Medal Awarded: 
Local
Year Awarded: 
1994

James J. Truncer is the Secretary/Director of the Monmouth County Park System that operates 36 parks totaling over 12,000 acres in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Jim's responsibilities include planning, land acquisition, developing, organizing, staffing, financing and administering a comprehensive county park, recreation, and open space system in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region, under the direction of a nine-member commission.

Monmouth County has been recognized as one of the nation's best places to live and the Park System, under Jim's leadership, is a contributing factor to the distinction. Jim worked to establish the Commission for the Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and put his own agency through the rigorous process in the first round of review in 1994. Jim was a leader in establishing New Jersey's first County Open Space tax in 1992. He helped advise and start two local non-profits that directly support the Park System: Monmouth Conservation Foundation (1977) and the Friends of the Parks (1993) and he works directly with a third non-profit Special People United to Ride (since 1981). Jim has been a champion of developing unique and successful partnerships and collaborations with non-profit organizations and public agencies to develop alternative funding and acquisition opportunities to benefit parks, recreation, and historic preservation.

Jim received his B.S. (1961) and M.S. (1965) degrees in Park and Recreation Resource Administration from Michigan State University. He received the 2002 Distinguished Professional Award form the National Recreation and Park Association and the 2002 NJ Recreation & Park Association Administrative Excellence Award. He has been active in NRPA, NACPRO; New Jersey Recreation and Park Association; a member, New Jersey Board of Recreation Examiners; NJ Governor's Council on the Outdoors; Past Chair, CAPRA; Past President, AAPRA; Past Chair, NJ Natural Lands Trust; and various civic and service organizations. 

Created in 1961, the Monmouth County Park System today manages a system of 36 park, recreation, conservation and open space areas. The Park System is committed to providing recreation facilities, programs and services of the highest quality attainable to Monmouth County citizens and visitors. Annual visitation to park areas tops four million annually. Golfing, nature trails, ocean swimming, camping, display gardens, boating, sports, theater, fishing and picnicking are some of the facilities and activities available in the parks. A full line-up of special events including the County Fair, races, cultural and family outings attract crowds each year. The Park System also offers more than 4,000 activities, trips, and programs serving over 85,000 people each year. Recreation opportunities for the economically disadvantaged and people with physical and mental disabilities are included in the Park System's extensive program offerings.