City of Arlington Named Gold Medal Winner as Top Parks and Recreation Department in Texas
By Arlington Parks & Recreation
Posted on March 03, 2023, March 03, 2023

The City of Arlington Parks and Recreation Department recently earned two awards from the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS), including the prestigious Texas Gold Medal Award – Class I. The honors were announced at the annual TRAPS Institute & Expo in Frisco, Texas, on March 2, 2023.

Each year, TRAPS recognizes and honors individuals and organizations that have rendered significant contributions to the field of parks and recreation. The Gold Medal is awarded in five classes based on population, with Class I consisting of cities with a population of more than 250,000.

The biggest achievement that a department can earn on the state level, the Texas Gold Medal Award honors park agencies for excellence in the field of recreation and park management for the past three (3) years. The Texas Gold Medal Awards are modeled after those of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

Arlington last won the TRAPS Gold Medal Award in 2015 and the NRPA Gold Medal in 2018.

"This award is a testament to our unwavering commitment to providing top-quality facilities and services that cater to our diverse community," said Arlington Parks and Recreation Director James Orloski. “Achieving this honor is simply not possible without the hard work and dedication of our employees, and this is a testament to their achievements. I’d also like to thank our city's leadership, community stakeholders and our community for their support of our parks system. It is an honor for our department to be recognized as a parks and recreation industry leader in our state, and we could not deliver exceptional recreational opportunities and great parks that enrich our residents' lives without their support.”

Arlington also earned the 2023 TRAPS Maintenance Achievement Award. This award recognizes creativity or innovation in the development of unique equipment to solve a particular problem; the development or discovery of a material or chemical to solve a problem; or the development and implementation of a system or process to maintain a park, building, pool or piece of equipment more efficiently or effectively.

The department was recognized with this award for its development and implementation of the “Bakari Williams Protocol.” The City of Arlington made significant investments in the installation of health and safety equipment at its public pools and splash pads in 2022, as well as new policies, practices and protocols, which are designed to improve visitors’ safety and experience while at Arlington aquatics facilities.

About Arlington Parks and Recreation

The mission of the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department is to provide quality facilities and services that are responsive to a diverse community and sustained with a focus on partnerships, innovation and environmental leadership. Arlington is a vibrant city that enjoys a high quality of life through great parks and exceptional recreational opportunities. These services provide a foundation for the physical, social, economic, and environmental viability and well-being of the community. For more info, please visit

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