CLEVELAND (WJW) – The Cleveland Metroparks is being recognized with a national honor on Tuesday.
The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration awarded Cleveland Metroparks with the 2021 National Gold Medal “Best in Nation” Award.
It’s the highest national honor you can receive in the parks and recreation field.
The award comes after several big accomplishments for the metroparks, including a record-breaking 19.7 million visitors last year.
They also added more the 700 acres and about 30 miles of trails across the Emerald Necklace.
According to a 2018 Trust for Public Land study, Cleveland Metroparks brings in an annual regional economic impact of $873 million by enhancing property values, reducing stormwater runoff, improving local health and wellness and tourism.
“We’re thrilled to be recognized among our national peers as the top park system in the country and bring the Gold Medal home to our communities in Northeast Ohio,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman.
The Gold Medal Awards program recognizes public park and recreation agencies, as well as state parks, that demonstrate excellence in planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship and development.
This is the fifth time Cleveland Metroparks has received the Gold Medal. For more information on the awards program, click here.