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National Accreditation

St. Mary’s County Recreation & Parks Department Seeks National Accreditation

St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks is pleased to announce that the Department has embarked on accreditation with the National Recreation and Parks Association’s (NRPA) Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

According to NRPA, “achieving CAPRA accreditation is the best way to demonstrate that your agency and your staff provide your community with the highest level of service.” Accreditation provides quality assurance and quality improvement of accredited park and recreation agencies throughout the United States by providing agencies with a management system of best practices.

Recognizing the benefits of accreditation, Recreation and Parks started the process with development of the Department's first Strategic Plan.

The plan:

  • Provides our overall vision & mission
  • States what we do & why
  • Includes goals, recommendations & actions
  • Guides the allocation of resources to achieve priorities
  • Is reviewed annually and updated every five years

The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved the Strategic Plan on April 21, 2020 along with authorization to submit the preliminary CAPRA application.

Vision: “A leader in cultivating exceptional leisure experiences in our community.”
Mission: “To provide an enriched quality of life for the community through the preservation of natural, cultural and historical resources, enhancement of parks and outdoor spaces, and promotion of a variety of leisure experiences.”

Complete information on the process and benefits of accreditation can be found on the National Recreation & Parks Association’s website

Anticipated accreditation timeline:

  • Work to address 151 national standards – Fall 2021
  • Tentative date for CAPRA standards submission – January 2022
  • Tentative date for CAPRA team visit – Spring 2022
  • CAPRA Accreditation determination – Fall 2022

Approval of the Strategic Plan officially “kicks off” our national accreditation process and we are excited to partner with the community to enhance our standards in every aspect of public recreation. Updates on our progress and opportunities for public input will be posted on this page and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Questions can be directed to (301) 475-4200 ext. 1811.

St. Mary's County Recreation & Parks
301-475-4200 ext. 71800
Director: Arthur Shepherd