The Woodstock City Council announced the accreditation Monday and congratulated the department at its meeting Monday night.
The director of Parks and Recreation for Woodstock, Preston Pooser, said Tuesday accreditation is an indication of the city’s hard work and high quality parks.
“Accreditation indicates to the general public that the Woodstock Parks and Recreation Department meets and exceeds national standards and complies with best practices recognized nationwide. It ensures the public that their tax dollars are spent wisely and that they are getting quality services and programs,” Pooser said.
Gaining accreditation takes years. It requires applicants to meet 36 fundamental standards for quality and 92 additional standards out of 144 possible elements.
Pooser said gaining national accreditation took a four-year, citywide effort.
“Accreditation, by design, requires a citywide team effort including cooperation from not only Parks and Recreation Department staff but support from other city departments,” Pooser said. “It also requires ongoing support from the city manager, the Recreation Advisory Board and the mayor and city council.”
Pooser thanked City Manager Jeff Moon, Mayor Donnie Henriques and the city council for their “ongoing efforts” to provide the best facilities and services possible, and said it’s great to get confirmation that the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has a high level of quality.
“CAPRA recognizes park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service while providing assurance to the public that the agency meets national standards of best practice,” Pooser said. “Through compliance with the standards of excellence, CAPRA accreditation assures that an agency has been independently evaluated against established
benchmarks as delivering a high level of quality.”
Pooser and City Manager Jeff Moon attended the final hearing in Houston to decide if the Woodstock department would become accredited.
“We were informed of their decision to award accreditation at the end of our hearing,” Pooser said. “We were formally recognized as an accredited agency at the Best of The Best Award Ceremony at the National Recreation and Park Association Congress on Wednesday, Oct. 9.”
Gaining national accreditation can help the city get certain grants and “has shown to be helpful in controlling insurance costs in other agencies,” Pooser said.
Moon added in a news release that being the seventh department in the state, and out of only 125 nationwide, becoming nationally accredited is quite an honor.
“We’ve always known we have a great Parks and Recreation Department, but it’s always nice to get outside affirmation of this fact,” Moon said. “We are extremely proud of the work that Preston and his entire team and department did in meeting this goal. I think it is quite an honor for them to become just the seventh such department to receive national accreditation in the state of Georgia.”