Carmel Clay Parks and Rec leader honored nationally

Michael Klitzing, Chief Operating Officer of Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR), has been elected to the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA). Klitzing was inducted recently at the Academy’s Annual Meeting during the National Recreation and Park Association Conference in New Orleans, La.

(FROM LEFT) Michael Klitzing, Chief Operating Officer of Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation, and Christopher Nunes, American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration President. (Photo provided)

The Academy is a limited group of 125 active distinguished practitioners and educators who are leaders in the field of park and recreation. Members 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. Members 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 Class of 2017 is a great addition to the Academy,” said 2017 President Christopher Nunes. “It is a diverse group – all with superior career experience and a dedication to improving the quality of life through the provision of high quality parks and recreation opportunities.”

CCPR has witnessed an impressive transformation during Klitzing’s tenure, including the opening of Central Park and the Monon Community Center and assuming management of Carmel Clay Schools’ before and after school program. Under Klitzing’s leadership, CCPR has become recognized as one of the best and most innovative park and recreation systems in the United States, receiving the National Gold Medal for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in 2014, the highest honor for a municipal park and recreation system. CCPR has also received national, regional and state awards for the design of its parks and facilities, outstanding programs, excellence in providing services to people with disabilities and commitment to environmental stewardship.

Klitzing is an active member of the National Recreation and Park Association, serving as Chair of the Program Committee for the association’s 2018 conference to be hosted in Indianapolis (Sept. 25 27, 2018). He is a Commissioner on the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, which is responsible for establishing national standards and best practices for park and recreation systems and accrediting local, state, and military agencies. Klitzing is a former member of the Brownsburg Parks Board (2009 2016), serving five years as President, and is a current member of the Lake Lemon Conservancy District Board. Klitzing has previously been recognized as the Recreation Alumnus of the Year by Southern Illinois University–Carbondale and received the New Professional Award from the American Park and Recreation Society/National Recreation and Park Association. Klitzing is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences and was recently invited to present at the Smart Cities & Sport Summit 2017 in Montreal, sponsored by the World Union of Olympic Cities.

About the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration

Established in 1980, the Academy was formed to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators to enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and conduct research, publish scholarly papers and/or sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, visit

About Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation

Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR) holds the Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) for parks serving populations of 75,001 to 150,000. As an accredited agency, the department serves the recreation, fitness, and nature needs of the community, manages and develops existing spaces and resources and creates a sustainable future for parks and recreation programs through a financially viable and environmentally conscious parks system. CCPR manages and maintains more than 500 park acres and numerous recreation facilities, including the Monon Community Center and The Waterpark. In addition, CCPR has partnered with Carmel Clay Schools to establish Extended School Enrichment (ESE), a before and after-school care program for K-6 students located at all eleven Carmel elementary schools. The Summer Camp Series is a component of ESE that offers 12 different summer camps accommodating children ages 5 to 15. For more information, visit