THORNTON, CO… Thornton Parks, Recreation & Community Programs (TPRCP) is a finalist for the 2020 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. “The NRPA Gold Medal Finalist recognition is a reflection of the work our staff do each day to make Thornton inclusive and a great place to live, work, play, and retire,” says Thornton Parks, Recreation & Community Programs Director Seve Ghose.
Among the accomplishments TPRCP is recognized for:
- Resident access to parks or green space
- 145 miles of dedicated trails
- 75 miles of bicycle lanes
- Nine festivals and special events that annually draws over 200,000 people
- The Community Connections Division which serves the under-represented with housing and water assistance, health equity and education, and funding for community projects
- The Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation (AIR) program that accommodates the community in all our programs, facilities, and amenities, offers showers for the homeless, after-school meals, and transportation for older adults
- Converting over 10 acres to native grasses and utilizing a reduced watering frequency effort to cut back on water usage and expenses.
Thornton also has a dedicated 0.25% sales tax for parks, recreation, and open space that has been voted for by residents and renewed three times. “All of this while the city grew from 60,000 residents in 1990 to close to 150,000 residents in 2020,” says Ghose.
The award is given by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, with winners announced in October. “Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff members and elected officials,” says Ghose. “To be recognized as one of the best in the nation in our profession of Parks and Recreation is a credit to the community and Thornton City Council for their continued support of parks and recreation as an essential service.”