Hoffman Estates Park District named a finalist in National Park & Recreation Competition

  • Community park and playground information is included in the application process for the Gold Medal Award. HEParks manages over 930 acres of park space and 88 playgrounds including the popular Willow Park playground.

    Community park and playground information is included in the application process for the Gold Medal Award. HEParks manages over 930 acres of park space and 88 playgrounds including the popular Willow Park playground. Courtesy of HEParks Staff

Updated 5/11/2022 3:17 PM

Hoffman Estates Park District (HEParks) is a finalist for the 2022 National Recreation and Parks Association Gold medal Award. In addition to this prestigious recognition, HEParks is also nationally accredited through the Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies and an Illinois Distinguished Park & Recreation Agency.

Applications are divided into seven categories based on population. HEParks is one of four finalists in the nation representing the Class IV category for cities with a population of 30,001-75,000.


The Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Parks & Recreation is administered by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This award honors public park and recreation and state park systems throughout the United States and armed forces recreation programs worldwide in long-range planning, fiscally sound business practices, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, professional development, and approaches to delivering innovative and industry-leading recreation programs. Applicants are judged on their ability to address the needs of those it serves through the combined energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.

"We are thrilled that for the seventh time in the past 40 years, HEParks is recognized by NRPA for our continued contribution to our community," said Craig Talsma, HEParks executive director. "Our entire district works tirelessly to implement, enhance, and improve our parks, programs and facilities to support the changing needs of our community."

HEParks received the Gold Medal Grand Plaque Award in 2009 and was a Gold Medal finalist in 1989-1991 and 2007-2009.

The Grand Award recipients are announced live during NRPA's Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, September 20-22, 2022.

Park board President Patrick Kinnane stated, "Hoffman Estates Park District is honored, proud and excited to be one of the 2022 NRPA Gold Medal Finalists. We are passionate about our services and look forward to sharing our innovative programs with other districts."

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Providing first-class parks, facilities, programs and services for a dynamic community of more than 50,000 in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, HEParks operates two community centers, a twin ice arena, a premier 18-hole golf course, state-of-the-art fitness center, family aquatic center and more than 80 parks. Facilities include Triphahn Community Center & Ice Arena, Willow Recreation Center, Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club, The Club at Prairie StoneTM, Seascape Family Aquatic Center, The E-Sports Zone and Vogelei Park & Barn. For more information, visit heparks.org or call 847-885-7500.

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a nonprofit organization founded to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators that would enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and, to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, visit aapra.org.

Partner: The National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit parksandrecreation.org.

Sponsor: Musco Lighting, LLC is a company that has specialized in lighting systems for sports and large areas for more than 30 years. Musco has pioneered dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and affordable ways to control wasted spill light and glare. Permanent and temporary lighting services range from neighborhood fields to NASCAR super speedways. For more information, visit musco.com.

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