March 2, 2021

In This Issue...

News from NACPRO
Best Practices Forum
Member News
Research and Resources
In the News
Job Announcements


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.

Learn more about us at:


The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on March 16, 2021.

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

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

Real Estate Agent
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Los Gatos, California
Salary: $88,614 - $107,232 /yr
Closing date: Mar 4, 2021

Senior Information Technology Coordinator
Cincinnati Recreation Commission
Cincinnati, Ohio
Salary: $69,299 - $93,132 /yr
Closing date: Mar 4, 2021

Service Area Coordinator (Recreation Maintenance)
Cincinnati Recreation Commission
Cincinnati, Ohio
Salary: $58,417 - $78,507 /yr
Closing date: Mar 4, 2021

Service Area Coordinator (Recreation Programming)
Cincinnati Recreation Commission
Cincinnati, Ohio
Salary: $58,417 - $78,507 /yr
Closing date: Mar 7, 2021

Assistant Director
Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation
Alhambra, California
Salary: $135,642 - $210,952 /yr
Closing date: Mar 11, 2021

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Director
Town of Morrisville
Morrisville, North Carolina
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Closing date: Mar 16, 2021

Executive Director
Western DuPage Special Recreation Association
Carol Stream, Illinois
Salary: $120,000 - $160,000 /yr
Closing date: Mar 21, 2021

Superintendent of Recreation and Museum Services
Glenview Park District
Glenview, Illinois
Salary: $150,000 /yr
Closing date: Mar 26, 2021

Executive Director
Decatur Park District
Decatur, Illinois
Salary: $135,000 - $160,000 /yr
Closing date: Apr 2, 2021

Parks Trail Specialist
Santa Clara County Parks
Los Gatos, California
Salary: $63,180 - $76,336 /yr
Closing date: Apr 5, 2021

Botanical Gardens Manager
NOVA Parks (Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority)
Vienna, Virginia
Salary: $60,319 - $72,623 /yr
Closing date: Open until filled

Assistant Director, Administrative Services
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Tumwater, Washington
Salary: $120,000 - $129,000 /yr
Closing date: Open until filled

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

Award Nominations Deadline Extended to March 12

Nominations are now being accepted for the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) 2021 awards program. The annual NACPRO Awards program recognizes and honors excellence in parks and recreation at the county, regional, and special district level throughout the nation.

For more information:

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.

Member News

Dan Stencil retires as longtime director of Oakland County Parks and Recreation
Courtesy of the Oakland Press

By Mark Cavitt

MICHIGAN - Dan Stencil is saying goodbye to Oakland County after spending 43 years working for the county's parks system.

For the past 15 years, Stencil has led the 14-park, 7,000-acre system, serving as executive director. His last day will be March 15, although he plans to provide transition support as the parks and recreation commission sees fit.

Read more:


Park District General Manager Robert Doyle Retires After 47-Year Career
Courtesy of NRPA

After dedicating 47 years to East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) in Oakland, California — including 10 years as general manager — Robert Doyle has retired, leaving many legacies that will benefit the lives of East Bay residents.

During his tenure with EBRPD, Doyle more than doubled the size of the park district in acreage, parks and trails. Several of his other significant accomplishments include garnering approval for three former military bases closed during the Clinton administration to be redeveloped into the future with publicly accessible regional parklands; fighting a 20-year battle for environmental justice along the Richmond, California, shoreline, including the Dotson Family Marsh that offers access along the bay adjacent to a predominantly Black community near Point Pinole; closing gaps incrementally along the San Francisco Bay Trail and creating the park district’s mostly contiguous Bay Trail along the 55 miles of East Bay urban shoreline; and increasing the park district’s connection with multicultural communities through innovative health initiatives, educational programming and a record 10-year sustainable revenue growth of the Regional Parks Foundation, the private fundraising nonprofit that improves regional park access for underserved communities and communities of color.

Read more:


$83-million renovation of Willowbrook's Earvin "Magic" Johnson Park completed
Courtesy of Urbanize Los Angeles

By Steven Sharp

CALIFORNIA - A nearly two-year, $83-million revamp of a large section of Willowbrook's Earvin Magic Johnson Park has come to the close, allowing the 126-acre green space to fully reopen to the surrounding community. Los Angeles County, which owns and operates the Earvin Magic Johnson Park, worked with landscape architecture firm AHBE|MIG to add new amenities and improve existing features.

Besides open space amenities, the revamped park also has an important role in improving water quality in Los Angeles County. A new pump located beneath the park's surface diverts stormwater runoff from a 375-acre watershed that feeds into Compton Creek, which is then channeled into the lake at the park's center. The new landscaping and wetlands area along the perimeter of the manmade lake provides natural filtration of the water, which is then treated, stored, and reused for park irrigation.

Read more:


Topeka, Shawnee County receive grant funding to expand trails
Courtesy of CJonline

By Blaise Mesa

KANSAS - Shawnee County Parks and Recreation has received funding to connect its trails, a move that has been a priority of the department for the past few years. In addition, the city of Topeka will work on a dozen projects as both entities work to increase trail accessibility.

“This is an incredible achievement for the county, for our department,” said Tim Laurent, director of Parks and Recreation, at Monday’s county commission meeting. “This is just one more example of Shawnee County Parks and Recreation inspiring our residents to lead healthy and active lifestyles.”

Read more:

Research and Resources

2020’s Lessons about Cultural Sensitivities in Language
Courtesy of

By Kelley Chunn

The Associated Press, through its industry-standard “Stylebook,” has recently made changes regarding words that describe race and ethnicity. In the summer of 2020, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, AP senior managers met with internal and external stakeholders to discuss how they would define and describe different racial and ethnic groups.

Read more:


Outdoor Recreation in the West
Courtesy of Colorado College

The vast majority of Westerners say that they plan to visit national public lands more often in the year to come, even though nearly all visited these places and/or engaged in outdoor recreation in 2020. Crowding is cited as the greatest deterrent to visiting public lands more often in every state.

Read more:


Harness the Power of the Public Realm
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By David Barth

Communities throughout the United States and the world are using a variety of strategies to become more sustainable--preparing sustainability plans and climate action plans; establishing new policies, regulations and standards; and creating new programs, incentives and funding initiatives. But many communities are missing out on a simple strategy with potentially big benefits--planning and designing their own public realm.

There is no universally accepted definition of “public realm,” but it generally refers to a community’s system of parks, streets, trails, natural areas, storm water-treatment facilities and civic/cultural spaces. As an interconnected system, it provides communities with a significant opportunity to advance all three legs of sustainability--economic development, environmental protection and social stability.

Read more:


Grand Rapid Parks to cut Costs with Robot Helper for Sports Fields
Courtesy of

By Michael Kransz

Michigan - As the snow thaws and sports begin again this spring, athletes might notice crisper lines this season on Grand Rapids park fields thanks to a new robot helper.

Starting this spring, the Grand Rapids Parks Department will deploy a robot to mark the lines on all of the city’s sports fields.

The robot uses inputted GPS coordinates to automatically mark field lines, freeing up parks staff to tackle other tasks and saving about $5,000 annually in labor and material costs in the process, according to city officials.

Read more:

In the News

Time to rebuild youth sports in America
Courtesy of The Hill

By Tom Farrey and Kristine Stratton

Over the past generation, youth sports in America has become increasingly privatized and exclusionary. Families with resources often move children into club programs costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year, chasing college athletic scholarships and preferential admission to universities. According to research from the Aspen Institute and Utah State University, youth from low-income homes quit sports because of the financial costs at six times the rate of those from high-income homes. This statistic is particularly troubling as research shows physically active children are less likely to be obese, report lower levels of depression, perform better academically, have reduced health risks as adults and become active parents with their own children. Investment in youth sports that serves all children is an upstream solution with long-term benefits.

Read more:


TEDxCollegePark virtual event for park and recreation professionals
Courtesy of NRPA

Friday, March 19, 2021 - 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM ET

The occurrences of 2020 changed the plans: the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its disparate impact on underinvested, Black and brown communities, and the social justice movements laid bare the inequities that exist all around us. Inspired by our fellow park and recreation professionals who stepped up around the country to help their communities, our TEDxCollegePark team determined it was time for another event — and this time it’s virtual!

The theme for our event is “An Equal Future.” We want a future where one’s zip code does not determine their lifespan; where one’s gender or gender identity does not limit professional growth; where the color of one’s skin does not determine how they are treated; and where access to opportunities is open to ALL.

Register here:


Senate presents a major leap forward for trails
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

Yesterday, Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) re-introduced the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act in the Senate. This bipartisan measure provides concentrated investment in safe and equitable active transportation routes that will connect trails built in the past decades and help meet the strong demand that has exploded in the last year for walking and biking infrastructure.

The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act would dedicate $500 million annually for five years to create seamless active transportation networks and spines within and between communities. This critical policy innovation is the missing link needed to ensure that places for walking and biking are safe, convenient and accessible.

Read more:


Opinion: An ‘Active Transportation Administration’? No, Thanks
Courtesy of Streetsblog USA

By Marisa Jones, Beth Osborne and Caron Whitaker

A shift in messaging about how America gets from one place to another is emerging. At his confirmation hearing, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg pointedly called out the auto-centrism and inequities of our transportation system and noted the economic success cities like his own South Bend have had by making transportation options like biking and walking safer and easier to access. Could we possibly be on the verge of a transportation system that actively serves all Americans, whether they drive or not? Could transportation infrastructure actually become part of the solution to climate change instead of a liability?

Now more than ever it feels like achieving these goals is possible. To be successful, we need to focus our efforts on real, meaningful policy change and ensuring that resources follow those changes to truly transform the system, rather than just rehashing what we spend on auto-centric programs that don’t work.

Real change is a Complete Streets approach to our transportation system — ensuring that every road, bridge, transit stop, and trail built across this country is built with all people in mind: people biking, people walking, people using wheelchairs or other mobility devices, transit users, and drivers.

Read more:


Virginia Lawmakers Won't Let Cyclists Roll Through Stop Signs—Yet
Courtesy of Planetizen

State lawmakers in Virginia voted to delay the approval of a proposal that "would have allowed bicyclists to yield instead of halt at stop signs," calling instead for a police study of how the rule has been implemented and its effect in other states. As more people in Virginia use bikes as a primary mode of transportation, proponents of the measure argue that it can save lives. "According to the League of American Bicyclists, 40 percent of cyclist fatalities nationwide are the result of rear-end ­crashes, which are a concern at stop signs," reports Luz Lazo in The Washington Post. Colorado, Washington state, and Delaware have similar laws. Idaho passed one in the 1980s, letting bicyclists "treat stop signs as yields."

Read more:


Esports offers Bloomington-Normal youths new way to connect virtually
Courtesy of the Pantagraph

By Sierra Henry

ILLINOIS - Alexi, a fourth-grader at North Point Elementary School, is one of dozens of area youths joining Normal's new esports league that launched in January.

The program, a partnership with Decatur and Champaign parks and recreation departments, seeks to provide a safe environment for kids to compete through video games.

The league offers two divisions: Silver, which is open to kids ages 10 through 14; and Gold, open to teens ages 14 through 18. Matches are held once per week over the course of a six-week season, and gamers have the chance to play against kids from Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana and Decatur in a round-robin competition.

Read more:


Outdoor tourism offers covid-safe opportunities
Courtesy of NACo

By Charlie Ban

Its birth announcement may have been buried deep in December’s omnibus spending bill, but a quartet of West Virginia counties are welcoming New River Gorge National Park and preparing for visitors.

Though the timing of the designation was a surprise, it was not unexpected, because the four counties involved in planning — Fayette, Raleigh, Summers and Nicholas — have been working toward this goal for more than 30 years. And it’s happening when outdoor recreation is seen as one of the safest options during the COVID-19 pandemic, making the glittering lure of a new national park, and its wide-open spaces, even brighter.

“The counties realize they could be inundated very soon,” said Jina Belcher, executive director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Commission, which coordinates business development in the four counties. “Over the last three or four years, we have been trying to figure out how we capitalize on what that outdoor industry really looks like. Is it recruiting outdoor manufacturers? Is it focusing on the existing outdoor assets and infrastructure that we have? Is it positioning ourselves to be able to support the development of new and growing outdoor infrastructure such as our trails? Is it just business recruitment and site development? We found it’s all of that. It takes all of that to cultivate a growing outdoors industry.”

Read more:


Pandemic keeps Space Coast county tourism on its toes
Courtesy of NACo

By Rachel Looker

FLORIDA - Shutdowns, travel bans, mandates and closures have pulled the rug out from under the tourism industry.

As counties work to recover from economic losses incurred during the last year, county tourism agencies are rethinking marketing strategies to adjust to the new normal.

In Brevard County, Fla., the focus pivoted from cruising to space launches. Brevard County saw a record number of launches in 2020, taking the reigns as the number one launch site in the world. Notable Space X launches lifting off from the county included the Crew-1 mission and Crew Dragon, which brought humans to the International Space Station from U.S. ground for the first time in nearly a decade.

Read more:


Could Biden use private land to reach 30x30 goals?
Courtesy of E&E News

By Jennifer Yachnin

With more than 650 million acres in the federal estate, targeting existing public lands for natural preservation would seem to be an obvious idea as the Biden administration looks to fulfill its ambitious conservation goals.

But as congressional lawmakers and the White House try to figure out how to get to "30x30" — protecting 30% of the nation's land and waters by 2030 — some observers are emphasizing a different untapped resource: privately owned lands.

But the idea isn't simply to buy up private property or establish traditional easements. Instead, groups like the Western Landowners Alliance, which represents 15 million acres across the western United States and Canada, see an opportunity to rethink what conservation means.

"Conservation as usual isn't working, and this is an opportunity to actually do something different and change that trajectory, but it's going to involve economics and people who live and work on the land," Lesli Allison, the group's executive director, told E&E News.

Read more:


GP RED will Now Support SHIFT as Organizational & Fiscal Management Agent
Courtesy of GP RED

Numerous efforts around the world are underway to establish the connection between exposure to nature and positive public health outcomes. Proponents include health care providers, environmental justice advocates, conservationists, land managers, outdoor recreation providers and guides, researchers, and educators.

SHIFT - Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow - ( is a non-profit organization based in Jackson, Wyoming, dedicated to the advancement of this connection to nature as a preventive determinant of health. SHIFT Board members and colleagues believe that the health benefits of nature represent the strongest argument we can make for nature itself. By highlighting public health as part of an ecosystem service, and by investing in access and outcomes that are both equitable and inclusive, SHIFT seeks to advance a cost-effective aspect of comprehensive health care, while raising the value proposition of nature in society at large.

Read more:


Call for Nominations: The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s Best Restored Beaches Awards
Courtesy of ASPBA

The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) feels it is critically important to educate residents and tourists about value of restored beaches to develop ongoing support for beach maintenance and restoration.

Beach restoration places sand on the beach to increase its width and height, in combination with building high and wide dunes on the back beach. This increases a shoreline’s resiliency, increases the beach’s ability to mitigate storm damage and flooding from severe storms. Additionally, restoring the beach is one of the best methods to allow the beach to naturally adjust to short-term sea level rise and remain an important part of the nearshore ecosystem.

Submission deadline is April 30, 2021

For more information:


Important Updates Regarding the International Trails Symposium
Courtesy of American Trails

American Trails (AT), and fellow partners Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP), recently made the decision to postpone our joint conference, the Trails and Outdoor Recreation Summit, to February of 2022, as our boards felt that September of 2021 was just too uncertain for hosting an in-person event. Due to the need to move our conference into 2022 in Reno, Nevada the SORP board has made the extremely reluctant decision to pull out of our joint conference as they already had a standing contract with another city for their conference (National Outdoor Recreation Conference, May 2-5, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee). American Trails is still very excited to partner with the Professional TrailBuilders Association, and looks forward to welcoming a new partnership with the World Trails Network – Hub for the Americas. Given these change of events, we will be again hosting the International Trails Symposium and Training Institute. The new dates are February 22-27, 2022. Both AT and SORP remain committed to our partnership and we look forward to future collaborations and events in regards to webinar partnerships later in 2021 and future conference partnerships possibly in 2024.

For more information:


Great Trails Don’t Happen by Accident
Courtesy of IMBA

We’ve all ridden trails that were good enough. Compare that to the feeling of rides that are amazing, transcendent even, you have an ear-to-ear grin plastered on your face. Those are quality trail experiences, and they can be hard to come by. Turn the trails you dream of riding into a reality in your community with this online course. This virtual Trail Building School is being presented by the Outdoor Sports Institute and will be conducted by the experts at IMBA Trail Solutions. You will learn how to:

- Select the best terrain and plan amazing trails
- Design trails that deliver the experience you want
- Build lasting trail by hand

The course will take place online during the evening over a four-week period in March and there will be homework. Online Trail Building School is open to anyone interested in learning more about trail development. No previous experience or knowledge is required. Want to get your club or team involved? There is a discount available for groups who attend together.

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. Registration Code: COMMUNITY

Creating Conditions of Possibility: Diverse, equitable, and inclusive recreation spaces for individuals with disabilities
Live webinar: Wednesday, March 3, 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

Expanding Nature Experiences with Plants that Promote Play and Recreation
Live Webinar: Monday, March 29, 2:00 to 3:15 p.m. EST

Register here:


Upcoming Webinars from American Trails
Courtesy of American Trails

Effective Programs to Improve Access and Use of Trails for Youth from Under-Resourced Communities
April 22, 2021 – 1:00 to 2:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Assessing Trails: LiDAR Assisted Trail Topography Evaluation (LATTE)
April 29, 2021 – 1:00 to 2:30 PM (Eastern Time)

For more information:


Walk/Bike/Places 2021

June 15-18, 2021 - Indianapolis, Indiana

The premier conference in North America for walking, bicycling, and placemaking professionals from the public and private sectors.

Walk/Bike/Places strives to be the most informative and progressive active transportation conference in North America. Produced by Project for Public Spaces, the event consists of 50+ participant-led breakout sessions and locally-led workshops, as well as opportunities for experiential learning by walking and biking through the streets and other public spaces of the host city.

Our hybrid program will feature everything you’d expect from our usual event including general sessions, dozens of breakout sessions, locally-led mobile workshops, and social hours, although we expect the in-person event to be more intimate and experiential -- we will be getting outdoors as much as possible!

Early bird rates available until March 29 at 4:00 pm.

For more information:

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