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Posted October 6, 2016 | 4:39 PM

County Parks & Recreation Receives Prestigious Accreditation

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Oct. 6, 2016) - Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation has received national accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), making it one of fewer than 150 such departments in the country to achieve the prestigious designation.

The accreditation is a coveted stamp of approval that a parks and recreation system has well-operated and maintained parks and facilities and offers a robust lineup of recreation programs, according to the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), under whose auspices the accreditation is given.

"Through Compliance with the standards of excellence, CAPRA accreditation assures policy makers, department staff, the general public and taxpayers that an accredited park and recreation agency has been independently evaluated against established benchmarks as delivering a high level of quality," the NRPA says.

Parks & Recreation encompasses 176 parks, 54 recreation centers, 118 playgrounds, four skate parks, six dog parks, 38 sports complexes, 69 athletic leagues, and offers 280 recreation programs.

The accreditation process involves a self-assessment, a visit by accreditors, and a review by CAPRA. Applicants are judged on their ability to comply with 151 operational standards covering everything from fiscal management to recreational programming to maintenance to accommodating underserved populations. Agencies must be successfully reviewed every five years to maintain accreditation.

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