Gainesville Parks and Recreation Receives State’s Top Honor


CONTACT: Melvin Cooper, CPRP, Director or

Julie Butler, Marketing/Communications Coordinator

Phone: (770) 531-2680 Fax (770) 531-2681


For Immediate Release

November 12, 2007

Gainesville Parks and Recreation Receives State’s Top Honor

Jekyll Island, GA – For the 6th time in 10 years, the City of Gainesville Parks and Recreation Agency has been honored as the best in the State of Georgia in its population category by the Georgia Recreation and Park Association at its Annual Conference Thursday evening.

“The Agency was recognized with the Associations top honor for its level of service, quality of facilities, project development, innovative programming and progress in meeting long range planning,” commented Tom Martin, Executive Director of Georgia Recreation and Park Association. “The Agency has grown to be a nationally accredited leader in parks and recreation, being one of four (4) Agencies in the state to be Nationally Accredited and one of sixty six (66) in the nation. It has built new partnerships while expanding on successful ones to ensure that residents reap the rewards of a strong parks and recreation system. More than 70 organizations combine resources with the Agency to more effectively serve Gainesville’s citizens, Martin said.

Incoming Executive Director, Jimmy Gisi, added “It’s quite an achievement for a community to take home honors in both District 7 which Hall County Parks and Leisure won Agency of the Year in October and now Gainesville Parks and Recreation winning Agency of the Year for the State of Georgia”.

“With the commitment of staff and volunteers, the support of local residents, and the collaborative efforts of civic and corporate partners, Gainesville Parks and Recreation had a very successful year. Construction is on schedule for the Frances Meadows Center, the Fair Street Neighborhood Center, and Phase III of the Rock Creek Greenway. But most importantly, Gainesville Parks and Recreation remains dedicated to providing the best possible recreation experience to the public we serve,” said Joe Biddy, Chairman of Gainesville Parks and Recreation Board of Directors..

Gainesville Parks and Recreation operates and maintains 20 parks and over 400 acres of park land visited by more than half a million people. More than 50,000 citizens of all ages and interest participated in the Agency’s recreation programs.

With the generous support of local residents and businesses, the Children At Play Fund was launched, and many children who might not otherwise have been able to participate in beneficial recreation programs were able to do so.

The Agency also teamed up with the National Recreation and Park Association, Governor Sonny Perdue, and the Centers for Disease Control to promote Gainesville as a Step Up to Health Community. Over 30,000 people participated in programs that provided ample opportunity for physical activity and nutritional education.



Julie Butler

Marketing /Communications Coordinator

(770) 535-3066