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Cleveland Metroparks named 'best in the nation' for parks and recreation management

The award is the highest national honor in the parks and recreation field.

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metroparks is being recognized nationally for it's outstanding parks and recreation management.

On Tuesday, the Northeast Ohio staple announced that it had been named "best in the nation" for parks and recreation management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. 

The gold medal award, presented at the 2021 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, is the highest national honor in the parks and recreation field.

"We’re thrilled to be recognized among our national peers as the top park system in the country and bring the Gold Medal home to our communities in Northeast Ohio,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman.

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The award comes on the heels of the Metroparks seeing a recording-breaking 19.7 million visitors in 2020 and the addition and completion of several projects. According to the Metroparks, the entity generates an annual economic impact of $873 million by "enhancing property values, reducing stormwater runoff, improving local health and wellness, and generating tourism," a press release stated. 

This is the fifth Gold Medal that Cleveland Metroparks has been awarded in the program’s history and the second awarded to Cleveland Metroparks under the leadership of Zimmerman. Park systems are only eligible to win the award once every five years.

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*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.