In less than three years, Arizona State Parks & Trails has transformed into a self-sustaining Enterprise Business with record attendance and revenue. On September 26, 2017, Arizona State Parks & Trails won the Gold Medal for best managed state park system in the nation from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association.
Arizona State Parks & Trails staff presents the Gold Medal to Governor Ducey
Presenting Arizona Senate President, Steve Yarbrough with the Gold Medal
Presenting Arizona Speaker of the House, Javan Mesnard with the Gold Medal
Presenting Secretary of the Interior Zinke with the Gold Medal
Presenting Grand Canyon Nationa Park Superintendent, Chris Lehnertz with the Gold Medal
International visitors admiring the award
The Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services with fiscally sound business practices.
The Gold Medal Award Program includes seven classes: five classes based upon population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems in odd numbered years. At the beginning of each calendar year, agencies are invited to submit applications for consideration, with a deadline of mid-March. Finalists were announced at the end of April, and the Grand Award recipient was announced at the NRPA Annual Conference on September 26 in New Orleans, La.
A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviewed and judged all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both local and national levels.
Arizona State Parks & Trails submission to the National Recreation & Parks Association (NRPA) 2017 Gold Medal awards, representing one of the four "Best Managed State Park Systems" in the country.
o No General Fund - Parks uses "Enterprise Business" model to run at the speed of business
o Havasu Riviera State Park - Our newest park along Arizona's "West Coast", located along the crystal blue waters of the Colorado River & Lake Havasu will offer a variety of expanded recreational activities for visitors.
o Rockin' River Ranch State Park - Situated in Camp Verde, on 209-acres along the Verde River in central Arizona, this park will offer campers, hikers and equestrian enthusiasts a wonderland of amenities.
o Arizona State Parks & Trails - Selected to host 2018 National State Parks Directors Conference (NASPD)