PRCA earns perfect reaccreditation score

Published on October 13, 2023


The City of Gainesville is proud to announce the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA) achieved all 154 reaccreditation standards set by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

This performance, scoring 100 percent with perfect marks, is a first in the city’s history!

CAPRA offers the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies. The distinction serves as a seal of approval that reliably measures an organization’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community. Receiving this accreditation means the City of Gainesville has met rigorous standards set for management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.

“This is the crowning achievement at the end of a banner year for Gainesville’s parks,” said Gainesville Mayor Harvey Ward. “With funding from the Wild Spaces, Public Places half-cent sales tax, we have completed and opened the new ‘boundless playground’ at Massey Park. We renovated Forest Park with improved soccer fields. Lighting was installed at Possum Creek, and the softball fields and shade structures at Tom Petty Park will be ready in November.”

Spanning 3,268 acres across the City of Gainesville, PRCA oversees 90 parks. These include historic sites, wetlands with alligators and birdwatching, an award-winning golf course, and three aquatic facilities. The department also is responsible for hosting the Downtown Festival & Art Show, the Free Fridays Concert Series at Bo Diddley Plaza, the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire and other programming.

In addition, PRCA staff manage the city’s One Nation/One Project (ONOP) program as part of a national initiative to use the arts and culture to promote community healing and well-being. Gainesville’s ONOP program direction, set by the Gainesville City Commission, focuses on youth gun violence.

The Youth Athletics Division operates successful Teen Midnight Basketball and Heat Wave programs each summer at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center, along with year-round youth programming and services.

PRCA received its first national accreditation in 2013 and has maintained this status ever since. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and is reviewed again every five years.