Wyoming State Parks announced as a 2017 Gold Medal Award finalist

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Ashburn, VA - Wyoming State Parks has been announced as a National Gold Medal Finalist from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA).

The AAPRA in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 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 more than 10 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 seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class, awarded on odd numbered years, for state park systems.

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. Four finalists in each class are chosen to compete for grand honors each year.

The 2017 Gold Medal finalists are as follows:

Class I (population 400,001 and over):
BREC - Baton Rouge, La.
Johnson County Park and Recreation Board - Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board - Minneapolis, Minn.
Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department - Lake Worth, Fla.

Class II (population 150,001 - 400,000):
Arlington Parks and Recreation - Arlington, Texas
City of Grand Prairie - Grand Prairie, Texas
Metro Parks Tacoma - Tacoma, Wash.
Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District - Beaverton, Ore.
Class III (population 75,001 - 150,000)
Arlington Heights Park District - Arlington Heights, Ill.
City of Evanston Parks, Recreation and Community Services - Evanston, Ill.
City of Mountain View Community Services Department - Mountain View, Calif.
City of Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs - Roswell, Ga.

Class IV (population 30,001 - 75,000):
City of Alpharetta Recreation and Parks - Alpharetta, Ga.
Bismarck Parks and Recreation District - Bismarck, N.D.
Lombard Park District - Lombard, Ill.
City of Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation - Wheat Ridge, Colo.

Class V (population less than 30,000):
Glencoe Park District - Glencoe, Ill.
Homewood-Flossmoor Park District - Flossmoor, Ill.
Itasca Park District - Itasca, Ill.
Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture - Windsor, Colo.

State Park Systems:
Arizona State Parks and Trails - Phoenix, Ariz.
Tennessee State Parks, TN Department of Environment and Conservation - Nashville, Tenn.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission - Olympia, Wash.
Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails - Cheyenne, Wyo.

Armed Forces Recreation:
MCAS Cherry Point - Cherry Point, N.C.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard - Kittery, Maine
Marine Corps Ground Combat Training - Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Fort Carson - Fort Carson, Colo.

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 2017 NRPA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Sept. 26-28, 2017.