Missouri State Parks Finalists for National Gold Medal Award

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, has selected Missouri State Parks as a finalist for the 2023 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.

Dru Buntin, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources said it is an honor for Missouri State Parks to be nationally recognized for ongoing efforts to address the needs of park and site visitors by providing safe and equitable spaces, high level customer service and innovative programming.

Missouri is one of a handful of states that does not charge entrance fees to its state parks, thanks in part to the Parks, Soil and Water Sales Tax. The last time the sales tax renewed, it passed by 80% of the voters across Missouri. The sales tax helps give every Missourian the opportunity to enjoy nature and outdoor recreation while exploring Missouri’s history.

Missouri State Parks is competing against three other state park systems for the top award: Ohio State Parks and Watercraft; Texas State Parks; and Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails. The National Recreation and Park Association will announce the winner at its annual conference in October in Dallas.