When a city calls itself a “City Within a Park,” you know there’s a true dedication to parks and recreation. And when you drive through Westerville, it’s clear—this is a city that loves to stay active.
With decades of citizen commitment driving its growth, Westerville has become a model for thriving, involved cities. Almost 600 acres of park lands in 46 locations, 12,000 street trees, 26 miles of paths and bike trails, a modern 96,600 square foot Community Center and some of the most active seniors anywhere—Westerville truly is a city within a park.
The Westerville Parks and Recreation Department works hard to maintain its legacy, receiving national accreditation 5 years and running by the Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), and being honored with the prestigious National Gold Medal four times for excellence in park and recreation administration.
Our city of 37,000 serves more than 850,000 people annually through services and programs for people ranging from preschool age to senior adults.
City of Westerville Continues the Gold Medal Tradition
The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration
(AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park
Association (NRPA) awarded the City of Westerville Parks & Recreation
Department recipient of the 2013 National Gold Medal Award for
Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in the Class IV
(population 25,001 – 50,000) category. The announcement was made at the NRPA Congress and Exposition, October 8-10 in Houston, Texas. Westerville was announced as a finalist for the Class IV National Gold Medal in May after an extensive application process involving staff, community members and volunteers.
Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Agencies were judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. Departments may apply every six years.
This is the fourth Gold Medal for the City of Westerville Parks & Recreation Department, the first in 1974 and consecutively in 2001, 2007 and 2013, a feat¬ received by only one other applicant and not since 1986. "Our community values what we do, and we can't do what we do without our residents," said Randy Auler, Director of Parks and Recreation. "It's just the total package where everyone comes together and really makes Westerville a great place.”
Randy Auler, Director of Parks and Recreation
Randy has devoted his professional career to building, sustaining and improving parks and recreation systems throughout the Midwest. Having served on leadership teams of the department in Columbus, Indiana and as head of the departments in Wentzville, Missouri, Carmel, Ind. and in Novi, Michigan, Randy currently serves as director for the nationally recognized Department of Parks & Recreation in Westerville, Ohio.
Randy holds Bachelors of Science (Murray State, 1982) and Masters of Science (Indiana University, 1989) degrees in Parks & Recreation Administration. He is a 31-year member of the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), and has held the Certified Park and Recreation Professional certification since 1986.
With more than 25 years in the parks and recreation profession, Randy is a recognized leader in strategic planning, organizational development, partnerships and alternative funding. Under his leadership and as a member of multiple staff teams, Randy’s work has been recognized by national and state awards for parks and facility planning, recreation programming and communication and marketing. Additionally, Randy has been named the recipient of Outstanding Government Achievement Award issued by the St. Louis (Missouri) Metropolitan Regional Council.
Randy serves on the National Recreation and Parks Association Administrative Network, and the Ohio Park and Recreation Foundation Board. He has been an invited speaker at regional, state and national conferences, and is a published author in industry trade publications.
Since joining the team in Westerville in 2010, Randy is responsible for more than 355 employees and an annual department budget exceeding $9 million. Most recently, Randy managed the development, construction and opening of a multi-million dollar municipal aquatic center. In its opening season, the center more than tripled sales of season passes and successfully integrated a full series of environmentally-friendly features to absorb or reduce stormwater run-off and reduce facility-wide energy consumption.
He is actively involved in the community as an advocate for youth sports and health.
Parks and Recreation Department
350 N. Cleveland Ave.
Westerville, OH 43082
Phone: (614 ) 901-6500
Fax: (614) 901-6523
SportsLine: (614) 901-6888
TDD: (614) 901-6413