April 27, 2021

In This Issue...

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 May 11, 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by May 10.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

Oakland County Parks and Recreation
Pontiac, Michigan
Salary: $123,636 - $165,647 Annually
Closing Date: Jun 3, 2021

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

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.


Member News

Cleveland Metroparks releases bold vision for remaking Lake Erie shoreline with recycled river sediment
Courtesy of

OHIO - Cleveland Metroparks and other public agencies want to transform part of the city’s East Side lakefront from a hard, mean-looking edge of sheet piling and boulders into tranquil coves and wetlands sheltered by a new offshore “isle.’'

That’s the core vision of CHEERS, the happy-sounding acronym for Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study, a yearlong, $251,000 planning project that marks a first step toward protecting part of the lakefront that’s especially vulnerable to heavy storms.

Among other things, the city wants to look at how to improve East 55th and East 72nd streets as points of access to the lake. The CHEERS vision calls for improving pedestrian connections and creating protected bike lanes on the two major north-south arteries.

Read more:


Research and Resources

Demystifying Advocacy in Parks and Recreation
Courtesy of NRPA

By Dan McCarthy

Advocacy can be a scary word for many folks, especially those in the nonprofit sector or governmental agencies. Fear of the unknown or of breaking rules often forces people to disengage from the political process and miss opportunities to engender systematic change. This lack of engagement strips out vital voices and perspectives.

Here’s an example of how passionate people united can make a difference: more than 500 NRPA advocates sent thousands of letters, tweets and phone calls to Congress in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal grant program that champions the protection of federal public lands and waters. Efforts led to this critical environmental protection program becoming law, securing public access and improving recreational opportunities for local communities — a feat 50 years in the making.

Read more:


Explore NACo’s Tool To Assist Counties In Navigating County-Related Funding from the American Rescue Plan

The interactive tool helps navigate the roughly $1.5 trillion in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Programs that may provide counties with additional funding are denoted as “county eligible.” This information will be updated as federal guidance for the new and existing programs is released.

For more information:


U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Announces Availability of $1 Billion to Modernize and Create New American Infrastructure
Courtesy of American Trails

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 discretionary grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants. RAISE, formerly known as BUILD and TIGER, has awarded over $8.935 billion in grants to projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico since 2009.

Projects for RAISE funding will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. Within these criteria, the Department will prioritize projects that can demonstrate improvements to racial equity, reduce impacts of climate change and create good-paying jobs.

Read more:


Summer Programs for Kids Will Use Multiple Strategies to Cut COVID-19 Risk
Courtesy of Youth Today

By Stell Simonton

With vaccinations increasing but with COVID-19 still a danger, organizers of summer programs across the country are grappling with the question. Compared with last summer “we are in a very different place,” said Hayley Herzing, senior manager of membership at the National Recreation and Park Association in an email. Vaccines and testing are available, but many safety precautions are still necessary.

Members of the association, who run youth programs in parks and city recreation departments around the country, have been asking for guidance, she said. They’re also concerned about staff burnout in response to the extra demands caused by the pandemic. But there is plenty of research available to help program leaders assess risks and how to reduce them, said John Carr, director Center for Camp Safety and Emergency Preparedness, in an online presentation sponsored by the American Camp Association.

Read more:


From Plans to Parks
Courtesy of NRPA

By Clement Lau

As a student and a practitioner, I have accumulated a collection of books about park planning over the years. One of my favorites is Never Built Los Angeles, by Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell, which explores the “what if” Los Angeles. Specifically, the book features more than 100 visionary works that could have transformed Los Angeles, including proposed parks, plazas and master plans like the Olmsted Brothers and Harland Bartholomew’s 1930 report, Parks, Playgrounds, and Beaches for the Los Angeles Region, which would have made parkland much more accessible and abundant had it been fulfilled. While inspirational and interesting, Never Built Los Angeles is also a sad reminder that some promising plans and projects never materialized.

Park planning is a key function of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) where I work as a park planner. We plan with equity and implementation in mind, ensuring that our plans prioritize the neediest communities and do not end up just sitting on bookshelves. Examples of such planning documents include the Los Angeles Countywide Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment, Community Parks and Recreation Plans, and the Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park Master Plan.

Tune in to the May bonus episode of Open Space Radio to hear Lau talk more about community parks and recreation plans at

Read more:


Special Events in the Time of COVID-19
Courtesy of NRPA

By Christine DiGioia

When it comes to planning events, organizers have likely considered almost every scenario possible to be prepared for the unknown. There are plans for natural disasters, accidents, extreme weather, terrorist threats and so much more — but a pandemic?

Last year, as the world transitioned from the thought process of “we just need to wait this out” to “this is the new normal,” event planners were faced with the task of how to adapt special events. With only a five-step process, Howard County Recreation and Parks in Maryland was able to modify procedures to successfully develop a new event plan.

Read more:


More Public-Private Partnership Models
Courtesy of NRPA

By John L. Crompton, Ph.D.

This column focuses on four additional frameworks to those discussed in the April column that facilitate collaborative partnerships between park and recreation departments and private-sector partners. They include priming private-sector pumps, using private facilities, restoring an exploited natural resource and expanding existing facilities.

Read more:


Playgrounds Designed With Accessibility In Mind Make Play Fun for Every Kid
Courtesy of Next City

By Marianne Dhenin

When it comes to providing play opportunities to children with disabilities, not all playgrounds are created equal. On most playgrounds in the United States, complex play structures with lots of stairs and uneven ground coverings like woodchips or gravel make play inaccessible to kids who depend on mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers. Traditional swings or narrow slides are inaccessible to kids who need a caregiver’s support or the extra safety feature of a harness to use them.

While all new or renovated playgrounds must adhere to specific requirements stemming from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADA compliance is only a bare minimum standard. An ADA-compliant playground might have an accessible entrance and transfer stations — spaces where a child in a wheelchair can pull themselves onto a play structure. But even with those features, many kids will still find themselves relegated to only parts of the playground and unable to enjoy many of its play features. The result is that crucial play opportunities remain limited or even unavailable to the more than seven million disabled kids in the United States.

Read more:


‘Checking out’ the great outdoors: Library program gives free access to Colorado State Parks
Courtesy of the Pueblo Chieftain

By Zach Hillstrom

Local libraries like those in the Pueblo City-County Library District often serve as a gateway to adventure, with countless books and resources capable of transporting visitors to another place and time.

Sometimes, that gateway is even a literal one, such as the Check Out Colorado State Parks program —a partnership between the Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado State Library, and local library districts that allows people to check out a backpack and a parks pass to gain entrance to any of Colorado’s 42 state parks.

Nearly 300 libraries across Colorado participate in the program, which eliminates most costs as a barrier from people getting out and enjoying Colorado’s outdoors.

Read more:


In the News

Haaland Pivots Interior toward Renewable Energy
Courtesy of Outside Online

By Wes Siler

On April 16, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued her first two secretarial orders. The first establishes a climate task force, coordinating Department of the Interior efforts to address climate change. The second revokes a dozen orders issued by both of Haaland’s Trump administration predecessors that were inconsistent with the DOI’s legal obligation to protect public health, make science-based decisions, and protect natural resources.

“At the Department of the Interior, I believe we have a unique opportunity to make our communities more resilient to climate change and to help lead the transition to a clean energy economy,” Haaland said in a statement accompanying the action. “These steps will align the Interior Department with the President’s priorities and better position the team to be a part of the climate solution.”

Read more:


Colorado mountain, resort communities are rebounding - and then some - from coronavirus-scarred 2020
Courtesy of Colorado Sun

By Jason Blevins

The sky-is-falling scenario projected in the dark, early days of the pandemic never materialized in Colorado’s high country. A survey of sales tax reports filed by 20 resort communities shows combined spending in those places fell by only 3% in 2020 compared with the previous year.

Some communities — Copper Mountain, Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Aspen, for example — saw steeper declines, but not nearly as painful as projected last spring, when the threat of contagion appeared poised to decimate tourism businesses across the state.

And early reports show the 2020-21 ski season will end far outperforming projections, with visitors and residents spending like a regular ski season, despite capacity limits at ski resorts, restaurants and lodges, and a lack of public attendance at big-draw events and concerts.

Read more:


Great parks don’t just have rec space. They create jobs
Courtesy of Fast Company

By Nate Berg

In normal times, public spaces and parks meet an important need in cities, where many residents have little room for recreation and limited access to nature. During the pandemic, when most people were largely confined to their homes, and lockdowns limited the number of other places they could go, parks became even more essential as spaces of escape.

But not all public spaces are created equal. A new report from the Knight Foundation reveals some of the ways that design, governance, and programming can turn parks from simple outdoor spaces to indispensable community assets.

Conducted by the urban planning, design and strategy firm Gehl, the study looked at seven public spaces located in Akron, Detroit, Philadelphia, and San Jose, examining how they were used during the pandemic and identifying the elements of their design and management that helped some stand out.

Read more:


Which State Is the Greenest, Most Environmentally Friendly?
Courtesy of Governing

By Zoe Manzanetti

A new report by WalletHub analyzes the states for how green they are by comparing each state’s environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors and climate-change contributions. Each category was evaluated on several different metrics, for a total of 25, across the three categories, pulling data from several agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, United States Department of Agriculture, National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Geological Survey and more.

Environmental quality was calculated based upon the state’s qualities of air, water and soil and its energy-efficiency score, and climate-change contributions were evaluated through the state’s emissions per capita of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated greenhouse gas. Eco-friendly behaviors were scored based on 16 metrics, including analyses of green buildings, the share of “smart” electricity meters, average commute time by car, electronic waste recycling programs and organic farms. The metrics were graded on a 100-point scale to calculate the state with the greatest and lowest levels of eco-friendliness.

Read more:


Philadelphia is about to go completely dark at night. Here’s why
Courtesy of Fast Company

By Nate Berg

On a single night in October 2020, more than 1,000 birds crashed to their deaths against the windows of tall buildings in downtown Philadelphia. Blamed on a rare convergence of the semiannual migration period and bad weather, a major contributing factor was the abundance of lights left on inside tall buildings overnight. By the next morning, the streets were littered with dead birds.

Bird deaths resulting from collisions with buildings are nothing new. Seemingly clear flight paths seen through the windows of buildings, reflections of trees and other potential habitats, and the lure of bright and confusing lights during nighttime migration all contribute to a shocking number of bird-building crashes. Researchers estimate that collisions with buildings cause up to one billion bird deaths annually in the United States, making a very clear argument for why buildings and cities need to be designed with birds in mind.

Philadelphia joins 33 other cities in the United States that have their own Lights Out programs, including New York, Atlanta, and Chicago, which has had the program in place since 1999.

Read more:



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:


Webinar: Shift into Gear - A Bicycling Advocacy Resource
Courtesy of PlayCore

DATE: Thursday, April 29
TIME: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. Eastern

The session also highlights planning and design considerations including how building a network is key to the development of more and safer biking areas. The session also offers funding resources, ways to promote bike-friendly communities, and an array of case studies in the subject matter.

Registration Code: COMMUNITY

Register here:


Webinar: Introduction to Trail Planning, Part 1
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

DATE May 6, 2021
TIME: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
COST: Free
HOST: American Trails

This webinar is one part of a three part series:
- Intro to Trail Planning (Part 1 of 3)
- Intro to Trail Design and Development (Part 2 of 3)
- Intro to Trail Management (Part 3 of 3)

In the Introduction to Trail Planning we will discuss different types of trail plans including Master Plans Conceptual Plans, Development Plans and Management Plans. Content will include a review of different elements to consider including in your plan. Methods for identifying stakeholders and engaging them in the planning process will be discussed. Alternatives for soliciting trail visitor feedback will be reviewed. Environmental considerations and landscape suitability for trail development will be discussed.

For more information:


Webinar: Integrating Trails into Park Planning
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

DATE: May 13, 2021
TIME: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
COST: Free
HOST: American Trails

Trails are one of the most critical elements of any park system, yet many park planners may not understand the key components to consider in integrating them into your park planning efforts This webinar brings together park planning experts from across the nation to explore the critical elements that should be considered when integrating high-quality, sustainable trails into parks. Join these experts in identifying how trails impact conservation, safety, and ongoing maintenance of parks. Examine how trail networks and trails as linear parks can be implemented regionally to build park cohesion and capacity. And, explore how trails can offer amazing opportunities to meet community needs and build equitable park access in a variety of community sizes and demographics.

Attendees can expect to come away from this webinar with a toolbox of best practices and resources that get into the nitty gritty of how to understand trails as park elements, plan for their sustainable integration into existing and future parks, and build trails and trail networks as powerful tools for connecting your parks to the public.

This webinar will be in a forum setting where presenters will discuss each topic and allow time for couple attendee questions following each topic. Presenters will also answer attendee questions at the end of the presentation.

For more information:


May Webinar Series: Outdoor Recreation Policy

Every Wednesday in May, SORP will host policy discussions relevant to outdoor recreation professionals.

TIME: 10:00 to 11:00 am Pacific
COST: Free
HOST: Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals

May 5: Access

Join us for a dive into two of the most important bills in the 117th Congress focused on access to public lands: the SOAR Act and the MAPLand Act. We'll touch on other related access policy initiatives as well.


May 12: Equity

An interactive discussion about the myriad of exciting bills and policy initiatives related to equity in outdoor recreation. Specifically we'll cover the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E Initiative; Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act; Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP) & more!


May 19: Land and Water Conservation Fund

With the passing of the Great American Outdoors Act in the 116th Congress, along came full and permanent funding of LWCF! We'll level set with a quick 101 of the program then shift focus primarily to the LWCF state & local assistance program - opportunities, SCORP planning, challenges in scaling to the new funding levels, prospective updates to this amazing program established in 1965.


May 26: Infrastructure

The Biden Administration has put forth a major, multi-trillion dollar infrastructure package. How can outdoor recreation be at the table? Where is the intersection with outdoor recreation within the various components of the package? We'll round up the outdoor recreation policy experts to help us break down the opportunities.


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