Arizona State Parks and Trails Selected as Final Four Candidate for Gold Medal Award

May 10, 2017

PHOENIX - The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) announced the top four candidates for the Gold Medal Award, including Arizona State Parks and Trails as a finalist. Over the last two years, Arizona State Parks and Trails has established a self-sufficient funding structure, achieved record visitation and revenue and implemented a plan to reinvest in the system and create new parks.
"Arizona State Parks and Trails exemplifies the best Arizona has to offer," said Governor Ducey. "The beauty of Arizona combined with forward thinking and innovative management have resulted in a prosperous and healthy park system. We welcome everyone to experience the adventure our stunning parks offer."
"We are thrilled to be in the running for the Gold Medal," said Sue Black, Executive Director of Arizona State Parks and Trails. "To be considered one of the best-managed state park agencies in the country is a huge honor. In a way, we have already won by transforming a struggling system to one that is thriving."
The Gold Medal Award honors state park systems throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services with fiscally sound business practices.
The other 2017 "final four" candidates include Tennessee State Parks; Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission; and Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails. The winner will be announced on September 28, 2017.

For information about all 35 Arizona State Parks and Natural Areas, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Program and State Historic Preservation Office call 1-877-MY-PARKS or visit

Learn More about NRPA's Gold Medal Award