BREC Announced as Finalist for the 2016 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the Recreation and Park Commission for East Baton Rouge (BREC) as a finalist for the 2016 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting LLC has been a proud sponsor of the Gold Medal Awards program for over 10 years.

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems awarded on odd numbered years.

BREC is a finalist in the Class 1 category which is the largest category and includes agencies serving communities with populations over 400,000. Previous winners in this category include the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (2015, Chicago Park District (2014) and City of Long Beach Department of Parks and Recreation (2013). BREC is a two-time Gold Medal Award winner (1991 and 1975) and a 12-time national finalist. 

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. BREC joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.

"From the construction of new facilities and park amenities to innovative programs and events that bring the community together, BREC is working around the clock to help make this community a better place to live work and play," said BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight. "I am honored that our system is being recognized as one of the top four in the largest class category in this competition, and hope this sends a clear message to the community that we are serious about achieving our mission through a focus on health and wellness, conservation and social equity across East Baton Rouge Parish," said McKnight.

A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviews and judges all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels. 

This year's finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the six Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the NRPA General Session at the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, Oct 5-8, 2016.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit or 

It is BREC's mission to contribute to a healthier, more vibrant community by providing exceptional parks, open spaces and recreational experiences for all of East Baton Rouge Parish.

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a non-profit organization founded to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators that would enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and, to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, visit

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation,

Musco Lighting, LLC is a company that has specialized in lighting systems for sports and large areas for more than 30 years. Musco has pioneered dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and affordable ways to control wasted spill light and glare. Permanent and temporary lighting services range from neighborhood fields to NASCAR super speedways. For more information, visit