Carmel Parks Awarded National Gold Medal, Favorite Features Stand Out

#CarmelIN – Clay Parks & Recreation received a distinguished honor this week. The local parks department was honored by the American Academy Parks and Recreation Administration with a 2014 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. In plain English, it distinguishes Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCP &R) as an outstanding parks department. Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation also received its accreditation by National Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. Fewer than 120 park systems in the country have this accreditation.

The accolades recognize CCP &R for something that area residents have known for years: Carmel parks are top-notch. They serve a large population consistently and they serve them well. Check out CCP & R by the numbers:

  • Approximately 2,400 students are served annually in before and after school programs
  • 4,600 children attend the Summer Camp Series
  • 13,500 residents attend community events
  • 56,000 participant take part in nearly 2,400 different recreation and aquatic programs
  • 70% of Carmel/Clay Township households visit the Monon Community Center and The Waterpark

Why are Carmel parks so popular? My family loves them because of their unique features.

At Founders Park, in addition to the playground, there is cool sand feature not found elsewhere.

At West Park, the splash feature runs along what appears to be a river, and the playground features a silo slide. There’s also a boardwalk for interesting nature walks. west-park-siloh-playground-carmel

At Flowing Well Park, visitors are able to draw well water, hike, and even creek stomp.


At the Monon Center, members and guests can enjoy a world-class fitness center. Visitors can also utilize the indoor walking track, which is great for inclement weather. Local skaters can also enjoy the skate park that’s right next to the Monon Trail. It hosts a variety of adaptive programing, which makes the center accessible to everyone. The Waterpark at the Monon Center boasts the only wave rider in central Indiana, as well as a plethora of other water activities for all ages.

The Monon Trail also fall under CCP&R jurisdiction. Bridges and overpasses make exercising on this stretch safe for all ages. Restrooms at 96th Street and the Monon Center are convenient, and walking by the Carmel Farmer’s Market is an added bonus. There are a number of destinations with easy access off the trail, including City Center and the Palladium.

Tunnel on the Monon Trail Really, when reviewing all that the CCP & R has to offer, it’s easy to see how they were awarded a gold medal for their services. They’ve been providing gold medal level services to area residents all along.