Fort Riley is the recipient of the 2020 National Gold Medal Grand Plaque Award, Armed Forces Division, for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. The announcement was made during a virtual ceremony held Oct. 27. The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) are the sponsors of the annual recognition.
“This is a huge accomplishment,” said Tod Scalf, Director of Fort Riley Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. “It is due to the amazing teamwork of the MWR staff and our partners on and off the installation.”
The Gold Medal Awards program has recognized municipal parks and recreation organizations since 1965, but it’s only been since 2012 that there has been an Armed Forces category. Prior to 2020, Fort Knox, Kentucky was the only Army installation to win the award in 2013.
Fort Riley was previously a Gold Medal finalist in 2016.
Entrants must demonstrate why their Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs are considered outstanding and how they make a positive impact on their installation. They also must show efforts toward social equity, health and wellness, and conservation.
Judging is based on long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and community engagement.
Fort Riley Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Community Recreation Division is one of only four U.S. Army recreation divisions to maintain a national accreditation, which serves as tie-breaking criteria for the Gold Medal award.
Col. Will McKannay, Fort Riley Garrison Commander, added, “This week, Cmd. Sgt. Major Tim Speichert and I had the honor of joining our MWR Team at a Virtual Watch Party and Ceremony as they were announced winner of the National Recreation and Park Association 2020 Gold Medal for excellence in Parks and Recreation Management. This is just another, on a long list of reasons, why Fort Riley is the best place to live, train, deploy from, come home to and retire.”