May 10, 2022

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Announced as Finalist for the 2022 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation Management for Second Consecutive Year

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation (VBPR) has been selected as a finalist for the 2022 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This is the second straight year that VBPR has been named a finalist, competing amongst the best park agencies from around the country. The final phase of judging – a five-minute video - will take place this summer and winners will be announced during the 2022 NRPA Conference, September 20-22 in Phoenix, Arizona.

VBPR is a finalist in the Class I category for cities with populations of 400,000 plus. Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff members, and elected officials. VBPR joins three other finalists in this class:

Class I Finalists (population 400,001 and over)

  • The Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) East Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation,Tampa, Florida
  • Johnson County Parks & Recreation District, Shawnee Mission, Kansas
  • Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Virginia Beach, Virginia

"Being selected as a finalist among the nation's top park agencies two years in a row is such an honor," said VBPR Director Michael Kirschman. "It's truly a testament to not only the dedication of our staff, but also a history of support from our residents and city leadership to make parks and recreation a priority. They are an investment in the communities' social, mental, and physical health, and improve our quality of life here in Virginia Beach."

Founded in 1965, the National 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.

For more information on the National Gold Medal Award Program, visit

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation strives to promote healthy lifestyles and protect the City's coastal environment, as well as to ensure all residents – regardless of their physical, social and economic circumstances – can access Parks & Recreation programs. The department's vision is to be the national leader in providing enriching and memorable lifelong experiences. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, visit or call (757) 385‐1100 (TTY: 757‐711 Virginia Relay). Sign up for Parks & Rec email newsletters at Find us on Facebook at

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration
The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a nonprofit organization founded to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators that would enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and, to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, visit

The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not‐for‐profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people 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 spaces. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit


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