Illinois Distinguished Agency

Schaumburg Park District and its sound business practices, outstanding programs, public accountability and quality facilities were recognized with accreditation in a joint program sponsored by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) in 2009, 2015 and 2021.

Accreditation is the culmination of a comprehensive evaluation that reviews adherence to best practices within the profession, and compliance to Illinois laws governing park district administration. Operational categories examined include general management, finance and business operations, facilities and parks, personnel, recreation services and legal. The evaluation team also cited Schaumburg for particular excellence in the following three areas:

  • Facility Preventative Maintenance and Asset Management Program that ensures the operation and longevity of facilities infrastructure
  • Intranet capability that allows employees to communicate and be informed on new district information thus enhancing customer service
  • The “Green Light” environment programs and policies that promote district-wide energy efficiency and sound environmental practices  

The distinguished park and recreation accreditation program began with recognition of three park districts in 1993. More than 40 of Illinois’ 400+ park districts have, to date, been accredited.

CAPRA Agency Accreditation

Schaumburg Park District has joined the ranks of elite park and recreation agencies across the country by earning recognition 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 2018 NRPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

CAPRA accreditation 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.

As part of the accreditation process, Schaumburg Park District had to demonstrate compliance with 151 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.

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. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and is reviewed 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.

Gold Medal

Schaumburg Park District has won the prestigious Gold Medal Award for excellence in parks and recreation administration and management three times (1988, 1995, 2004).

The award is sponsored by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) and the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). Selection of the winners is based on service, diversity, development and future planning, degree of participant involvement and citizen support.

The National Gold Medals are presented annually in five population classes. Entries are solicited from 4,800 communities and 7,000 park and recreation administrators from across the nation.

NRPA Excellence in Aquatics

Schaumburg Park District earned 2009 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Excellence in Aquatics Award (Class IV) at the NRPA Congress & Exposition. It is the third time the Park District has been awarded the honor.

Entries are judged on implementation of mission statement, challenges faced in the past five year period, documentation of fully-trained aquatic staff, promotion of water safety, efforts in prevention of recreational water illness, description of full and equal access to facilities and programs, and description of professional involvement of the aquatic staff at the local, state, regional and national levels.

The Schaumburg Park District mission as it relates to aquatics includes fulfilling the aquatic needs of its immediate and regional constituents through safe and enriching programs at quality facilities. Aquatic needs are identified through community feedback and addressed through the timely addition of programs and facility renovations.

Helen Doria Arts in the Park Award

Illinois Association of Park Districts President and CEO Peter Murphy (left to right), Schaumburg Park District Cultural Arts Supervisor Beth Waller and IAPD Chairman Don Andersen stand with the Arts in the Park Award.

Schaumburg Park District was presented the Helen Doria Arts in the Park Award by the Illinois Association of Park Districts and Arts Alliance Illinois in 2013.

The Doria Award recognizes park districts and other agencies that support the arts and partner with artists and arts organizations to enhance their community’s quality of life.

The award recognizes the District’s dance, theater, visual arts and music programs; and its cultural partnerships with other agencies including the Village of Schaumburg, school districts, and the Chicago Cultural Alliance.

Helen Doria was a cultural programmer for the Chicago Park District and the first executive director of Chicago’s Millennium Park. Schaumburg was one of three Districts recognized with the 2013 award.