BREC Receives Preliminary Notice that it has Earned Fifth National AccreditationBaton Rouge, LA—
The Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) has received preliminary word that it again will receive re-accreditation by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). This distinguished accomplishment will be formally approved by CAPRA and announced in Charlotte, North Carolina at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) 2014 Congress and Exposition. In February of 1994, BREC was one of the first four agencies in the country to receive national accreditation from CAPRA. Currently, there are approximately 3,000 park and recreation agencies in the country and BREC is one of only 118 of them to hold national accreditation.
The process of re-accreditation occurs every five years and is an extensive effort to show that the agency has adopted and implemented best practices in all phases of the organization. It takes several years to accomplish. After the completing the application process, the agency developed a detailed self-assessment report then hosted a team of experienced park and recreation professionals who reviewed the materials, interviewed staff and community stakeholders and toured BREC facilities before making a recommendation for approval. A final review of the application, evidence of compliance and report from the visiting team will be conducted by CAPRA and reaccreditation will be formally conferred by the Commission in October.
“This has been a transformational year for BREC. Along with the lengthy process to earn re-accreditation, we are in the midst of creating a new 10-year strategic plan for the park system, we also hosted the state Parks and Recreation conference, requested and received voter approval for the renewal of our property tax revenues, and have implemented new, up-to-date software to help our Finance and Human Resources Departments become more efficient and customer friendly,” said BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight. “Earning re-accreditation validates all of these efforts and my hope is that it shows the residents of our community that they have a park system that takes seriously its mission to improve the health, environment, safety and quality of life in East Baton Rouge.”
Every five years, an accredited agency must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure continued compliance with the accreditation standards that have been established by the national Commission. These standards represent all areas of operation for parks and recreation departments. National accreditation requires park and recreation agencies to respond to 144 standards representing elements of effective and efficient operations. To become accredited, agencies must fully meet 36 standards deemed fundamental to a quality agency and at least 92 of the remaining standards.
The Commission is comprised of representatives from the National Recreation and Park Association, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Managers Association, American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation, the Armed Forces Recreation Society, and the Council of State Executive Directors.
“I am so proud of the BREC staff for their tireless efforts to meet each and every standard whether it was fundamental or not. Reaching that goal is a testament to the quality of our team and the hard work that our staff puts in each and every day in order to provide high quality recreational opportunities for everyone in East Baton Rouge Parish,” said McKnight. “I appreciate the efforts of each of them to develop quality programs, keep our parks clean and beautiful and create new, exciting facilities for the entire parish to enjoy.”
For additional information on park and recreation agency accreditation, contact:
National Recreation and Park Association
James Garges, Accreditation Chair
22377 Belmont Ridge Road
Ashburn VA 20148
Phone: (703) 858-2150
It is the BREC mission to provide parks and recreational opportunities for all the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish.