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North Carolina State Parks Named as Gold Medal Award Finalist

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Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor
Dee Freeman, Secretary

Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Sunday, May 3, 2009

North Carolina State Parks Named as Gold Medal Award Finalist

RALEIGH -- The North Carolina state parks system has been named one of four finalists for the 2009 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Parks and Recreation Management, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation announced today.

As a finalist, North Carolina advances to the next round of consideration along with state parks systems in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan, with a winner to be announced in October. The National Gold Medal Award is the most prestigious award a park and recreation agency can receive and recognizes service excellence. The Gold Medal is a comprehensive award that looks at the challenges and resources of an agency and how it is meeting those challenges.

Judges for the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration considered 11 criteria including the quality of long-range planning, the response to population and economic trends, the extent of public support, the quality of natural resource protection and the types of services to special population groups.

'With outstanding support from the public and their elected and appointed leaders in North Carolina, our state parks system has grown significantly in size and increased and improved the basic amenities we provide to visitors,' Lewis Ledford, director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. 'This recognition is testimony of those improvements and a tribute to all of those who work for and support the efforts of the state parks system.'

The North Carolina state parks system, which attracts about 13 million visitors each years, exists for the enjoyment, education, health and inspiration of all our citizens and visitors. The mission of the state parks system is to conserve and protect representative examples of the natural beauty, ecological features and recreational resources of statewide significance; to provide outdoor recreational opportunities in a safe and healthy environment; and to provide environmental education opportunities that promote stewardship of the state's natural heritage.