Dr. Sarah McCallister accepted the certification along with a crystal trophy, accompanied by Project Coordinator Dr. Peggy Riggs and Assistant Parks Director Jim Fisher, who headed up the accreditation process, as well as several parks staff members attending the NRPA conference in St. Louis. McCallister said accreditation confirms the park board is one of the top agencies in the country.
“Accreditation would not happen unless everyone at the park board is doing their job to the best of their ability,” said McCallister. “It means we have met 151 national standards measuring the quality of our programs and services. This is a wonderful honor, well deserved by all the people who made it happen, including the Park Board’s wide network of community supporters.”