CAPRA Accreditation

The City of DeSoto Parks & Recreation joins the ranks of the elite park and recreation agencies and departments across the country by earning accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This distinguished accomplishment was awarded during the 2016 NRPA Congress and Exposition in St. Louis, MO. The Department is one of only twelve agencies in the state of Texas to have achieved this standard. 

CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies, and is a measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community. This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services. 
As part of the accreditation process, the City of DeSoto Parks & Recreation demonstrated compliance with 151 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into enhanced service and operation to benefit the community. 

“This national accreditation of our Parks & Recreation Department is another major milestone for our City,” said DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan. “The honor of being ranked among the "best of the best" is a testament to the outstanding leadership, dedication and hard work of our administration, staff and community partners” said Mayor McCowan. “Special commendations go to M. Renee Johnson and her team for establishing and maintaining a standard of excellence for programs and services that meet the needs of our diverse community.”

The process for accreditation involves self-assessments, a formal application, a site visit by a team of trained visitors that results in a written report and a hearing with the commission to grant accreditation. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the qualifying standards and be reviewed again in five years. 

The Commission is comprised of representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation, the Armed Forces Recreation Society and the Council of State Executive Directors. 

For more information about CAPRA accreditation, visit

About DeSoto Parks & Recreation - The DeSoto Parks & Recreation Department is a local, regional and national award-winning department located in suburban Dallas. DeSoto Parks & Recreation Department represents the heartbeat of a highly engaged, diverse community. The department thrives in promoting health, wellness and multicultural arts and entertainment programs and is the No. 1 tourist attraction in the city of DeSoto, hosting thousands of residents and visitors to various special events and numerous national youth sports tournaments. The department's mission is to enrich the quality of life in DeSoto, provide world-class customer service, premier parks and dynamic recreational opportunities.

About the NRPA - The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 40,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

In photo (left to right): Senior Center Manager, Nathan Busby; Recreation Specialist, Roderick Turner; Recreation/Civic Center Supervisor, Kevin Moore; Managing Director, M. Renee Johnson; Mayor, Curtistene S. McCowan; CAPRA Visitation Committee Chair, Gregory Mack; Parks Operations Coordinator, Danny Johnson