The Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) joins 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 distinguished accomplishment was awarded during the 2021 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. Fewer than 200 agencies in the United States hold this distinction, which indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.
As part of the accreditation process, PRCS had to demonstrate compliance with 154 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.
“According to the 2021 NRPA Engagement with Parks Report, close to 90% of survey respondents agree that parks and recreation is an important service provided by their local government. At PRCS, we are dedicated to creating community through people, parks and programs,” stated Director Steve Torpy. “I believe CAPRA accreditation is the foundation to launching exceptional programs and services. We always strive for excellence and the standards support our efforts to create the best possible community for Loudoun County’s residents and visitors for years to come.”
The process for accreditation involves a formal application, self-assessments, a site visit by a team of trained visitors that results in a written report, and a hearing with the commission to grant accreditation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitations were held virtually. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and undergo review again in five years. The Commission is comprised of representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Leisure Sciences, the Armed Forces Recreation Network and the Council of State Executive Directors.
For more information about CAPRA accreditation, visit nrpa.org/CAPRA. For more information about PRCS programs and services, visit loudoun.gov/prcs.