KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) earned an accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), Oct. 10.
CAPRA recognizes parks and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service.
There are only 135 CAPRA-accredited parks and recreation facilities in the United States, and only four within Department of Defense. MWR Kings Bay is the first in the Navy to earn the prestigious accreditation.
Programs across the nation turn to CAPRA accreditation as a means of recognition for achieving high-quality service, while assuring the public they meet parks and recreation national standards of best practices.
In order to receive the accreditation, Kings Bay MWR provided a self-assessment report reviewing certain standards, including human resources, risk management, planning, and public safety, along with six other areas of requirement.
"We went through each standard and wrote a commentary of how we met it," said Bo Hutchens, Kings Bay Recreation, Travel, and Parks director. "With that, we attached any supporting documents. Afterwards, we submitted it to the accreditation commission."
Hutchens said to achieve accreditation, MWR needed to comply with 35 fundamental standards and at least 85 percent of the remaining 104 standards.
"CAPRA validates whether your parks and recreation agency is doing what a good agency would do," he said.
Kings Bay MWR also brought home the Gold Medal Award this year with the National Recreation and Parks Association, and was selected as the best of the best in the military division. The Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management, and agency recognition.
"This was our third time submitting for the Gold Medal Award," MWR Kings Bay Director Bob Spinnenweber said. "In 2012, we weren't even a finalist, but in 2013 we were. Unfortunately, we didn't win it then. However, not only were we a finalist this year, but we also won gold. The Gold Medal Award validates the commitment for excellence in parks and recreation. It's like winning a gold medal in the Olympics for us."
Upon winning the Gold Medal Award this year, MWR Kings Bay will not be eligible to submit for it again until 2019. For the CAPRA accreditation, a progression report must be sent every year for the next five years. After five years, Kings Bay MWR will resubmit for another CAPRA accreditation.
For more news from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, visit www.navy.mil/local/subasekb/.