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Arlington Heights Park District Announced as Finalist for the 2016 National Gold Medal Awards

AHPD Going for Gold!
© Staff photographer

Arlington Heights Park District to compete for prestigious honor in the park and recreation industry

Arlington Heights, IL., May 5, 2016 – The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce Arlington Heights Park District as a finalist for the 2016 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting LLC has been a proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program for over 10 years.

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. 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 seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems awarded on odd numbered years. 

Arlington Heights Park District is a finalist in the Class III category. The Class III category includes communities with a population of 75,001 – 150,000.  There are five categories total. 

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. Arlington Heights Park District joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.

“This is a very proud day for the Arlington Heights Park District, and one that we share with all of the residents in our great community, our patrons, as well as with our Park Board and staff” said Steve Scholten, Executive Director.  “We are excited to once again be acknowledged as one of the top Park Districts in the country,” he added.  The Arlington Heights Park District is a three-time recipient of the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management having received top honors in 1983, 1992, and 2001.  

A panel of five park and recreation professionals’ reviews and judges all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels.  

This year’s finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the six Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, Oct 5-8, 2016.


For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit or 

Mission:  The Arlington Heights Park District enriches the community by providing quality recreation, facilities and fun.    
We do this by:

  • Ensuring the efficient and effective use of financial resources and Park District assets.
  • Providing innovative recreational opportunities and facilities to meet the diverse programming needs of our community.
  • Continuing the District's pursuit of being a community, regional, state and national leader.
  • Promoting an environment of cooperation, collaboration and teamwork.
  • Providing quality internal and external customer-focused service.
  • Providing stewardship of our open spaces and natural resources.

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a non-profit organization founded to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators that would enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and, to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, visit  

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

Musco Lighting, LLC is a company that has specialized in lighting systems for sports and large areas for more than 30 years. Musco has pioneered dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and affordable ways to control wasted spill light and glare. Permanent and temporary lighting services range from neighborhood fields to NASCAR super speedways. For more information, visit

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