VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is celebrating a major accomplishment.

They were named a 2023 National Gold Medal Award winner from the National Gold Medal Awards for excellence in parks and recreation management. The award is in the Class 1 category for cities with populations over 400,000 people.

This is the first time they’ve won the award, after finishing as finalists in 2021 and 2022.

The National Gold Medal Awards, founded in 1965, honors communities across the U.S. for excellence in parks and recreation, in areas such as long-range planning, environmental stewardship and more.