National Park & Recreation Association 2019 Gold Medal Finalist


May, 2019

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce Vernon Hills Park District as a finalist for the 2019 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.

Vernon Hills Park District is a finalist in the Class V category.Established in 1973, the Vernon Hills Park District serves a community of approximately 26,000 residents.  The mission of the district is to promote diverse community based recreational opportunities by providing a variety of programs, services, facilities and natural spaces to enhance the quality of life for our residents. Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff and elected officials.Vernon Hills Park District joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year. Park Board President David Doerhoefer states: “We are honored to be a finalist for the NRPA Gold Medal Award, and we are so excited to showcase our Vernon Hills Park District pride with our fellow park and recreation professionals across the country.”

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 seven Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 24–26, 2019.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit or

Sullivan Community Center photos:© Kmiecik Imagery 2017