For Immediate Release
Date: Nov. 25, 2014
For the first time, Savannah’s Parks and Recreation Department has received national accreditation for meeting rigorous standards.
During a ceremony on Thursday before City Council, Savannah Leisure Services Bureau Chief Joe Shearouse announced that the National Parks and Recreation Association has accredited Savannah’s Parks and Recreation Department following a more than year-long review process. Savannah’s program is one of only two in South Georgia to receive the designation, and one of only 138 departments across the nation.
“It shows that they have met exceedingly rigorous standards, and demonstrates that we have a quality program that stands above most others,” Shearouse said.
Shearouse gave credit to Barry Baker, the longtime director of Parks and Recreation, for managing the accreditation process and overseeing a department that runs 57 playgrounds, hundreds of acres of parks, nine pools, more than a dozen community centers, and an extensive recreation program for youth and adults.
“The credit goes to my employees who work tirelessly every day to provide recreation opportunities for our citizens,” Baker said.
For its efforts to expand opportunities for play in the community, Savannah has been named a “Playful City USA” by the national nonprofit KaBOOM! organization for the past five years.
“You run an excellent program, and make us look good as elected officials,” Mayor Edna Jackson said. “I thank you for that.”