The Oak Brook Park District has become the 8th park and recreation agency in Illinois to be accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The achievement positions the Oak Brook Park District among an elite group of fewer than 200 accredited agencies nationwide.
“We pursued national accreditation to ensure that we are truly doing everything we can to provide the very best in park and recreational opportunities for community,” said Laure Kosey, executive director for the Oak Brook Park District. CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies, and is a measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community. This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.
As part of the accreditation process, the Oak Brook Park District had to demonstrate compliance with 151 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.
“We are immensely proud of the dedication, passion, and hard work of our staff, said Sharon Knitter, president of the Oak Brook Park District Board of Commissioners. “They are committed to pursuing excellence for our residents.”
The process for accreditation involves a formal application, self-assessments, a site visit by a team of trained visitors that results in a written report, and a hearing with the commission to grant accreditation. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and is reviewed again in five years.
The Commission is comprised of representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Leisure Sciences, the Armed Forces Recreation Network and the Council of State Executive Directors.
The honor was awarded during the 2017 NRPA Annual Conference in New Orleans and compliments the Oak Brook Park District’s other recent national achievements. In 2015, the agency was awarded the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in the Field of Park and Recreation Management. In 2016 the Oak Brook Tennis Center, an enterprise fund of the park district, was one of just 12 facilities recognized with a United States Tennis Association (USTA) Outstanding Facility Award.
For more information about CAPRA accreditation, visit www.nrpa.org/CAPRA.
Photo Release: (Left to Right) Park Board Treasurer Kevin Tan, Park Board President Sharon Knitter, Oak Brook Park District Executive Director Laure Kosey, and Commissioner Frank Trombetta. Oak Brook Park District became the 8th nationally accredited agency in Illinois. According to the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD), there are more than 370 park districts and forest preserves in Illinois.
Winner of the National Gold Medal and an Illinois Distinguished Agency, the Oak Brook Park District provides the very best in park and recreational opportunities, facilities, and open lands for our community.
About The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.