January 19, 2021

In This Issue...

News from NACPRO
Welcome New Members
Best Practices Forum
A Word from our Sponsors
Member News
Research and Resources
In the News
Job Announcements


The National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials is a non-profit professional organization that advances official policies that promote county and regional park and recreation issues while providing members with opportunities to network, exchange ideas and best practices, and enhance professional development.

Learn more about us at:


The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on February 2, 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by February 1.

Brenda Adams-Weyant
(814) 927-8212
[email protected]

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

oncell logo


Job Announcements

Deputy Directors - Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services
City of San Jose
San Jose, California
Salary: $124,012 - $193,173 /yr
Closing Date: Jan 22, 2021

Recreation, Arts & Community Services Director
Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD)
Hayward, California
Salary: $154,005 - $187,195 /yr
Closing Date: Jan 25, 2021

Got a vacancy to fill? NACPRO will post your vacancy on our website and email a copy to our mailing list of over 1100 parks and recreation professionals for a fee of $100 for NACPRO members and $200 for non-members. NACPRO membership is $90/person.

For more information:

News from NACPRO

NACPRO's Social Justice Policy

One of the primary pillars of the Parks, Recreation and Conservation industry is to make parks and open spaces accessible to everyone and to be a champion of inclusiveness, fairness and social equity. Parks and conservation employees have always held the fundamental belief that everyone deserves access to a great park. The recent movement related to systemic injustice around the country shined a light on the need for greater dialogue and change in America. Parks, recreation and open spaces have historically served as a catalyst in bringing people together from all walks of life and they’ve been at the center in building community cohesiveness and unity. To emphasize this point, the NACPRO Board of Directors recently amended its Mission Statement to better reflect our purpose and goals.

Updated Mission Statement

NACPRO is a non-profit professional organization that advances official policies that promote county and regional park, recreation and conservation issues. We do this while providing members with opportunities to network, exchange ideas and best practices, and enhance professional development. We will accomplish this in an equity-centric manner, ensuring diversity, inclusion and social justice remain guiding principles.

Read more:


Amendment to the NACPRO Bylaws

The NACPRO Board of Directors proposes to amend the NACPRO bylaws to clarify certain sections, to change some overly restrictive sections, and to update other sections to current practices.

Two important changes allow the Board to conduct their Annual Meeting virtually, and to approve amendments to the bylaws at any Board meeting (currently limited to approval at the Annual Meeting).

Click on the link below to download a copy of the draft amendment. Changes are noted in red ink and comments in the margin provide rationale.

If you have any feedback on this amendment, please send your comments to [email protected] by February 12, 2021.


National Special Districts Coalition - Survey

As the National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) and partner associations continue working to ensure special districts have access to federal and/or state COVID-19 relief, keeping data current in our advocacy efforts is essential.

We know we have asked for this data several times and are so appreciative of your time and willingness to inform our efforts! The survey is short, and will provide answers to the most frequently asked questions from legislative offices.

Responses will only be used in the aggregate and will not be shared with identifying information unless express permission is granted.

Please complete this survey by Friday, February 5:

Welcome New Members

Ms. Pam Passow, Deputy Director
Orange County Parks
Irvine, California

Mr. Chris Curtis, Project Planner
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation
Topeka, Kansas

Best Practices Forum

Got an issue you need advice on? Or a best practice you want to share? Send us the details and we will publish it in the next NACPRO News.

A Word from our Sponsors

Over 60 Years of Service to the Business of Recreation!
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

R.J. Thomas Mfg. Co. Inc. has been designing and manufacturing Pilot Rock® park equipment to be your best value in park, street, and campsite furnishings since 1959 in Cherokee, Iowa. We celebrated our 60th anniversary in 2019. We've combined innovative design, top quality construction, and competitive prices into an unbeatable combination that the park user, the park manager, and the landscape designer will appreciate and enjoy. Our commercial duty equipment is designed to withstand both use and abuse by man and nature.

Yet, as a small company, we remain responsive to individual customer needs. Compare the design, quality, and prices of our products with other brands. We believe you will agree that Pilot Rock® will be your best choice for park, street, and campsite products.

Read more:

Member News

NACPRO Board Member, Jonathan Vlaming, featured in NACo’s Profiles in Service
Courtesy of NACo

Jonathan Vlaming has served as a Director on the NACPRO Board since 2017. Jonathan is the Associate Superintendent of Planning, Design and Technology at Three Rivers Park District in Minnesota. Last year Jonathan volunteered to be the NACPRO liaison to the NACo Board.

Check it out:


Hamilton County Parks is now charging professional photographers a fee
Courtesy of the Indy Star

By John Tuohy

INDIANA - A policy to charge professional photographers a fee at Hamilton County parks sparked a social media uproar this week and required a clarification but also resulted in more than 120 permits being bought in the first few days.

The measure was passed by the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation board in December and enacted Jan. 4. Parks officials said it was needed to corral and coordinate professional photographers, who have become so plentiful that they sometimes interrupt enjoyment of the parks for others or stampede over sensitive natural areas. The fee doesn't apply to amateur, everyday park users taking pictures for their own enjoyment.

Read more:

Research and Resources

Create a destination park that includes pets
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Tiphanie Howard

OHIO - With more pet owners looking for activities to do with their entire family (Fido included), the staff from the Fairfield Parks and Recreation Department in Ohio began a quest to offer an all-inclusive and fun park experience. To achieve this goal, we envisioned a place for families and dogs to visit that no other park in the region could offer, a space that would include a “natural” obstacle course, swimming, and socialization, as well as allow dog owners to socially bond with neighbors. A place that would offer a sense of community between the two other parks situated less than two miles from each other (Waterworks Park and Marsh Lake), and a regional trail system planned to connect these parks. This combination created FurField Dog Park, a multi-use park and future trailhead.

Read more:


Back to a New Reality: How to Adapt Your Recreation Center in a Post-COVID-19 Era
Courtesy of NRPA

By Craig Bouck, AIA, LEED AP, and Michael ‘Mick’ Massey, RLA

We all have been working toward preparing and reopening our recreation centers post shutdown. Now it is important to step back and consider long-term implications and items that will influence and change the way we think about planning and design for recreation centers from here on out. To accomplish this, we must focus on adaptions to physical spaces, building systems and operations that will increase our versatility and adaptability in our new normal.

Read more:


Coping With Budget Cuts: How a Services Assessment Can Help Your Agency Make Decisions
Courtesy of GreenPlay LLC

By Alaina Brandenburger

With the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting the majority of public agencies across the country, many may be experiencing the need to enact budget cuts. These cuts commonly impact parks and recreation, which some elected officials still may deem non-essential, yet research has shown that parks and trail usage has increased substantially as people seek safe ways to get out of the house. Many agency leaders are scrambling to find ways to do more with less, trying to ensure that the parks and recreation system’s level of service is not compromised, yet working with what funding is available. One available tool that can help in this decision-making process is to conduct a Public Sector Services Assessment.

Read more:


Planning For Flexibility
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Dennis Kaiser

Parks and recreation leaders across the country are trying to figure out how to provide a wider variety of programming options to satisfy as many sectors of a community as possible. That means cities must maximize uses at increasingly constrained and overburdened facilities, or build new parks designed to accommodate multiple uses. In the case of Arlington Heights Sports Park--a $13.7-million sports and community-lifestyle amenity located in Riverside, Calif.--the challenge of incorporating the maximum number of athletic fields in a flexible, multiuse format was met head on.

Read more:


The Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative Wants to Make Outdoor Adventure Available to All
Courtesy of SORP

A new initiative launching this week seeks to create a program to fund outdoor recreational and educational activities for underserved youth around the United States.

Read more:


RePlay Grant Program
Courtesy of NRPA

ESPN and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are offering planning grants and implementation grants to revitalize vacant lots into places for sports, recreation and play. With financial support from ESPN and Under Armour, along with technical assistance from LISC, RePlay grants help local community-based groups and other qualified organizations plan and support early stage projects, support capital improvements and close funding gaps for projects that are in the implementation phase of projects. Applications are due April 30.

For more information:


Kids to Parks Day School Grants Program
Courtesy of NRPA

In honor of the 11th annual Kids to Parks Day, celebrated on May 15th this year, National Park Trust is pleased to once again offer its Kids to Parks Day School Grants Program (formally the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest). This year, in light of COVID-19 circumstances, this grant will ONLY support distance learning park experiences. Funding can be put toward virtual park program fees, materials for hands-on activities, stewardship supplies, and any other materials needed for a robust at-home or in-school park-related learning experience. The deadline to apply is February 26.

For more information:

In the News

Good News in Parks – A Show that Celebrates YOU
Courtesy of NRPA

By Anne-Marie Spencer

[From the editor: NACPRO’s Jonathan Vlaming will be one of the speakers at the January 28 “Good News In Parks”. The topic is 2021 Forecast & Trends. Register here:]

When COVID-19 first began affecting every aspect of our lives, we looked at the specific challenges posed by the pandemic and decided to connect each other through a show created just for the park and recreation industry, inviting directors to join us regularly and share ways they are positively influencing their communities. The result is “Good News: in Parks!”

Situations like the pandemic force us all to rise up to challenges. As park and recreation professionals, with community members counting on the essential services that we provide, there is no option but to rise. It’s natural for any of us as individuals to first ask, “What do I do?” But as park and rec professionals, the resounding question became, “How can we help?”

Good News in Parks is a vehicle to share answers to that question. On select Thursdays at 1 p.m. EST, each show features three top park and recreation directors sharing what they and their agencies are doing to serve communities. It brings us together, it shares good news and it offers an opportunity to learn from one another. The audience interacts by taking polls and asking questions, and that information, plus a post-show survey, is used to inform future episodes. It’s live, uncensored and ultimately real (plus, viewers can earn CEUs!).

Read more:


750-mile Empire State Trail completed with ‘iconic’ bridge in CNY
Courtesy of NPR

By Ellen Abbott

NEW YORK - The Empire State Trail is now complete in New York state. It includes 750 miles of hiking and biking trails from New York City to Canada, and Albany to Buffalo. That includes linking one of the biggest gaps in the trail in central New York.

There was always a problem weaving the Empire Trail through Syracuse; a 14-mile gap between Camillus and Dewitt. That gap, which runs through the city of Syracuse, baffled Empire State Trail Director Andy Beers.

Read more:


Webinar: Rural Recreation Toolkit
Courtesy of SORP

DATE: Thursday, January 21
TIME: 11:00 am to 12:00 pm ET

Join the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable for the launch of this new comprehensive resource that showcases best practices, grants and technical assistance. Sourced from over 60 practitioners, this comprehensive resource will help communities build recreation economies around the United States.

For more information:


Webinar: An Introduction to City Park Alliance's Equitable Park Funding Hub
Courtesy of the City Parks Alliance

DATE: Wednesday, January 27
TIME: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET
COST: Free

Parks, trails, and open spaces play a critical role in supporting the health and vitality of communities. And yet historic disinvestment has left many communities with the greatest need with the least access to quality parks and recreation opportunities. In response to the prevalence of inequitable park investment across the country, City Parks Alliance, in collaboration with Groundwork U.S.A and the Urban Institute, recently launched its Equitable Park Funding Hub. The Hub is an online resource that provides easy access to information on a variety of funding sources relevant for parks and recreation in low-income communities and communities of color, and highlights the partnerships required for successful funding.

For more information:


Gone Virtual: Learnings, Practices, and Possibilities Mini-Workshop
Courtesy of RMS

DATE: Thursday, February 4, 2021
TIME: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EST
COST: $25 - $35

Teaching and facilitating virtually? Gain tips, strategies, and techniques to keep your participants actively engaged.

During a fast paced engaging virtual mini-workshop, experience a few promising virtual teaching practices for adult learners. Utilize the learning cycle, explore intentional facilitation techniques, and gain tips for teaching learners during courses, workshops, and meetings of all kinds. Strategies shared could possibly be scaffolded to use with teens with creative adaptations.

For more information:


Advancing Trails Webinar Series
Courtesy of American Trails

February 4, 2021 – From Industrial Site to Trail Destination (Sponsored by South Carolina Parks, Recreation, and Tourism; partner sponsor Voss Signs)

February 11, 2021 – The Catalytic Impact of Trails (Sponsored by South Carolina Parks, Recreation, and Tourism; partner sponsor Cycle Forward)

February 18, 2021 – Collective Impact and Sustainable Trails

April 29, 2021 – Assessing Trails: LiDAR Assisted Trail Topography Evaluation (LATTE) (Partner sponsor Voss Signs)

For more information:


Active Living Conference
Courtesy of GreenPlay

April 6 - 9, 2021

The Active Living Conference is the premier venue for policy-relevant research and cross-sector exchange among scientists, practitioners, and policy makers on how to study, create and sustain active living environments. The conference agenda will have two focus areas: 1) research (building the evidence), and 2) practice/policy (using evidence).

The 2021 Active Living Conference will be a virtual learning and engagement event that will bring together a diverse audience and provides networking and engagement opportunities for active living researchers and practitioners from many fields. Presentations and discussions focus on the importance of creating healthier communities for all people.

For more information:


Adaptation Planning and Practices for Recreation
Courtesy of SORP

The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals, The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, the US Forest Service Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center, and the USDA Climate Hubs are offering a recreation-focused Adaptation Planning and Practices training in a series of seven virtual sessions. This unique opportunity provides hands-on training in considering climate change information and identifying adaptation actions for outdoor recreation management. Participants will receive coaching and feedback on their own real-world climate adaptation project throughout the course.

The course will run weekly April 5 - May 24, 2021. There is no fee thanks to support from the US Forest Service and the USDA Climate Hubs.

Applications are being accepted until March 15, 2021.

For more information:


Upcoming Webinars from PlayCore
Courtesy of PlayCore

We invite you to participate in one of these great complimentary events, and don't forget to complete the assessment to earn your CEU.

Playground Inspection & Maintenance
Live webinar: Thursday, January 21, 2 - 3:15 p.m. EST

Good News In Parks (featuring NACPRO Board Member Jonathan Vlaming, among others)
Live webinar: Thursday, January 28, 2021, 1:00pm - 2:15pm

What COVID-19 Taught Park and Recreation Professionals: Insights from National Survey Comments
Prerecorded webinar available from Monday, February 1, 2021, 8:00am - Friday, February 5, 2021 at 11:59pm

Unleashed: Off-leash Dog Park Design Trends & Planning Tips
Prerecorded webinar available from Monday, February 22, 2021, 8:00am - Friday, February 26, 2021 at 11:59pm

Register here:

NACPRO | PO Box 74, Marienville, PA 16239 | (814) 927-8212