Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Receives Reaccreditation


On September 27, 2018, the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA) joined the ranks of elite parks, recreation and cultural affairs agencies across the country by earning reaccreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This accomplishment was awarded during the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

In 2013, the department received its first accreditation, then one of only 119 agencies that had achieved this accomplishment. Now, five years later, there are 178 distinguished departments in the country.  Every five years, a new assessment occurs to retain accreditation. 
“The accreditation process motivates us to compare our operations against 151 Industry Best Practices and Standards. Meeting or exceeding these Best Practices has made us a better department, where we are more effective in serving our citizens in the best manner possible, while charting a course toward a new American city," said Steve Phillips, PRCA Director.  “The Industry Best Practices and Standards of CAPRA are in line with the City’s efforts to provide exemplary services for the people who call Gainesville “home”. This is our intent: to be a new American city, where it is a matter of community pride to visualize, plan and mobilize resources for every neighborhood and everyone. From innovative new parks, to uplifting cultural experiences and recreational programming that appeals to diverse audiences, PRCA is a leader on the national scene.”
CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for parks, recreation and cultural affairs agencies, and 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. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report which is reviewed in five years.
The reaccreditation is the result of the dedication by the Department’s staff and citizens and support from other City departments. Since the adoption of the department’s Vision 2020 Master Plan in 2012, staff has focused on maintaining standards and metrics to gauge the level of service provided to the citizens of Gainesville. Going forward, this reaccreditation process will further establish the Department’s mission to provide and maintain the natural, recreational and cultural facilities and programs that make Gainesville a great place to live, work and visit; and that help sustain the City economically, socially and environmentally.
Director Phillips stated: “Our Vision is ‘To be seen as the keepers and hosts of the places where nature, recreation and culture meet, offering memorable experiences for all’. Receiving reaccreditation provides guidance and leadership to our team as we continue to strive for excellence, which is what our citizens deserve.”
For more information, please contact Steven R. Phillips, Director, City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department at (352) 393-8755 or
See the official reaccreditation picture at