August 31, 2020
Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman has been elected into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), a national organization dedicated to the advancement of parks and recreation. Zimmerman will be inducted at the Academy’s virtual Annual Meeting in October.
AAPRA is a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization of 125 elected practitioners and educators who are leaders in the field of parks and recreation. Together, Academy members help advance the public parks and recreation field through education, research and promotion. Zimmerman will be one of five members representing the state of Ohio.
“The Class of 2020 is a great addition to the Academy,” said 2020 President Dianne Hoover of Bakersfield, California. “It is one of most diverse classes the Academy has ever inducted with professionals and educators from eight different states – all of which have superior career experience and a dedication to improving the quality of life through the provision of high-quality parks and recreation opportunities. We welcome our 2020 Fellows.”
In his ten years leading Cleveland Metroparks, Zimmerman has acquired land at the fastest rate in the park district’s 103-year history aside from the park founder, adding 2,500+ acres and bringing the parks total acreage to 24,000. In addition, Zimmerman has revitalized Cleveland’s urban core with the acquisition and transformation of nearly 750 acres of lakefront property. He also has added 40 miles of trails, increased annual park visitation by more than 10%, and helped secure more than $150 million in external grants and donations.
“I’m truly honored to join this distinguished group of industry professionals and look forward to collaborating together to grow and strengthen parks and programs across the country,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman. “I’m very focused on ensuring that parks stay relevant to the changing needs of the communities we serve and engaging the next generation of park users and conservationists.”
AAPRA members must be nominated by an active member of the Academy and must have served for at least 15 years in a high level of administration in a park and recreation agency or as a recognized educator in parks and recreation administration or they must manage a park and recreation department for an agency with a population of more than 500,000. They also must have demonstrated outstanding ability in administration, management or education in the profession; displayed broad interest with a direct service benefit to the advancement of public parks and recreation or assumed leadership with a keen desire to contribute to the advancement of the field. The Academy is limited to 125 active members.