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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department has joined the ranks of elite park and recreation agencies across the country by earning accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This is the first time Colorado Springs has received CAPRA accreditation. The accomplishment was awarded Wednesday during the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference.

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. It indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services. Of the 23,000 CAPRA-eligible agencies nationwide, the Colorado Springs’ parks department is one of just 186 to achieve this milestone. Ten agencies in Colorado, including Colorado Springs, are accredited by CAPRA.

“Our department consistently strives for excellence in our service to the community,” said Karen Palus, Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services director. “Achieving national accreditation validates that our work is conducted at the highest standards and abides by the best practices established by CAPRA. We are honored to join our esteemed peers in this achievement as we continue to provide world-class amenities for all residents and visitors of Colorado Springs, Olympic City USA.”

As part of the accreditation process, Colorado Springs had to demonstrate compliance with 151 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. The parks department joins several other City departments in earning national accreditation, among which are the Colorado Springs Fire Department, Colorado Springs Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management. 

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