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H-F Park District is national award for excellence finalist

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District is a finalist for the 2018 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
Park officials learned of the selection May 10. The selection was made by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association. 
H-F Park District Executive Director Debbie Kopas said, “We are extremely proud to be a finalist for this prestigious award, and are honored to be recognized on a national level.” She said the park district’s mission is to serve the community daily through conservation, recreation and education. 
A panel of five park and recreation professionals, chosen for their experience and knowledge in parks and recreation, reviews and judges all application materials. H-F was asked to demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.
Staff now will produce a five-minute video telling the story of how the park district is unique and outstanding while capturing images that support the written application, explained Darren Jasieniecki, marketing and public relations manager.
H-F is one of four park districts selected a Gold Medal finalist in its category, based on population. H-F was a Gold Medal finalist in 2017.
This year’s finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the six Grand Plaque winners will be announced at the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, in September.
The H-F Park District was organized 49 years ago. It maintains 31 parks covering 356 acres. The district serves the communities of Homewood and Flossmoor and extends into a small portion of Glenwood to the east. The H-F Park District’s unique parks include Rover’s Run Dog Park, the Extreme Scene Skate Park, the Millennium Park Splash Pad, Leavitt Sculpture Park and Patriots Park.
The district also manages several recreation facilities: Coyote Run Golf Course, The Clubhouse at Dolphin Lake, H-F Auditorium, H-F Ice Arena, H-F Racquet & Fitness Club, H-F Sports Complex, Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center, Irwin Community Center and Lions Club Pool.
“While I know our entire team’s true satisfaction comes from seeing the community enjoy the many offerings our park district provides, it’s rewarding to be recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association,” said Steve Johnson, president of the district’s board of commissioners. “It really is a true honor to be a finalist.”

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