2019 NATIONAL GOLD MEDAL WINNER On Tuesday, September 24, the National Recreation and Parks Association, in partnership with the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, announced Florida State Parks as the 2019 Gold Medal award winner. This achievement makes Florida the first park system in the nation to win a fourth Gold Medal. Florida previously won the Gold Medal award in 1999, 2005 and 2013. In Florida, the city of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department and Naval Air Station Whiting Field were named finalists in the 150,000 to 400,000 population class and the armed forces recreation class, respectively. The Florida Park Service is the state’s lead agency for recreation and conservation. We believe that people make the parks and this award recognizes the importance of our staff, park volunteers and partners. Through leadership, engagement, innovation and adaptation, the park service connects visitors and communities to ...the Real Florida. The mission of the Florida Park Service is to carefully manage our parks and preserve them for future generations. By working with local governments, park users, scientists, recreation providers and non-governmental organizations, Florida ensures that natural areas are protected, and visitors have access to natural beauty and recreational opportunities at our parks, trails and other public lands.