May 25, 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 June 8, 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by June 7.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

Park Superintendent
San Bernardino County
San Bernardino, CA
Salary: $28.09 - $38.61 Hourly
Closing Date: Jun 11, 2021

Park Ranger II
San Bernardino County
San Bernardino, California
Salary: $20.45 - $28.11 Hourly
Closing Date: Jun 11, 2021

Assistant Director - Parks and Recreation
Coconino County
Flagstaff, Arizona
Salary: $72,508 Annually
Closing Date: Jun 4, 2021

Parks & Recreation Director
City of Durango, Colorado
Salary: $127,347 Annually
Closing Date: Jun 4, 2021

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

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

Supporting Park Partnerships in Baltimore
Courtesy of the City Parks Alliance

City Parks Alliance began working with Parks & People Foundation (the citywide park nonprofit) and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP) in June 2019. CPA staff conducted interviews with a diverse range of stakeholders – community and grassroots groups, nonprofits, city agencies, and others – to better understand the challenges and opportunities related to park partnerships in Baltimore. After synthesizing the key ideas that came out of the interviews and meeting with BCRP, Parks & People Foundation, and other members of a core planning team to discuss these ideas, a workshop was designed over the next 3 months that would address the most pressing challenges and foster dialogue between participants around concrete solutions.

Read more:


New app to give better experience at Topeka park
Courtesy of

KANSAS - Shawnee County Parks and Recreation is making your experience at a local park even better with a new app.

The department partnered with “Otocast” and launched the app for Ward Meade Park a few weeks ago. The app shows 19 points of interest throughout the Old Prairie Town and botanical garden.

Employees are at the park from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but if you come out in the late evening and the buildings are closed and you missed the tour, you can still hear the stories on your own time and get a first-person narrative of what life was like in the late 1800s.

Read more:


Research and Resources

The economic impact of Maricopa County’s open space park system
Courtesy of Maricopa County

ARIZONA – Now, more than ever, communities are relying on their local parks and recreation departments for outdoor recreation, health and wellness, and safe open spaces. A well-run park system is not only an amenity, it should support the local economy.

The County oversees more than 120,000 acres of open spaces and eleven regional parks that see visitors from around the world seeking outdoor opportunities. To gain a better understanding of the economic impact of our parks, the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department partnered with the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Community Resources and Development Watts College of Public Service and Community on an economic impact study.

Read more:


Understanding the value of recreation
Courtesy of USDA Forest Service

By Andrew Avitt

What would you pay to a hike through an ancient forest, where the wind makes the trees whisper history’s secrets? Or to go kayaking down a crystal-clear stream, where fish swim against the current, and the sun hangs like a chandelier overhead?

Understanding individual and societal values also allows the Forest Service to wisely develop recreation opportunities that will have the most bang for the buck.

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The 2021 NRPA Agency Performance Review

Park and recreation agencies are as diverse as the communities they serve, and what works well for one agency may not be best for all. Therefore, agency professionals need specific data to identify the best practices to optimally serve their communities. That's where the 2021 NRPA Agency Performance Review comes in. This report, with its accompanying interactive online tools from NRPA Park Metrics, is the most comprehensive resource of park and recreation data and insights in the United States, and provides the information you need to gain more funding support, improve operations and better serve your community. Read the report, view the interactive tables and begin using this data to help you and your agency excel.

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Playground Standards Have Changed
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Rolf Huber

Are your playgrounds keeping up with the changes in ASTM Standards in 2021? People who have been coping with COVID-19 might not be aware that ASTM F1487 is about to publish a revision that will require written verification that installed structures and surfacing meet not only a manufacturer’s requirements but also the requirements of ASTM F1292. It is also required that maintenance be compliant with F1487 and F1292. It goes without saying that compliance with the ADA and CPSC Handbook is necessary where applicable.

In short, there is a greater awareness and focus on risk assessment. Risk requires a discussion of severity of injury and the likelihood of a hazardous event taking place. Although section 1.6.1 applies to structures not contemplated in F1487, the concept of risk assessment is becoming more mainstream as a result. The potential for falling from higher and higher structures that will bring a higher frequency and severity of injury must be considered in purchasing decisions.

Read more:


Golf carts use sun as backup power
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Tammy York

Zipping along at a top speed of less than 35 miles per hour, solar-electric-powered golf or work carts are helping park and recreation departments save money while reducing their carbon footprint. The carts--using a cross between solar and electric power--serve almost every purpose as those of gas-powered carts, including for golfers, food and beverage, maintenance crews, security vehicles, housekeeping, transportation and even emergencies. That last item might sound somewhat contradictory (Who wants to travel to the emergency room in a vehicle that is considered low-speed?). But a solar-electric emergency vehicle fitted with foam tires is able to reach otherwise “inaccessible” locations in disaster situations while its heavier cousins have to wait for debris to be cleared.

Read more:


New IU Tool Maps Green Infrastructure in Hoosier Communities
Courtesy of NRPA

By Enrique Saenz

A new tool allows Hoosier communities to plan for climate change impacts by showing where crucial green infrastructure exists and where it is needed.

Using data collected from a range of sources throughout Indiana, the Indiana Green City Mapper shows the location of six types of green infrastructure, important natural defenses for combatting climate change impacts like flooding and rising temperatures, and other climate change-related data.

Read more:


5 Things to Know before Going to the Pool This Summer
Courtesy of AARP

By Rachel Nania

The pandemic is by no means over, but as more Americans get vaccinated and fewer people fall ill to COVID-19, this summer is shaping up to be sunnier than the last — particularly for eager pool-goers.

A whopping 93 percent of outdoor swimming pools plan to open this summer, according to a newly published snapshot from the National Recreation and Park Association. But with less than half of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, many will still have restrictions in place to minimize the risk of the virus spreading. These rules will vary, depending on state and local government guidance; individual establishments can also set their own requirements for swimmers.

Here's what you can expect when you head to the pool this summer...

Read more:


GP RED Presents... Episode 19: Bouncing Back Part 2

In this episode 2 of a 2 part series, Thomas Venniro (Director of Parks and Recreation, Hilton-Parma, New York), Jay Tryon (Superintendent of Community Recreation, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina), and Chris Nunes (Director of Parks and Recreation for The Woodlands Township, Texas) discuss how each of their communities have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they plan on pushing forward through the next coming months.

This episode covers adaptations and efficiencies created from lessons learned during the pandemic. Venniro, Nunes, and Tryon discuss how the shift to virtual meetings and programming has impacted staff and how to shift back to an in-person or hybrid environments. They also talk about how to manage staff to easily transition back to reopening.

Watch here:


In the News

These Six New Parks Are the Coolest Things in Dallas
Courtesy of

By Alex Macon

TEXAS - You don’t need a study to tell you that Dallas gets hot. Yet a valuable report from a few years ago from the Texas Trees Foundation tells us some of the why—in short: too much concrete, not enough trees—and some very specific where. Among that study’s more alarming details is the fact that some of the hottest parts of Dallas include our medical districts and schools.

It’s never just some more trees, but the Cool Schools program is also aiming for something that goes beyond increasing the amount of shade and clean air on school campuses. With funding from private philanthropy and via partnerships with the school district, the city’s parks and recreation department, the Trust for Public Land, and 29 Pieces, the Texas Trees Foundation has developed six outdoor spaces that double as neighborhood parks and outdoor learning areas.

Read more:


Seeking Public Input on Regional and Rural Park Needs
Courtesy of Planetizen

CALIFORNIA - We all need parks. But what are the types of parks and amenities that people use or want the most? To find out, park and recreation agencies typically conduct some type of survey and needs assessment. As Steven Sharp of Urbanize LA reports in this article, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is working on a focused update to the 2016 Los Angeles Countywide Parks Needs Assessment called the "Regional and Rural Edition."

Read more:


Activity Pass offers access to parks, historic sites
Courtesy of

By Mary Beth Almond

MICHIGAN — Rochester Hills Public Library cardholders can explore hundreds of state parks and other attractions with the swipe of their library card.

The Michigan Activity Pass program — which runs year-round, from May 24 of one year to May 23 of the next — provides library cardholders at participating libraries statewide with free or discounted access to over 450 Michigan state parks and recreation areas, historic sites, cultural attractions, and campgrounds.

Read more:


Arizona Legislature wants feasibility study for long-distance pipeline to replenish Colorado River supply
Courtesy of the Mohave Valley Daily News

The Arizona Legislature on Tuesday made a formal request asking Congress to fund a study to determine the feasibility of pipelining Mississippi River floodwater to the Colorado River.

It asks that “the United States Congress fund a technological and feasibility study of developing a diversion dam and pipeline to harvest floodwater from the Mississippi River to replenish the Colorado River and prevent flood damage along the Mississippi River.”

Read more:



Webinar: Outdoor Adult Fitness Parks - Best Practices for Promoting Community Health
Courtesy of PlayCore

DATE: Wednesday, May 26
TIME: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. EDT

During this session, we will discuss how communities help effectively advocate the benefits of outdoor fitness spaces as solutions to providing readily available, affordable, and enjoyable ways to exercise in neighborhood parks and destinations. Supportive research, unique benefits, design considerations, and case study examples are outlined to effectively plan, implement, and champion fitness initiatives that provide meaningful outcomes to support overall health and wellness.

For more information:


Webinar: Understanding Barriers to Trail Use
Courtesy of the Rail to Trails Conservancy

DATE: Thursday, May 27
TIME: 1:00 pm ET

While trails appear to be beloved by most and treasured assets in the communities they serve, the reality is that many are excluded from these spaces—and the benefits they bring. Whether access to trails is limited by the accessibility and availability of infrastructure, or because the spaces do not feel inclusive and welcoming, it is essential that trail development professionals understand the barriers that exist preventing people from using and benefiting from trails. In particular, people living in low-income neighborhoods, Communities of Color, people with disabilities, older adults, women, and people with limited English proficiency are among those who have been traditionally underserved, mis-served or left out of trails and other outdoor spaces. 

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is leading a national study to better understand the barriers to trail use with a particular focus on race and gender. Our research is built upon regional and national survey instruments developed and implemented over the past 18 months, with a goal of better understanding how the trails movement can support efforts to bring more diversity and inclusivity to outdoor recreation and active transportation.

This webinar will preview RTC’s study findings and offer a dialogue with trail and outdoor leaders about strategies to break down barriers to trail use and create more safe and inclusive outdoor spaces.

For more information:


Webinar: Creating a SMART Sustainable Safety Sign Initiative Program
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: May 27, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: American Trails

Smart Outdoor is the only company in the nation working with municipalities to develop a smart sustainable safety sign innovative program. Here is a brief synopsis of our program: All trail signs will be located at trailheads and access points and mile markers are set at accurate placements for trail users to view. Each sign will contain trail rules, maps, and branding. Every sign will include a 911 locator sticker and a unique QR code for the trail, offering close proximity to county happenings, local restaurants, bike rentals, and running stores. All signs are double sided and each of the signs will be featured at each mile marker. Information will be uploaded into the emergency 911 CAD services.

For more information:


Premier Outdoor Recreation Ideas Exchange at Virtual ‘Partners Outdoors’ Event
Courtesy of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

June 1-2, 2021 - Virtual

For almost 30 years, Partners Outdoors has been the premiere venue where stakeholders from the federal agencies, business, and non-profit sectors come together to discuss the future of outdoor recreation. The annual conference hosted by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is back after a year hiatus due to COVID.

This year’s Partners Outdoors will be June 1st and 2nd and will include key speakers and leaders from the White House, Congress, National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Forest Service, as well as ORR members, university partners, and cross-sector business leaders, such as Vista Outdoor, Winnebago, KOA and more. Together, these partners will work on the outdoor recreation industry’s most important issues. Session topics will include:

- Impacts of COVID-19 on Outdoor Recreation;
- Recreation and Conservation Working Together;
- 21st Century Outdoor Recreation Workforce; and
- The Future of Recreation Management and Policy among much, much more!

For more information:


Webinar: Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program Overview
Courtesy of City Parks Alliance

DATE: Wednesday, June 2
TIME: 2:00 to 3:00 pm ET
COST: Free

City Parks Alliance is excited to partner with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Recreation and Park Association, and the National Park Service on an Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program webinar Wednesday, June 2 at 3 pm ET. Learn how you can receive urban park grant funding for your projects.

For more information:


Webinar: Using Interactive Maps to Engage Trail Users
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: June 3, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: American Trails

Learn how digital interactive mapping can help improve engagement with trail users and stakeholders. Some key concepts and best practices of interactive mapping will be covered. In addition, ideas for involving stakeholders, volunteers and users in documenting and maintaining trail information will be covered. A few common interactive mapping tools will be reviewed, including a demonstration of the Trail View platform.

For more information:


Webinar: Measuring Park Use to Better Understand Your Park System
Courtesy of City Parks Alliance

DATE: Thursday, June 3
TIME: 4:00 to 5:00 pm ET
COST: Free

Despite the historically high use of parks during the pandemic, many park leaders may lack a data-driven picture of how park use is changing and how this could impact their deployment of limited resources. Investing in tools or strategies to measure use can help park leaders better understand the needs of their park systems and communities. Join City Parks Alliance and World Urban Parks on for a special joint webinar on tracking park use to make smarter decisions.

For more information:


Webinar: Creating Equitable Trail Development - Case Studies in Detroit and Milwaukee
Courtesy of the Rail to Trails Conservancy

DATE: Wednesday, June 23
TIME: 1:00 pm ET

As nationally increasing disparities in income, access to affordable housing, and inequities in access to public resources have demonstrated, the capacity for cities to achieve equity in development is one of the foremost challenges facing urban communities across the United States. For the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted these stark realities for urban planners and the public.

The City of Milwaukee stands uniquely poised to proactively address these challenges as we enter a new normal of post-pandemic life. This panel will highlight how local community organizations are collaborating with the City of Milwaukee to establish an inclusive development approach as it continues the ambitious effort to transform the 30th Street Industrial Corridor into a major modern employment center and economic hub. These efforts will be further explored in the context of a similarly transformational development project in another industrial midwestern city, Detroit.

For more information:

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