San Antonio Parks and Recreation Honored with State Awards

Published on March 28, 2024

City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation      

Awards led by outstanding services also recognize eastside park and innovative programming

SAN ANTONIO (March 28, 2024) – The San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department earned four awards, including the prestigious Texas Gold Medal Award – Class I, at the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) annual conference hosted in Galveston, Texas on February 29, 2024. 

“We’re proud to represent San Antonio and highlight our amazing park system, initiatives, and innovative programming among fellow parks and recreation professionals across Texas,” Homer Garcia III, Director of Parks and Recreation, said. “These accolades highlighted by the Gold Medal Award and our recent national accreditation underscore our commitment to excellence in all that we do. We’re able to provide essential services and green spaces to San Antonio thanks to the hard work, dedication and support of our team, city leadership and the community.” 

The Department received awards in the following categories:

Texas Gold Medal Award 
The Texas Gold Medal award honors departments for excellence in the field of recreation and park management for the past three years. San Antonio received the award by demonstrating excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering outstanding park and recreation services with financially sound business practices. The Gold Medal award is the most prestigious award that a department can earn and represents the best of the best in parks and recreation across the State of Texas. 

Lone Star Legacy Park Award: Martin Luther King Park 
Martin Luther King Park was designated as a Lone Star Legacy Park – one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a park. This designation is given to a park that holds special prominence in the local community and the state of Texas. Nominated parks must be a minimum of 50 years old. Martin Luther King Park opened to the public in 1972 and recently qualified for the nomination. Martin Luther King Park (2024) joins Brackenridge Park (2023), Woodlawn Lake Park (2018), Travis Park (2015), and San Pedro Springs Park (2012), on the roster of San Antonio parks with Lone Star Legacy Park designation. San Antonio holds the unique distinction of having the youngest qualifying park, Martin Luther King Park, and the oldest qualifying park in Texas, San Pedro Springs Park, designated as Lone Star Legacy Parks. 

Lone Star Recreation Programming Achievement Award: Zero Robotics 
Zero Robotics is a robotics program competition sponsored by NASA, the ISS National Laboratory and the Aerospace Corporation and operated by MIT. In this STEM program, Summer Youth Program participants learned computer programming, robotics, space engineering and code writing. Students were named finalists in the 2023 Zero Robotics Summer Program Competition and witnessed astronauts input their code to control NASA’s Astrobee satellites aboard the International Space Station. Participating community centers included Normoyle, Garza, Woodard, San Juan, Garrett, and Yates with a total of 50 participants.  

Texas Arts & Humanities Award: Viva Los Tots  
Viva Los Tots was a family-friendly event held at Lou Hamilton Community Center, in Lady Bird Johnson Park, during the City’s Fiesta holiday and focused on Fiesta-goers ages 0-5 and their families. Families were invited to join the fun in creating a place for children to feel safe to explore and play freely. A variety of activities included nature walks, hand and foot painting, making maracas, tummy time, parent/child fitness, and toddler crawl/running races. Viva Los Tots was designed for young children to encourage problem-solving, social, and emotional skills, and expression. Play materials were open-ended and children decided how to use them. 

For more information about San Antonio Parks and Recreation, please visit