Waukegan Park District Named a Finalist for the 2024 National Gold Medal Award

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, named the Waukegan Park District a finalist for the 2024 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, the nation's highest honor for park and recreation agencies.

The Waukegan Park District is a finalist in Class III, the category for park and recreation agencies serving a population of 75,001 to 150,000. The Waukegan Park District won the prestigious award in 2013 and was named a finalist in 2012, 2013, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Founded in 1965, the National Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the United States that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applications are separated into six classes, with five classes based on population and one class for armed forces.

“The Waukegan Park District is proud to be recognized as one of the nation’s best of the best park and recreation agencies," Waukegan Park District Board of Commissioners President Jeremiah Johnson said. "The acknowledgment underscores the relentless commitment of staff to create memorable park and recreation experiences. Their efforts are showcased daily across parks and facilities as they meet the needs of our community.”

“The Waukegan Park District is extremely honored to again be recognized by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and the National Recreation and Park Association as one of the top park and recreation agencies in the country," Waukegan Park District Executive Director Jay Lerner said. "This prestigious honor is a testament to the dedication of the Board of Commissioners and staff to enrich the community through state-of-the-art parks and facilities and engaging recreation programs for children and adults. The Waukegan Park District is proud to serve our community and appreciates their continued support.”

The recipients of the National Gold Medal Award will be announced at the 2024 National Recreation and Park Association Conference in October in Atlanta, Georgia.

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