Sarasota County earns national parks accreditation

Only 22 other Florida agencies have been accorded the same honor

Image from the CAPRA website

The Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department has earned accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), joining only 22 other agencies in Florida to be accorded the same honor, the county has announced.

“CAPRA provides the only national accreditation of parks and recreation agencies,” a news release explains. “The accreditation serves as a measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community,” the release adds. “CAPRA accreditation indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.”

“This is a significant accomplishment for Sarasota County and the hard-working employees who serve the community every day,” said Carolyn Brown, director of the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department, in the release. “Meeting the full range of established CAPRA benchmarks demonstrates how we help make Sarasota County the premier place to live, work and play.”

“The first part of the accreditation process took almost a year to complete, involved multiple staff members and produced an in-depth self-assessment report,” the release points out. A three-day, on-site visit by a CAPRA team took place in June, the release adds. Members of that team “concluded that Sarasota County had met all of the standards of for accreditation,” the release says.

The culmination of the accreditation process was a hearing conducted by CAPRA officials, who made the decision to award accreditation to Sarasota County, the release notes.

Sarasota County has 55,000 acres of parkland, including beaches, trails, natural areas, athletic facilities, recreation centers and water access parks, the release points out.