April 13, 2021

In This Issue...

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 April 27, 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by April 26.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

Job Announcements

Executive Director Parks and Recreation
County of Bucks
Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Closing date: Open until filled

Executive Director
Fairfax County Park Authority
Fairfax, Virginia
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Closing date: Apr 16, 2021

Director of Parks and Recreation
City of Deerfield Beach
Deerfield Beach, Florida
Salary: $109,215 - $180,204
Application Deadline: Apr 16, 2021

Botanical Gardens Manager
NOVA Parks (Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority)
Vienna, Virginia
Salary: $60,319 - $72,623 /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:

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

Buy a Hot Coal Bin, Get the Liner
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

Our Model HCB-1 Hot Coal Bin is a convenient, economical and safe way for campers, picnickers and tailgaters to dispose of their hot charcoals and ashes from their charcoal grills. No more dumping of hot coals on the ground! If you order our HCB-1 in April 2021, you get our CNG-2310 steel liner (31-gallon capacity) free.

Use code FREECAN in the promo code field to receive this offer in April 2021.

For more information:

Member News

Sign of the times: Bucks parks headquarters named for retiring director
Courtesy of the Courier Times

By Peg Quann

PENNSYLVANIA - Bucks County Parks Director William Mitchell may be retiring next month, but his name won't be leaving its county post. The county made sure of that earlier this month when it named the county parks and recreation department headquarters the William M. Mitchell Parks Administration Building.

Mitchell was first named the county parks director in August 1989, coming here from a similar post in Howard County, Maryland. He knew of Bucks County's rich heritage in both history and its artistic scenery, his wife, Ruth Ann, was from the area and the county also was closer to his childhood home in upstate New York.

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Research and Resources

2021 Special Report: New Outdoor Participant (COVID and Beyond)
Courtesy of SORP

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) commissioned this one-time special report from research partner NAXION to share exclusive insights about Americans’ engagement in outdoor activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The special report examines demographics and psychographics of the new outdoor participant — defined as someone who participated in an outdoor activity for the first time during the pandemic or after a significant lapse.

For more information:


The Growing Demand for Outdoor Recreation and Sporting Goods
Courtesy of SORP

The Sporting Goods and Outdoor Recreation user demographic is expansive and has continued to evolve, with the majority of #consumers now younger, more diverse, and more gender proportional than ever before.

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New Resource Aims to Build a Fairer, Healthier World
Courtesy of NRPA

By Alyia Gaskins and Tiffany Pertillar

On the World Health Organization’s World Health Day — April 7, 2021 — NRPA joined in the call to build a fairer, healthier world through the release of a new resource.

Elevating Health Equity through Parks and Recreation: A Framework for Action guides local park and recreation professionals in applying an equity lens when designing, implementing and evaluating programs and services. It is divided into four parts: Self-Assessment, Agency Assessment, Health Equity Integration and Committing to the Call.

The year 2020 was difficult for all of us, individually and collectively. In addition to a global pandemic that not only illustrated, but also exacerbated, the grave health inequities that exist in communities across the country, we also saw firsthand that deep, pervasive and polarizing racism still exists, as we laid witness to numerous killings of Black individuals and people of color at the hands of police officers and vigilante citizens.

Read more:


Tahoe Fund partners with Adventure Risk Challenge to connect kids to outdoors
Courtesy of the Sierra Sun

Designed to provide immersive outdoor and academic programs for underserved youth, ARC courses introduce first-generation students, English-language learners and all high school students to the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains and to outdoor recreation including backpacking, rock climbing and more. Paired with a curriculum focused on reading, writing and public speaking, students develop a broad understanding of what they’re capable of doing.

Since 2004, ARC has had over 300 summer graduates and 2,500+ year-round participants. A three-site organization that started in Tahoe, the program’s success is highlighted by the fact that 81% of participants go on to attend a two or four-year college. In addition, they experience growth in seven important developmental assets including positive identity, social competencies, and commitment to learning.

Read more:


How Public Lands Plan to Deal with Crowds This Summer
Courtesy of Outside Online

By Meredith Bethune

While hiking in the Adirondacks earlier last year, I came upon a scared teenage boy who was lost in the High Peaks Wilderness. He and some friends were home from school and bored during the early months of the pandemic, so they decided to do the 15-mile trek up Mount Marcy, the tallest mountain in New York State, at 5,344 feet tall. This is a hike suited for experienced adventurers, and this kid did not fit that description: he didn’t have proper layers and had no food, water, or headlamp as the sun was setting. He was disoriented, likely due to exhaustion and mild dehydration. Fortunately, we were only a few miles from the trailhead at that point. I was able to reunite him with his group and bypass a potentially dangerous situation. That encounter is just one of countless examples of unprepared and uninformed hikers heading into the Adirondacks and other wilderness areas around the country. According to the American Hiking Society, trail usage saw an increase of 200 percent in U.S. cities as Americans looked to the outdoors to relieve their pandemic-induced cabin fever.

Read more:


Breaking Down Barriers to Bicycling in the U.S.
Courtesy of People for Bikes

Even without the recent upsurge brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, bicycling has increased in popularity in many U.S. cities over the last decade. However, even as the number of bicyclists and bike trips steadily grows, many communities have struggled to create truly inclusive bike cultures. Furthermore, bicycling still remains completely out of reach for many minority groups and low-income Americans due to persistent and pervasive social and physical barriers.

Physical barriers to bicycling include issues like the inequitable distribution of bicycle infrastructure among neighborhoods and diverse populations, whereas social barriers are occasionally less obvious but arguably more widespread. Likewise, hygiene concerns might keep a person of color from biking to work for fear of judgment from their white, corporate counterparts. As we look to grow bicycling nationally, it’s imperative that we understand the reasons why some people choose to ride a bike and others do not.

To better understand these barriers to biking, PeopleForBikes funded research in 10 U.S. cities focused on helping communities build strong local partnerships and accelerate the growth of bicycling.

Read more:

In the News

NACo Board votes to hold hybrid 2021 Annual Conference in Prince George’s County, Md.

The NACo Board voted March 19 to relocate the 2021 NACo Annual Conference to Prince George’s County, Md., revising the dates to July 9-12, just outside of Washington, D.C. The conference would be a hybrid of in-person and remote programming. The Board also passed 27 interim policy resolutions (see details on pages 9-13) that will help guide NACo’s advocacy through July’s Annual Business Meeting. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Read more:


City dwellers gained more access to public spaces during the pandemic – can they keep it?
Courtesy of the Conversation

Through a year of pandemic shutdowns and protests, Americans have rediscovered their public spaces. Homebound city dwellers sought havens in parks, plazas and reclaimed streets. Many of these places also became stages for protests against police violence and systemic racism in the U.S.

Mayors around the world have used this time to reimagine the use of public space. Will cities revert to familiar car-centric patterns, or build on the past year to create more outdoor spaces that are accessible and welcoming for all of their residents?

Beginning in June 2020 and continuing throughout the summer, our team at Boston University interviewed mayors in cities across the country as part of our annual Menino Survey of Mayors. We wanted to understand how they were grappling with the unprecedented challenges and stark inequities laid bare in 2020, and how they were thinking about repurposing the public realm.

Read more:


Pandemic Wilderness Explorers Are Straining Search and Rescue
Courtesy of the New York Times

PINEDALE, Wyo. — Kenna Tanner and her team can list the cases from memory: There was the woman who got tired and did not feel like finishing her hike; the campers, in shorts during a blizzard; the base jumper, misjudging his leap from a treacherous granite cliff face; the ill-equipped snowmobiler, buried up to his neck in an avalanche.

All of them were pulled by Ms. Tanner and the Tip Top Search and Rescue crew from the rugged Wind River mountain range in the last year, in this sprawling, remote pocket of western Wyoming. And all of them, their rescuers said, were wildly unprepared for the brutal backcountry in which they were traveling.

“It is super frustrating,” said Ms. Tanner, Tip Top’s director. “We just wish that people respected the risk.”

In the throes of a pandemic that has made the indoors inherently dangerous, tens of thousands more Americans than usual have flocked outdoors, fleeing crowded cities for national parks and the public lands around them. But as these hordes of inexperienced adventurers explore the treacherous terrain of the backcountry, many inevitably call for help. It has strained the patchwork, volunteer-based search-and-rescue system in America’s West.

Read more:


Open To the Public
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Bruce Dees

WASHINGTON - Wenberg County Park (formerly Wenberg State Park) in Washington is on a 46-acre site located on the shores of Lake Goodwin in northwest Snohomish County, serving 65,000 visitors this past year. The park includes 1,140 feet of shoreline for swimming, sunning, boat-launching, and now fishing. The park also includes picnic shelters and campgrounds. Providing accessible recreation facilities for all of its citizens has been an ongoing process for Snohomish County Parks. This is especially true for its older parks. Wenberg has always been popular; previously, it was not accessible to all park visitors, but it is now.

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A Water Trail Is Born
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Caitlin McCully and Kara Musser

OHIO - Many years of hard work and planning are finally paying off in eastern Ohio with the state’s designation of the Tuscarawas River Water Trail. The Tuscarawas River has always been special to those who live in the communities around the river, and now it will be shared with paddlers from around Ohio and surrounding states.

While the Tuscarawas River has always offered abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, several issues existed to prevent the river from reaching its potential as a paddling destination.

The Water Trail designation program administered by The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Watercraft was the perfect solution. This program encourages community support, maintains access points for public use, and has created a map and brochure with safety information that is easily accessible to the public. All access points must be public, and all hazards must be identified and signed. Addition signage along the river allows for ease of use by paddlers.

Read more:


Community outings program aids in substance abuse intervention
Courtesy of NACo

By Rachel Looker

NEW MEXICO - The Bernalillo County, N.M. Department of Behavioral Health Services teamed up with the county’s Parks and Recreation Department to use community outings to help reintegrate individuals struggling with substance abuse back into the community.

Recreation Coordinator Danielle Fast said Behavioral Health Services wanted to add a recreational side to enhance the Supportive Aftercare program.

Parks and rec staff pick up clients from the program to participate in a variety of activities and outings including photography classes, quilting, ceramics, pottery making, cooking classes, archery and swimming.

“Being in that place of sobriety totally enhances this experience because now they’re actually solidified memories and good memories that they can actually pass on to their children and their children’s children,” Fast said.

Read more:


Oregon State Parks will spend the next 25 years making parks more accessible
Courtesy of Oregon Live

OREGON - Signs will be improved, ramps will be installed and bathroom stalls will be widened in an ambitious statewide effort to make Oregon’s parks more accessible to visitors with disabilities, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced Thursday.

In all, the department identified 4,872 barriers at 273 facilities. Officials found barriers to access at nearly every part of the park experience, including fee machines that are inaccessible, trails that are too narrow and fire extinguishers that are placed out of reach.

Read more:


Denver Shows What It Takes to Level the Park-Access Playing Field
Courtesy of Next City

By Ambika Chawla

COLORADO - With the arrival of spring, Platte Farm Open Space, located in the diverse, working-class neighborhood of Globeville in north Denver, comes alive with native grasses, pollinator gardens that attract bees and butterflies, and wildflowers, such as Mexican hat, asters, poppies, and Gaillardia.

“This is a beautiful amenity — a beautiful piece of space that was previously being abused,” says Jan Ediger, a longtime resident of Globeville. A former brownfield site, Platte Farm is 5.5 acres of open green space in the heart of Globeville that, along with the wildflowers, grasses, and gardens, has walking trails, a play area for children, and a detention pond to help prevent localized flooding.

Once a dumping ground for trash and industrial pollution in Globeville, the development of Platte Farm Open Space was a 14-year journey — a collaborative effort between the community members of Globeville, the city of Denver, and Groundwork Denver, a nonprofit organization that works to create green spaces to help improve community health.

Read more:


 Webinar: Effective Programs to Improve Access and Use of Trails for Youth from Under-Resourced Communities
Courtesy of American Trails

DATE: April 22, 2021
TIME: 10:00am-11:30am Pacific
ORGANIZATION: American Trails
COST: FREE (including learning credits)

This webinar will identify trail studies and existing programs that may effectively promote and increase the use of trails among youth, especially those from under-resourced neighborhoods or communities. We’ll identify evidence-based public health recommendations that pertain to trail use, correlations of physical activity and trail use that may inform and support the planning and implementation of programs to promote trail use among youth, benefits associated with trail use, and barriers to trail use.

For more information:


Webinar: Assessing Trails: LiDAR Assisted Trail Topography Evaluation (LATTE)
Courtesy of American Trails

DATE: April 29, 2021
TIME: 10:00am-11:30am Pacific
COST: FREE (including learning credits)

Expanding from a brief explanation provided in our November 5, 2020 webinar Technology in Trail Building and Planning: Drones and LiDAR, this webinar will discuss a state-of-the-art LiDAR technology solution for trail management, LATTE. This scientific approach to assessment removes the subjective variability inherent in common approaches. The methodology incorporates geospatial technologies used in other industries to produce measured baseline conditions, as well as subsequent changes. These results can then be converted into trail maintenance and construction/reconstruction data that will guide in the management of trail resources, prioritization of agenda and real time data on existing conditions. Data results can be processed from the office to set up a strategic management plan based on comprehensive measurements rather than subjective observations.

For more information:

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