Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District: Connecting People, Parks and Nature: THPRD earns accreditation as one of the nation’s best park providers
by Bill Evans
Talk about a September to remember: THPRD staff received confirmation late in the month that their park district is one of the best in the U.S.
Approval by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) on Sept. 25 means THPRD is one of only 155 agencies nationally – less than 2% of park and recreation providers – that are accredited. The Beaverton-based district is one of just four in Oregon.
“This is a significant milestone,” said Jerry Jones Jr., president of the THPRD Board of Directors. “The 151 standards that accreditation requires are all indicators that THPRD is an agency that is acting strategically and responsibly on behalf of Beaverton-area residents.”
To earn accreditation, THPRD submitted a self-review in April, preparing and documenting its compliance with the CAPRA standards. In June, three CAPRA representatives completed a thorough peer review of THPRD’s application materials.
“It’s a wonderful way to show residents that we’re acting with their best interests in mind,” said Doug Menke, THPRD general manager. “We are responsibly going about our long-term planning, developing new programs, protecting natural resources and expanding opportunities for indoor and outdoor recreation.”
CAPRA, sponsored by the National Recreation and Park Association, defines its standards as “an effective and credible means of evaluating a park and recreation agency’s overall system.” The accreditation process “assures policy makers, department staff, the general public and taxpayers that an accredited park and recreation agency has been independently evaluated against established benchmarks as delivering a high level of quality.”
Gold Medal finalist For the second straight year, THRPD was selected as a finalist in its category for an NRPA Gold Medal Award. Grand Prairie, Texas was announced as the winner.
“This experience has been nothing but positive,” Menke said. “These recent accomplishments are helping our residents, our board and our industry peers recognize the work we do to make the Beaverton area an even better place to live.”
About THPRD Formed in 1955, THPRD is the largest special park district in Oregon, spanning 50 square miles and serving about 240,000 residents in the greater Beaverton area. The district provides year round recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Offerings include thousands of widely diverse classes, 95 park sites with active recreational amenities, nearly 70 miles of trails, eight swim centers, six recreation centers, and about 1,500 acres of natural areas. For more information, visit www. thprd.org or call 503-645-6433.