The City of Long Beach, Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine Tuesday was awarded the 2013 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
The award makes Long Beach the largest city in the nation to receive a Gold Medal this year. Long Beach previously won the Gold Medal in 1988, 1998, and 2006, according to city officials.
“I’m delighted that Long Beach has been recognized again as having one of the best park systems in the country,” said Mayor Bob Foster.
“The Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine staff have done an outstanding job providing excellent programs for our residents and increasing our green space within our already built-out city.”
George Chapjian, Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine said, "it is a tremendous honor for the Department to be recognized as one of the best parks and recreation departments in the country.
“It is a great testament to the level of professional staff, who work tirelessly to provide the very best programs and services to the entire Long Beach community.”
Long Beach’s application for the 2013 Gold Medal focused on several service and program areas, including:
Conservation efforts have included stream restorations; a tree trimming policy to ensure healthy trees and wildlife nesting in them; and partnerships with businesses and community organizations to adopt and maintain open space areas.
- Health and Wellness
- Social Equity
The Department also supervises 26 parks during after-school hours and school breaks, and partners with the Long Beach Unified School District to serve 213,000 youth annually at staff-run Winners Reaching Amazing Potential recreation programs at eight school campuses.
In addition, the Department added its latest Teen Center in 2012, when the 5,275-square-foot Teen Center at McBride Park opened to serve 1,400 youth each month in a safe, welcoming environment.