Dallas Park and Recreation Receives National Accreditation

Accreditation Awarded at the 2016 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Annual Conference

Media Contact:
C.C. Gonzalez-Kurz
Dallas Park and Recreation Department

DALLAS, October 7, 2016 — The Dallas Park and Recreation Department joins the ranks of elite park and recreation agencies across the country by earning national accreditation in the field of parks and recreation. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) awarded the Department accreditation, after undergoing a rigorous accreditation process.

“Achieving accreditation has been a priority for our department for three years,” said Willis Winters, Dallas Park and Recreation Department Director. “We are honored to earn this distinction and want to express our gratitude to the Park and Recreation Board for their continued support and encouragement and to our employees for their hard work in elevating us to the top tier of departments and agencies in the nation.”

CAPRA only grants accreditation to a very select number of departments that have exhibited excellence in service and operations and adherence to national best practices as demonstrated by compliance with 151 standards of excellence.

Accreditation signifies that the Department utilizes national best practices in all facets of the organization from recreation programs to park maintenance standards to business operations. The accreditation process often helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.

“In March CAPRA representatives came to Dallas to conduct site visits of our parks, facilities and recreation centers,” said Winters. “They were able to see firsthand how we successfully provide service to the citizens of Dallas, how we efficiently operate as a department, and how committed we are to exceeding the highest standards in park and recreation.”

Less than 2 percent of agencies in the country have attained accreditation, including 10 departments in Texas. For more information about CAPRA accreditation, visit www.nrpa.org/CAPRA.


Dallas Park and Recreation Department is among the nation’s largest urban park systems. Its mission is to champion lifelong recreation and serve as responsible stewards of the city’s parks, trails, and open spaces. The department maintains 24,000 acres of park land and water, including 379 parks, 100 miles of trails, athletic complexes, and natural areas. It also manages recreation centers, golf courses, community pools, tennis centers and family attractions including: Bahama Beach Waterpark and Fair Park. For more information, visit www.DallasPark.org.

National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

AT&T and City of Dallas Plan Downtown Destination for Eating, Shopping, and Playing

Under Plan, AT&T Would Stay at Current Site and Create ‘Destination Location’

AT&T* and the city of Dallas are working on a plan to keep the company’s headquarters in Downtown Dallas, and transform the location into a Downtown destination and greenspace open to the public. AT&T would invest millions to renovate the buildings and outdoor area with food, retail, and entertainment spots.

The area – AT&T Discovery District – would become an urban-tech center. It would have well-lit, wide sidewalks, landscaping, and venues for entertainment. Downtown workers, residents, and visitors would be able to shop, dine, relax, and connect.

“Downtown Dallas is our home. We want to stay and create a unique, inviting space – not only for our employees – but for all,” said John Stephens, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, AT&T. “If we’re able to move ahead, we believe the project will draw people to south Downtown Dallas. It could offer considerable long-term economic benefits to area businesses, hotels, restaurants, and the city.

“But we’re not doing this alone. The City of Dallas, DART, Downtown Dallas, Inc., and local businesses are working with us to build this area and recharge south Downtown Dallas,” Stephens said.

Since moving its global headquarters to Dallas in 2008, the company’s Downtown employee presence has doubled. Nearly 5,700 people work in AT&T’s 4-building Downtown complex at Akard and Commerce streets.

Since 2008, AT&T has invested more than $100 million to renovate the inside and outside of its headquarters. And the company intends to continue making significant investments.

“We not only want to give our employees a great place to work, we want to provide an outdoor destination for other workers, local residents, and visitors,” Stephens said. “We want to see Downtown Dallas thrive.”

AT&T Discovery District would be a new gathering spot for Downtown workers and help to boost local tourism. It would offer an outdoor event space, public art spaces, retail locations, and free Wi-Fi. We’ll also provide improved landscaping and lighting, fountains, seating, and wider sidewalks – all consistent with the Downtown Dallas 360 plan.

“I’m excited to work alongside AT&T and create this innovative space in Downtown Dallas,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “It is important that the City of Dallas works to ensure this great corporate citizen, which has done so much for our community, remains in Dallas.”

“Creating a destination headquarters location will help draw more people, business, and energy to this important area of Downtown, creating a dynamic connection between several districts,” said Kourtny Garrett, president, Downtown Dallas, Inc. “We are supportive of AT&T’s vision to create a Downtown park and urban-tech center, because we believe it will benefit all residents, local businesses, Downtown workers, and more. We expect this investment from AT&T would help grow the local economy and continue to demonstrate that our city is innovative, business-friendly, and economically strong.”

As part of this significant renovation, AT&T is asking the City to make changes to several surrounding streets to improve safety for pedestrians and to improve the flow of traffic around the complex.

Learn more about our investment in Dallas here.