The Georgia Recreation and Park Association named Gainesville Parks and Recreation "Agency of the Year" at its Annual Conference in Columbus Wednesday night. This is the 13th time over the last 18 years that Gainesville has won the award for its population category of 20,000–50,000.
The agency was recognized for its Quality Programs and Facilities; Staff Development; Stewardship of Financial Resources; and Innovation in Technology. Notably, over the past year, more than 750,000 people visited the city’s 22 parks and major facilities such as the Gainesville Civic Center; Frances Meadows Aquatic Center; and Lanier Point Athletic Complex. The nationally accredited agency also partnered with more than 70 organizations to combine resources, served more than 100,000 residents through the over 1,000 programs it offers the community, and produced an economic impact of approximately $9 million.
Board Chair John Simpson said, “On behalf of the board, we are proud of this Agency’s accomplishments, its hardworking staff, and the many volunteers who help us fulfill our mission of service to the Gainesville community.”
Beth Morris, retired Gainesville Parks and Recreation Youth Athletics Manager, was inducted into the association's Hall of Fame. Recreation Program Coordinator Michael Waters received "Programmer of the Year Honors" for Georgia Recreation and Park Association District 7.