National Gold Medal Finalist

Waukesha Parks, Recreation, and Forestry earns National Gold Medal finalist honors!

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), has selected the City of Waukesha Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department (WPRF) as a finalist for the 2018 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in the Parks and Recreation industry!

Founded in 1965, the prestigious 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.

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. WPRF joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.

2018 Gold Medal Award Finalists

Class I (population 400,001 and over)

  • East Baton Rouge Recreation & Park Commission (BREC) — Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Louisville Parks and Recreation — Louisville, Kentucky
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board — Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation — Lake Worth, Florida

Class II (population 150,001 – 400,000)

  • Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation — Arlington, Virginia
  • City of Arlington Parks and Recreation — Arlington, Texas
  • City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department — Tampa, Florida
  • Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District — Beaverton, Oregon

Class III (population 75,001 – 150,000)

  • Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department — Bloomington, Indiana
  • City of Evanston, Parks, Recreation and Community Services — Evanston, Illinois
  • Greeley Culture, Parks and Recreation — Greeley, Colorado
  • Lawrence Parks and Recreation — Lawrence, Kansas

Class IV (population 30,001 – 75,000)

  • Centerville-Washington Park District — Centerville, Ohio
  • City of Waukesha Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department — Waukesha, Wisconsin
  • Lombard Park District — Lombard, Illinois
  • Town of Castle Rock Parks and Recreation — Castle Rock, Colorado

Class V (population less than 30,000)

  • Glencoe Park District — Glencoe, Illinois
  • Homewood-Flossmoor Park District — Flossmoor, Illinois
  • Williston Parks and Recreation District — Williston, North Dakota
  • Windsor Parks, Recreation & Culture — Windsor, Colorado

Department Director Ron Grall emphasized, "It truly takes a 'community effort' to be in a position to be recognized with the Gold Medal Award, without the exceptional time and talents of staff, board members, community partners, and an 'army' of volunteers – this distinction would not be possible."

This year's finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, Sept. 25–27, 2018.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit or

2018 National Gold Medal Promotional Video

The Gold Medal Video highlights our parks, programs and special areas in the City of Waukesha. Please enjoy!

Sponsored in part by:

The Waukesha Park Foundation
Waukesha Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Friends

Special Thanks To:

  • Jerry Lemke and High Rollers, LLC
  • Antonio Morales
  • Gold Medal Committee Members:
    • Ron Grall
    • Brooke Adams
    • Mona Bauer
    • Mary Berg
    • Glen Drapes
    • Sheryl Emanuel
    • Keith Johnson
    • Karen Richards
    • Mark Thompson
    • ... and countless other supporters, volunteers and all the WPRF staff and crew

Hosted by: Karen Lesiewicz
Directed by: Greg Bizzaro, Jaffe Films
Videography by: Cory Radtke, Jon Bizzaro and Greg Bizzaro
Music by: Rachael Foster
Creative Consultant: Jim Gartland
Produced by: Mona Bauer

Music and song copyright 2018 City of Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department All rights reserved

WPRF Gold Medal Video 2011

Please feel free to enjoy our 2011 Gold Medal Video. It is approximately 12 minutes long.