Douglasville parks named finalist for National Gold Medal Award

The winner is set to be announced this fall.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 7:52 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 8:02 AM EDT
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DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The City of Douglasville is celebrating a big accomplishment.

The city’s park system is a finalist in receiving national recognition for being in pristine condition.

Douglasville, located in Douglas County, is one of only four park systems in the country in the running for the 2023 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.

The city maintains nearly 400 acres of parkland, which includes seven parks, several mini-parks, and a municipal golf course.

To qualify for the 2023 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, Douglasville had to demonstrate long-range planning for its park system, showcase its emphasis on volunteerism, and be an environmental steward.

“There’s something for everyone. We have fishing, we have baseball, softball, we have tennis, we have playgrounds,” said Chris Bass, Douglasville Parks and Recreation director.

One of its parks, Hunter Park on Gurley Road, features a pond, walking path, community center, and two playgrounds.

Alyssa Carrick visits the park with her grandparents.

“Hanging upside down and everything and riding bikes,” said Alyssa Carrick of her favorite activities at the park.

The parks and rec director says parks played a key role in mental and physical well-being during the pandemic.

“The pandemic showed us just the true power of parks. When people couldn’t convene inside, they went to parks,” said Bass. “From a mental health standpoint, which we’re constantly dealing with that now, people can come to relate and release at our parks. Parks help the value of homes in terms of proximity. And help provide a safe haven for our youth.”

The winner will be announced at a parks and recs industry conference happening this fall in Dallas, Texas.