February 2, 2021

In This Issue...

News from NACPRO
Welcome New Members
Best Practices Forum
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 16, 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by February 15.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

Job Announcements

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 award nominations are open through March 5.

For more information:


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 comments on this amendment, please email your comments to [email protected] by February 12, 2021.


National Special Districts Coalition

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

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

Ms. Amanda Creque, Park Manager
Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio

Best Practices Forum

Seeking models to manage Public-Private Partnerships

Like most agencies, we have a wide variety of outside groups that come to us proposing various partnership projects. This ranges from local little leagues wanting to donate funds towards a new concession stand or ball field lighting, to professional sports teams wanting to partner to provide enhancements to park facilities or even to build a new facility. Right now, we have no consistent process or procedure in place in terms of how we handle these proposed projects. We have separate Adopt a Field agreements, and one-off’s for all other partnerships.

We are hoping to streamline current practices as best we can, not to dissuade opportunities, but develop a system that we can use to evaluate, prioritize, guide and manage these types of proposed public-private partnership projects. This might be a set of guidelines, a flowchart, a checklist or other type of evaluation tool. If you have anything similar that you use in these situations that you’d be willing to share, that would be very helpful in our efforts.

Aimee L. Vosper, PLA
Deputy Director, CBD
Fairfax County Park Authority, Virginia
[email protected]

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

BeachTech - Spring Parts Sale

Get 10% off of over 200 BeachTech parts through March 31.

With the introduction of the new spare parts online store, Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG is giving you the ability to place orders even more quickly and with greater efficiency. The new online store can now also be used with mobile devices so that you can order parts whether you are standing right next to your vehicle or at the workshop.

Of course, proven aspects of the legacy store remain intact. These features include the logical ordering procedure and the spare parts documentation. However, the option to place orders using a tablet and similar devices is completely new. The up-to-date interface is easy to understand and intuitive – and extremely user friendly as a result. A big added plus for employees in workshops: You can give every single vehicle in your fleet a unique name. The new search function lets you quickly roll up individual data for any vehicle.

For more information:

Member News

Residents can help plan for public art in Johnson County parks
Courtesy of Shawnee Mission Post

By Superintendent of Culture Susan Mong

KANSAS - Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD) has launched a new Public Art Program. The goal is to embed public art into park spaces, trails, and facilities to enhance and enrich the experience for visitors. JCPRD is undergoing a public art master plan to establish a road map for this program and seeks citizen involvement to make the plan reflective of the community.

”The COVID-19 pandemic brought patrons to JCPRD parks in record numbers, said Executive Director Jeff Stewart. “The community has a renewed appreciation for the role parks play in our overall health and well-being. We have always been about providing spaces for recreation, gathering, and experiencing nature. It will soon include the chance to encounter art in JCPRD facilities and natural spaces.”

Read more:


Complaints pouring in over COVID changes at Mecklenburg parks, officials say
Courtesy of the Charlotte Observer

By Alison Kuznitz

NORTH CAROLINA - Two Mecklenburg commissioners want county officials to reconsider new COVID-19 restrictions that have temporarily closed parks at dusk and reduced recreation options.

All recreation, senior and nature centers, along with indoor shelters, are temporarily closed, county officials announced last week. That includes the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center, the Skatepark at Naomi Drenan Recreation Center and camping at McDowell Nature Preserve.

The changes were made alongside a directive from Mecklenburg Public Health Director Gibbie Harris, calling for people to stay home as often as possible and to suspend group indoor exercise or close-contact sports activity, including the use of indoor swimming pools.

Read more:

Research and Resources

Voyage Mark II Scale Model Solar System Exhibition Now Available for Permanent Installation in Parks
Courtesy of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

Opportunity for a Community to Engage Students, Families, and the Public at Large in an Outdoor STEM Education Experience

TIME CRITICAL: installation may be possible as early as summer 2021; interested museums and science centers, school districts, colleges and universities, and local government organizations are directed to inquire as soon as possible; a $5K seed grant to reduce overall cost is available to the first 5 communities to commit.

CONTACT:  Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Voyage National Program Director [email protected], 301-395-0770

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and Exhibitology LLC are inviting communities across the U.S. to explore permanent installation of a Voyage Mark II Scale Model Solar System as part of the Voyage National Program. Local organizations with an interest in STEM education and experiential learning more generally are invited to consider installing a Voyage in a local park, along a walking path, on a college campus, or along a downtown street.

The exhibition is designed to serve as a community focal point for STEM education – for students, families and the general public. The exhibition is ADA compliant, and tactile elements on the storyboards allow the blind and vision impaired to have as rich an experience as other visitors. A tour brochure promotes self-guided inquiry-based exploration of the Solar System, and online content resources for both teachers and parents extend the Voyage experience beyond the exhibition site. A grade K-12 curriculum on Solar System science allows a visit to Voyage to be placed in the context of a multi-week classroom unit on the Solar System.

For more information:


Coffee Talk Replay: Park Equity and Racial Justice
Courtesy of NRPA

On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we’re replaying one of our Coffee Talks from the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience, “Park Equity and Racial Justice,” featuring Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward, and Autumn Saxton-Ross, NRPA’s vice president of education and chief equity officer. Tune in as they discuss what equity in parks and recreation looks like in practice, how park and recreation professionals can work toward meaningful change in forming a more just and equitable world, and more!

For more information:


Creating More Equitable Trail Systems
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

As part of RTC’s ongoing mission to “create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors,” we continue to develop resources for trail managers and advocates to create safe, equitable spaces for all. We recently published a series of new pages in our Trail Building Toolbox that focus on creating equity along your trail, starting with the articles below:

- Equitable and Inclusive Trails
- Promoting Equity in Trail Use and Programming
- Equitable Practices in Trail Planning
- Leveraging Data to Advance Equitable Planning and Development

In December, RTC and the Circuit Trails Coalition co-hosted “Redefining Safety on Trails: Creating Safe, Inviting and Inclusive Spaces for All." You can find a recording of this webinar, and all others, in our webinar archive. Check back often as we continue to develop and publish more equity resources for our Trail Expert community.

For more information:


Water conservation in parks and recreation
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Klaus Reichardt

Often, when the topics of water conservation and general water issues arise, people usually focus on why and how we can conserve and protect this valuable resource. However, instead of discussing the reasoning and warning signs, let’s learn from some communities that are dramatically reducing their water use, and making water conservation part of everyday life.

For example, Los Angeles, Calif., is currently dealing with a variety of problems, such as a struggling economy and a downturn in the local real-estate market. Negativity has dominated the headlines in the area in recent years, but strides are quietly being made in regards to water conservation. Water conservation in parks and recreation

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times (April 13, 2010), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power states the city had the lowest recorded water use in 31 years. Although the metropolitan area has approximately one million more people today, water use has declined to 1979 levels.

How was this accomplished? Los Angeles, which has had chronic water shortages in the past, implemented tight water restrictions dating to 2007.

Read more:


Nature Play: Project implementation through new construction and retrofit
Courtesy of PlayCore

Successful implementation of naturalized playground projects involves a step-by-step process, which is usually driven by a community-appointed design committee or task force that offers multidisciplinary expertise for planning, designing, advocating, executing, sustaining, and funding the project. Read more about how to build upon these steps to get started.

Read more:


People take better care of public places when they feel like they have a stake in them
Courtesy of

By Suzanne Shu

Do you take walks on public trails? What happens when you encounter some trash?

If you respond just as you would at home by picking up the litter and disposing of it properly, you’re experiencing what marketing experts call “psychological ownership.”

That sense of ownership can develop in all sorts of situations. For example, you may develop feelings of ownership for a car or house you’ve picked out but haven’t paid for yet.

This behavior is at odds with an economic theory known as “the tragedy of the commons.” This theory holds that public lands and other shared resources can be neglected because there is no owner who feels obliged to take care of them.

Based on my research in this area, I’ve found that it is possible for people to feel a sense of ownership toward parks and other public places without actually owning them.

Read more:


An intersectional approach to park planning
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Clement Lau

Have you heard of “intersectional planning” as it relates to parks and recreation? Essentially, the term refers to “the integration between planning for green spaces and for other elements, such as transportation, housing, and water management,” and is an approach that recognizes “parks and open space as closely connected with their neighborhoods and rely on community-driven plans to meet the diverse needs of stakeholders” (Jennings, et al. 2019). Intersectional planning makes sense because parks are not isolated spaces, and park planning cannot be done effectively or holistically without considering the social, economic, political, and physical context in which parks are located. For those of us who serve as park planners, we must think beyond park boundaries, see the big picture, and plan with interconnections in mind.

Read more:


Canada’s First Campground with Accessible, All-Gender Washrooms
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

By Jennifer Bain

NOVA SCOTIA - When 10 new washrooms open at a popular national park in Nova Scotia this May, it will be the first time Parks Canada can offer a fleet of all-gender and accessible options throughout an entire campground.

Each washroom building holds five private, gender-neutral bathrooms that have their own toilets, sinks, grooming areas, and lockable doors. One bathroom in each building is barrier free, and one is designated for families. Each building boasts three showers, including one that is barrier free.

“We want to be welcoming and open to a diverse population,” explains Sophie Borcoman, visitor experience manager for Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. “We want to make sure these are the washrooms for the next generations and we want to make sure we get it right.”

Read more:


Active Living Conference – Call for Submissions
Courtesy of GP RED

The 2021 Active Living Conference will be a virtual learning and engagement event that will bring together researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to advance knowledge and action on how to evaluate, create and sustain active living environments.

Research and practice/policy session proposals that inform strategies for increasing physical activity for all people are invited for submission. In addition to research, we encourage proposals highlighting successful programs, policies, and partnerships from those in practice, especially related to equity for racially and ethnically diverse populations, people with disabilities, and those living in lower-income urban and rural communities who are at greatest risk for physical inactivity and its related diseases. Proposals related to the conference theme – Now More than Ever: Active Living for All – are also welcomed, but it is not a requirement to address this topic.

The deadline for submissions is February 12, 2021.

For more information:

In the News

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act of 2020 Makes Funding Available for Transportation
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

By Mary Ellen Koontz

In the final days of the 2020 legislative session, the 116th Congress passed the $900 billion COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act of 2020, a wide-ranging economic stimulus package that includes support for transportation systems impacted by the ongoing pandemic. The package contains $14 billion for transit and $10 billion in flexible transportation funding for states and regions to support projects, maintenance, operations, personnel and debt service payments. The Federal Highway Administration must allocate the stimulus dollars to states by Jan. 27, 2020

If state and eligible regional agencies—including metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in urbanized areas—have not already decided how to spend these dollars, and especially if there is some precedent in the state or region for obligating flexible transportation funds to trail or active transportation projects, a successful case could be made for the funds to go to priority, construction-ready projects. Given that trail and active transportation projects generate more jobs per dollar than other types of transportation projects, and provide significant economic impact at the local, state and regional levels, there is a strong case to be made for their role in any stimulus effort.

Read more:


Biden debuts bold conservation goal, job corps
Courtesy of E&E News

By Jennifer Yachnin

President Biden today is signing off on an aggressive conservation goal aimed at permanently protecting at least 30% of the nation's undeveloped land and waters by 2030, while calling for the creation of a jobs program focused in part on restoring public lands.

The undertaking is part of a sweeping set of executive orders issued today addressing climate change policies.

Biden's public lands directive tasks the Interior Department with detailing how to reach the conservation goal and mandates coordination with tribal nations and state and local governments, as well as landowners, fishermen and recreation advocates.

Biden's latest executive order would also establish a "Civilian Climate Corps Initiative," with a broad mission to restore public lands and waters, improve access to recreation, and address climate change.

Read more:


NRPA Joint Letter to Congressional Leaders on Department of the Interior’s Decision to End the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program

[Editor's note: NACPRO was one of the signatories.]

The National Recreation and Park Association and 181 of its partner organizations recently sent the following joint letter to Congressional leaders, urging the Department of the Interior and National Park Service to reverse far-reaching LWCF program changes made by former Sec. Bernhardt, which include the DOI Secretarial Order 3388, and to permanently authorize the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program:

Read more:


How CAPRA Learned to Love Zoom and Maintained Continuity in the Wake of COVID-19
Courtesy of NRPA

By Jennifer Schleining

It was Friday, March 6, 2020. The CAPRA Commission had just wrapped up a productive retreat at NRPA headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia, when suddenly the conversation quickly shifted to the growing concern about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it was going to impact NRPA activities, such as the upcoming CAPRA visit season. Commissioners expressed some concerns about what types of travel and physical distancing restrictions agencies were implementing, including some of our site visitors’ agencies. It quickly became clear that the CAPRA Commission, in partnership with NRPA staff, would have to conduct all 2020 CAPRA visits virtually. It was one thing to make that decision — it was another to figure out how that would happen. The CAPRA Commission and NRPA staff had to develop plans very quickly since visits were due to start on March 30.

Read more:


ORR Encouraged by 30 by 30 Goals, Wants Outdoor Rec. Interests Involved
Courtesy of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) is encouraged by President Biden’s executive order announcing the goal to fight climate change and create jobs, in part through the 30 by 30 initiative. In December, ORR provided the Biden transition team the ORR Transition Policy Paper outlining the outdoor recreation industry’s support for the 30 by 30 concept but noting the need to ensure public access is preserved as well as a desire to work with the administration on details and implementation.

We support and embrace the overlap between our collective work toward conservation and the establishment of global biodiversity principles in the “30 by 30” initiative, which aims to conserve 30 percent of the globe’s lands and waters by 2030. Recreation access and the enjoyment of our public lands and waters is imperative to the success of 30 by 30. Well-managed and sustainable outdoor activities are in harmony with 30 by 30 goals and continue to support jobs and economic activity in communities across the country while areas are conserved for climate solutions. Maintaining the sense of connection to our abundant resources and unrivaled natural beauty that these activities provide is essential to ensuring we have natural resource and biodiversity stewards for the next century, just as we have had in the past, and that places transitioning from traditional extractive industries have a bright economic future.

Read more:


Get the Recognition You Deserve
Courtesy of NRPA

The NRPA awards programs highlight the efforts of those who go above and beyond to make a difference in their communities. Have you applied for the 2021 NRPA Awards, Scholarships or Fellowships yet? These include the Innovation Awards, which showcase inspiring park and recreation agencies; the Spotlight Awards, which are presented to individuals to honor their efforts in the park and recreation profession; as well as applications for scholarships and fellowships to the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

The deadline to apply is March 26, 2021.

For more information:


Park Partnerships: How to Effectively Work with Friends' Groups
Courtesy of American Trails

This pre-recorded webinar + live Zoom meeting is presented by AccelParks and Kathy Blaha Consulting, with learning credits and payments being handled by American Trails. 

This course is all about partnerships between park agencies and 3rd party park groups. These park groups can range from a small, passionate friends group with no budget all of the way to a major, well organized, conservancy that raises capital for a specific project or specific park. Rick Wood of AccelParks interviews Kathy Blaha of Kathy Blaha Consulting. This topic is timely especially with Covid-19 because there is huge demand on our parks right now and many park agencies are turning to partners to provide additional services like maintenance or capital raising. City budgets are being constrained and park departments are being asked to do more with less. Park Partnerships can be messy and time consuming. They don’t have to be that way. You can get started on the right foot and have an effective partner.

Registration will only be open for 2 weeks from February 1 to 15. 

For more information:!/Park-Partnerships-Pre-recorded-webinar-Live-Zoom-meeting/p/289917147/category=33272462


Managing River User Conflicts: Separation, Changed Norms, or Uneasy Truce?
Courtesy of River Management Society 

DATE: Tuesday, February 9, 2021
TIME: 3:30 - 4:30 ET
COST: Free

Conflicts between groups are among the toughest challenges faced by resource managers. What makes a conflict? What are the solutions? Why is it important to solve conflicts before tackling other problems? Join RMS and our presenters with Confluence Research and Consulting: Bo Shelby, Dan Shelby and Doug Whittaker as we explore these topics and solutions.

For more information:


Recorded Webinar: Trails and Trains Together
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

Trails alongside active rail lines can provide safe and effective recreation and transportation options in communities across the country.

In our latest webinar, we share the latest research, resources and best practices to help you determine whether rail-with-trail is right for your community. Hear both trail and railroad perspectives and experiences in assessing, developing and managing trails next to active rail lines.

Watch here:


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.

Registration Code: COMMUNITY

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

Designing School Grounds to Integrate Nature, Learning and Health Promotion
Live webinar: Tuesday, February 16, 2:00 to 3:15 p.m. EST

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs
Prerecorded webinar available from Monday, March 15, 2021, 8:00am - Friday, March 19, 2021 at 11:59pm

Register here:


2021 NRPA Annual Conference

September 21-23, 2021 - Nashville, Tennessee

On the heels of a successful, first-ever virtual 2020 NRPA Annual Conference, we are excited to announce our intent to host the first-ever hybrid experience of the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference this fall in Nashville, Tennessee.

Park and recreation professionals, champions and industry suppliers will have the opportunity to attend the conference in person or virtually. By offering a hybrid experience NRPA looks forward to providing even more people with the opportunity to network with peers, learn from experts in the field, and connect with industry suppliers. We are dedicated to the same high-quality educational programming NRPA is known for — because everyone deserves a great conference!

Read more:

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