Texas Gold Medal Award

Members of the New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department pose for a photo with their Texas Gold Medal Award.

The New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department has earned the Texas Gold Medal Award for a population between 50,000 to 100,000.

The award was presented on March 2 during the Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS) annual conference that took place in Frisco, Texas.

This award was given to the parks and recreation department for its overall operation and management efforts.

This is the third time the department has been awarded by TRAPS; the department previously won the award in 2010 and 2016.

Although there may seem like a gap between the awards, winners have to wait five years before applying again for the honor.

With this in mind, the department won the award again shortly after being eligible to apply on both occasions.

Present for all three awards was the New Braunfels Parks and Recreation director, Stacey Dicke.

Dicke has held her position since 2004, and prior to her tenure as the department’s director in New Braunfels, she worked in the parks and recreation departments in the cities of Waco and Arlington.

“I worked on the recreation side of the department,” Dicke said. “And I will say this, there are many, many very good parks and recreation agencies in Texas. I think Texas is a leader actually in the nation for their parks and recreation systems.”

To Dicke, what makes the parks and recreation department in New Braunfels stand out is the creative and passionate team that is hard at work in the department.

The director also credits city leadership, as the city council has been supportive of future park projects and initiatives and has helped with putting on programs and events.

Additionally, Dicke recognized the support of New Braunfels residents.

“This town loves to volunteer and loves to get involved and that’s a huge benefit to us,” Dicke said. They help us provide programs, they plant trees, they do park cleanup, and again, all of that just makes our park system better.”

Some work and project highlights, according to Dicke, include procuring additional park acreage — 46 acres have been acquired on Alligator Creek for a future trail, and Timmerman Park has been acquired through an agreement with August Fields Subdivision.

Furthermore, progress on Dry Comal Trail Extension designs has been made, and items from the 2019 bond pertaining to the parks and recreation department have been implemented.

In terms of recreation, Das Rec has had over 100% cost recovery and over 15,000 members.

The Landa Park Golf Course set records in terms of rounds of play; it established a new record in 2021 and then again in 2022 with over 58,000 rounds of play.

Despite this, the parks and recreation department was still pleasantly surprised about winning the award.

“I’m proud of the work that our team does,” Dicke said. “And I’m proud of the city overall, so I was hopeful, but again, getting it a third time is truly an honor. It’s an honor to lead this team and be part of this park system.”

The Texas Gold Medal Award will be presented in front of the city council during a meeting on March 20.

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