Mansfield Parks and Recreation has joined the ranks of elite park and recreation agencies across the country by earning accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This distinguished accomplishment was awarded in October 2023 as part of the NRPA Annual Conference in Dallas.
CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation 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. Currently, there are only 193 CAPRA-accredited agencies, representing less than 1% of the more than 23,000 parks and recreation departments nationwide.
Mansfield Parks and Recreation has been working towards accreditation since 2020. As part of the accreditation process, the department was required to demonstrate compliance with 154 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. The standards range from maintenance procedures and planning guidelines to financial transparency and community outreach plans. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.
“CAPRA Accreditation means our commitment to operating with uncompromising integrity and exceeding expectations has placed Mansfield Parks and Recreation among the best agencies in the country, ensuring our guests always receive the highest standards of welcoming spaces and remarkable experiences,” said Matt Young, Executive Director of Community Services. “Through best practices and accountability established by the accreditation process, we have a framework for the future of how we will create community as we gather, grow, preserve and play.”
The process for accreditation involves a formal application, self-assessment, a site visit by a team of trained visitors that result in a written report, and a hearing with the Commission to grant accreditation. Going forward, Mansfield Parks and Recreation must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and must apply for re-accreditation in five years.
Since 1960, Mansfield Parks and Recreation has provided award-winning welcoming spaces and remarkable experiences for the residents and guests of the fast-growing city in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Now encompassing over 1100 acres, 31 parks and facilities, and nearly 85 employees, the department’s commitment to world-class service continues with initiatives such as CAPRA certification, a completely voluntary but highly time- and effort-intensive process undergone to ensure long standing high standards never waver.
The CAPRA Commission includes representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Leisure Sciences, the Armed Forces Recreation Network and the Council of State Executive Directors.
For more information about CAPRA, visit nrpa.org.