On October 13, 2009 the City of Golden Parks and Recreation Department was recognized for excellence in the field of parks and recreation management by becoming the first municipality in Colorado and one of only 104 agencies in the country currently holding national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).  This distinguished accomplishment was announced in Salt Lake City, UT at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) 2009 Congress and Exposition. Golden Parks and Recreation successfully applied for CAPRA reaccreditation in 2014, and is preparing to apply for a third accreditation in 2019.

CAPRA Accreditation


The process of accreditation is extensive and took several years to accomplish. After the initial application, the department completed a detailed self-assessment report followed by a visit to the City of Golden by a team of experienced park and recreation professionals.

Finally, a review was conducted by CAPRA and accreditation was formally conferred by the Commission on October 13, 2009. National accreditation requires park and recreation agencies to respond to 151 standards representing elements of effective and efficient park and recreation operations. To become accredited, agencies must fully meet 37 standards deemed fundamental to a quality agency and at least 103 of the remaining standards.

The Golden Parks and Recreation Department joins their esteemed colleagues in the Golden Public Works Department and the Golden Police Department, which are also nationally accredited departments through the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) respectively. The City of Golden is one of only seven agencies in the nation who have achieved accreditation in all three departments.

National Gold Medal Award

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), announced the City of Golden Parks and Recreation Department the Grand Plaque Recipient of the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management live at the NRPA Congress and Exposition in Minneapolis, MN, Oct. 27, 2010.

As one of four finalists in population category 25,000 and below, the City of Golden Parks and Recreation Department completed a video submission which was judged along with the initial application to determine the Golden Medal Grand Recipient.

The Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource managment, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.  Each agency is judged on its ability to address the needs of those it serves throughout the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.

COG Mesa

 Golden has 402 acres of open space
and maintains 253 acres of parks right within the city itself.

Additional Resources

City of Golden, Colorado
COG Mesa
Skip to content