The Town of Fountain Hills Community Services Department recently received the Grand Plaque in the 2022 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
The department was honored in the Class Five category for populations of 30,000 or less, according to a press release, detailing the association’s award banquet held Sept. 20 at the National Recreation and Park Association annual conference in Phoenix.
The Grand Plaque was presented to Rachael Goodwin, community services director, at the event on behalf of the department, stated the release.
The department was recognized as a Gold Medal finalist for the second consecutive year by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration with the National Recreation and Park Association.
“This is such an exciting and well-deserved recognition for the department and the leadership of department director Rachael Goodwin. Being honored two years in a row, then winning the highest honor, is an amazing and well-deserved accomplishment. It demonstrates the quality of leadership and staff in the department,” said Mayor Ginny Dickey in a prepared statement.
“We are fortunate to have world-class parks, trails, and services that residents and visitors enjoy. Our small, but mighty department, deserves this acknowledgment.”
The National Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the country 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 categorized into six classes, five based on population and one for armed forces. Cities and towns submitted a written application, and those chosen as Gold Medal finalists had a few short weeks to produce a five-minute video highlighting their programs and achievements.
The Community Services Department oversees and collaborates with community organizations to maintain and provide services with town parks, trails, community center, parks and recreation, community arts programs, volunteers, special events, home delivered meals, and more, noted the release.