Today, Plainfield Park District 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).
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. This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.
“This was a huge undertaking in which the District met all 159 standards of evidence of compliance,” said Plainfield Park District Executive Director Carlo Capalbo. “There was a lot of hard work and time placed in the process from the leadership team, a variety of other team members, and specifically Executive Assistant Heather Caldwell and Administrative Assistant Donna Martin.”
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, this year’s visitations were held virtually. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and is reviewed again in five years.
“This is something we all can be proud of,” Capalbo added. “In Illinois, only 10 other park districts have currently achieved this honor.”
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.
Several Plainfield Park District staff members will be on hand to officially accept the accreditation honor at the NRPA Annual Conference Best of the Best Ceremony to be held September 21 in Phoenix, Ariz.