Mesa announced as finalist for 2020 National Gold Medal Awards in parks and recreation

May 27, 2020 at 11:37 am

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the City of Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department as a finalist for the 2020 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting, LLC is proud to continue sponsoring the Gold Medal Awards program as it has for more than 20 years.

Founded in 1965, the 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.

Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities is a finalist in the Class I (population 400,001 and over) category. Mesa joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year. The other finalists are from Dallas, East Baton Rouge and Toledo.

"Being named a finalist again with other outstanding agencies from across the country is quite an honor and a tribute to our dedicated staff who work hard to consistently provide top notch facilities and programs for our residents," Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Director Marc Heirshberg said. "It also recognizes City management and our elected leaders who provide us the vision and support we need to carry out our mission."

A panel of five park and recreation professionals will review and judge all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels. The City of Mesa was a Gold Medal finalist in 2014, 2015 and 2019 and won the Gold Medal in 1978, 1992 and 2000.

This year's finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the six Grand Plaque recipients will be announced during the 2020 NRPA Conference, which will be held virtually in October. The presentation of both the Finalist and Grand Plaque recipients is being finalized and details will be forthcoming on the virtual conference website.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit or

Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities
Contact: Kevin Christopher
Tel. 480-644-4699