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Township Earns Gold Medal Finalist Status for Parks and Recreation

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THE WOODLANDS, TX – The Woodlands Township has been named a finalist in one of the most prestigious awards competitions for parks and recreation professionals in the United States.

The National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services with sound business practices. The Township Parks and Recreation Department has been named a finalist in the Class III category for populations of 75,001 – 150,000.




“What an honor to be in such a fine group of places in the country,” said Township Chairman Gordy Bunch. “We have a very dedicated, talented, hard-working group of individuals who take care of all of parks, pathways, swimming pools and diversified recreational programming. Our Parks & Recreation system is one of the main reasons why people love The Woodlands and call The Woodlands home. This is quite an honor for our residents and our staff.”

The Township Parks and Recreation Department consistently receives accolades for excellence, including:

  • The 2019 Texas Gold Medal Award presented by the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) to exemplify commitment and dedication in the field of recreation and parks
  • The 2019 Promotions and Marketing Excellence Award (also awarded by TRAPS) in recognition of the department’s high-quality marketing program for the aquatics programs and services
  • The 2018 TRAPS Arts and Humanities Award and Lone Star Programming Award
  • The distinction of being named to Aquatics International Magazine’s Best of 2017 list for its innovative approach to addressing lifeguard staffing
  • The 2016 Lone Star Programming Award from TRAPS for Rock the Row live concert series
  • The 2016 Innovations in Parks and Design Award for the Waterway Arts Bench Program
  • The Special Event of the Year Award for the 2013 Splash Day event by the Association of Aquatic Professionals
Bear Branch Park, one of The Woodlands’ many parks.

An extensive application process is required to compete for the award, including written essays and information related to how the department is unique, outstanding, and positively impacts its community, including public support, citizen involvement, staff engagement, creativity, innovation, social equity, health and wellness, conservation, challenges faced, strategic planning and much more.

“The Woodlands Township congratulates the entire Parks and Recreation Department and thanks the staff for their efforts to make The Woodlands a remarkable place for residents and visitors to enjoy,” Chairman Bunch said.




The Township is in competition with Greeley, Colorado, Thornton, Colorado, and Waukegan, Illinois. The Gold Medal Award winner will be announced in the fall.

For more information on The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Department, please call 281-210-3800 or visit For more information on NRPA and the Gold Medal Award, please visit