June 8, 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 22, 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by June 21.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

Job Announcements

NEW - Executive Director
Champaign County Forest Preserve District
Mahomet, Illinois
Salary: $105,000 - $135,000 /yr
Closing Date: Jul 2, 2021

NEW - Senior Planner
Santa Clara County Parks
Los Gatos, California
Salary: $98,452 - $119,134 /yr
Closing Date: Jul 1, 2021

NEW - Senior Park Maintenance Work
Santa Clara County Parks
Los Gatos, California
Salary: $72,852 - $88,140 /yr
Closing Date: Jul 1, 2021

CNR Stockroom Manager
University of Wisconsin, College of Natural Resources
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Salary: $40,000 Annually
Closing Date: Jun 20, 2021

Park Superintendent
San Bernardino County
San Bernardino, California
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

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

What’s hiding in plain sight at Magic Johnson Park? Maybe a solution to our water problem.
Courtesy of the LA Times

By Carolina A. Miranda

CALIFORNIA - It’s really a story of design — about the ways water is designed to travel along the surfaces of our city, and how we can begin to tweak those surfaces so that we can hold on to that water rather than simply let it course through. And in this very Los Angeles story, there is one piece of infrastructure that tends to dominate the debate: our behemoth, 51-mile Los Angeles River, for which county supervisors are in the midst of producing a new master plan.

But L.A. is finding other ways to capture and to store water. And in some cases, it is run-of-the-mill urban infrastructure that plays the starring role. Your neighborhood park? It might just be doing double duty as critical aquifer.

A combination of strategic landscape design and water engineering is transforming neighborhood recreational areas into sites where water is captured, cleaned and stored. That water can then be recycled and used to irrigate a park’s vegetation — making the park self-sustaining. Excess water also can be released back into the river system in far cleaner form. (Urban and suburban runoff is notoriously filthy with garbage, surface pollutants and all manner of bacteria.)

Read more:


Research and Resources

NACo in-depth analysis of the U.S. Treasury's Recovery Funds
Courtesy of NACo

The new report provides a comprehensive review of the Interim Final Rule, including an eligible use checklist for each section of the rule. Please feel free to distribute to your networks. We are releasing a new short video overview and we will also be releasing new power point slides based on the memo. Materials will be posted online at State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds

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Fresh Ideas to Recruit Seasonal Employees
Courtesy of Lets Talk Parks

By Becky Dunlap, CPRP

On top of the many details to manage, plan, and respond to, one of the primary concerns is how we will recruit and retain seasonal employees this year.

In fact, some pools and facilities are not opening this Memorial Day weekend – not due to COVID-19 – but because of lifeguard shortages. This was the case in Mecklenburg County, who had only filled 86 positions out of the 247 that they needed. To incentivize workers, they raised the hourly rate to $15/hour and even offered a $500 signing bonus!

The reason for the shortages? Although this problem isn’t new, the pandemic certainly didn’t help. Many seasonal employees lost their job when COVID-19 hit. In addition, training and certifications were delayed and/or cancelled over the last several months. Opening dates were very much up in the air until just a few weeks ago, so agencies had less time to prepare for the busy summer season (something that typically happens in early Spring). Finally, we know that many cities and park districts are unable to pay competitive wages. All of these factors combined to create a country-wide shortage of lifeguards, recreation cashiers, maintenance staff, and other seasonal employees.

Read more:


New Mapping Tool Helps Parks Plan for Climate Change
Courtesy of Next City

By Peter Yeung

“Climate change is impacting virtually all local, state and national parks to varying degrees,” says Kristine Stratton, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). “Extremes run from too much water in too short a time to drought conditions … and associated worsening air and water quality.”

Yet Stratton says that few resources exist to help park and recreation professionals, who serve nearly every community and manage over 11 million acres of land across the United States, to analyze and identify the impact of these changes and to put in place or tweak mitigation and adaptation strategies.

In an attempt to fill that void, the NRPA and design firm Sasaki partnered to develop Climate.Park.Change, an interactive platform that launched last month to allow park professionals to explore the impacts of climate change by region – such as drought, heatwaves and erosion—and to discover proven, effective strategies to fight them.

Read more:


D.C. Tops the 2021 ParkScore List
Courtesy of Planetizen

By James Brasuell

The Trust for Public Land this week published the 2021 ParkScore Index, ranking Washington, D.C. at the top of the list that compares park systems in the 100 most populated cities in the United States.

The ParkScore Index measures park systems across five categories: access, investment, amenities, acreage, and—new for 2021—equity.

"Beyond the ranking of 100 cities, the data behind the ParkScore index also reveals park access levels for nearly every city and town in the United States," according to the Trust for Public Land's website for the 2021 ParkScore Index. The tool is designed to provide communities with information to help close the park equity gap, according to the Trust for Public Land.

Following D.C. in this year's top five on the index are 2) St. Paul, Minnesota; 3) Minneapolis, Minnesota; 4) Arlington, Virginia; and 5) Chicago, Illinois.

Read more:


Take a hike: Seattle's Trailhead Direct shuttle service returning this June
Courtesy of

By Callie Craighead

King County Metro's Trailhead Direct shuttle service will be returning for the summer of 2021, giving broader transportation access to Seattle residents who want to get outdoors and do some hiking after being cooped up at home for a year.

Growing in popularity each year, Trailhead Direct began as a two-year pilot program in 2017 offering bus services to popular trailheads with hopes to alleviate parking needs and broaden access to the outdoors. In 2019, the service provided approximately 17,500 hikers with transpiration.

"We’re bringing back Trailhead Direct with more routes to more trails in more communities," King County Executive Dow Constantine said. "Our popular transit-to-trails service has succeeded in many different ways. We have made our spectacular mountain forests accessible to more people, reduced dangerous overcrowding at popular trailheads, and made it easy to hike without having to drive or park."

Read more:


Recreation effects on wildlife: a review of potential quantitative thresholds
Courtesy of Nature Conservation

Outdoor recreation is increasingly recognized for its deleterious effects on wildlife individuals and populations. However, planners and natural resource managers lack robust scientific recommendations for the design of recreation infrastructure and management of recreation activities. We reviewed 38 years of research on the effect of non-consumptive recreation on wildlife to attempt to identify effect thresholds or the point at which recreation begins to exhibit behavioural or physiological change to wildlife.

Read more:


How to Make Your Outdoor Content Accessible for People with Disabilities
Courtesy of

By Syren Nagakyrie

The outdoor community loves to share our adventures by posting photos and videos of the beautiful places we visit and writing articles and stories about the outdoors. But as you are hopefully already aware, outdoor recreation remains highly inaccessible for people who are disabled. This is particularly true for people with sensory disabilities – there are very few resources and facilities that are accessible for people who are blind or low vision, deaf or hard of hearing, autistic, or a have sensory disability. This inequity continues online when digital content is not made accessible. Disabled people are thus prevented from enjoying the outdoors and from enjoying content about the outdoors.

But you can help change that! Making your outdoor content accessible takes a little extra time, but it pays off by increasing your reach. Approximately 10 million Americans are blind or low vision, and 11 million are deaf or hard of hearing. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and digital accessibility is becoming standard practice. Now is the time for you to learn the skills to make your content accessible.

Read more:


Accessibility Toolkit
Courtesy of SORP

The Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative hosted two fellows, Ashley Schahfer and Evita Rush, whose work centered on the importance of accessibility to the outdoors.

We're thrilled to share the Accessibility Toolkit for Land Managers and the Accessible Outdoor Recreation Travel Guide. The Toolkit speaks directly to land managers and how they can build more accessibility in their projects, centering on equity and inclusion. The Accessibility Travel Guide highlights six diverse locations around Oregon, discussing accessible features, stories from community members, and adaptive outfitters from around the state.

Read more:


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources at NRPA
Courtesy of NRPA

Equity is central to all of NRPA's work as an organization, and our mission to advance parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people depends on it. We estimate that as many as 100 million people -- 30 percent of the U.S. population -- lack access to the lifesaving and life enhancing benefits parks and recreation provides. We cannot rest until we close the gap. Last week, NRPA released a new suite of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) resources, including a story map that illustrates policies and examples of park and recreation inequities throughout U.S. history, NRPA's Equity Action Plan, and a statement on creating an equitable future for all people.

Read more:


Make Your Camp More Marketable
Courtesy of Camp Business

By Beth Morrow

The slowing economy has impacted the camp industry in a variety of ways. This shift has taken many forms--from reducing the workforce while asking others to increase their workloads to trying to keep the same standards and services with less revenue to booking fewer groups to use facilities because they cannot afford them. These are only a few examples of how this recession has become real.

As with any business, the key is to not let the state of the economy get you down. The times we face the greatest difficulties are also the times we grow, learn, connect, and reinvent ourselves to better meet future challenges. Turning hardships into opportunities for growth requires a special mindset. Instead of worrying about what’s wrong, how about adjusting the focus to take stock of where you are, discovering where you want to be, and developing a plan to get there? Are you ready for an adventure in reinvention? Let’s go!

Read more:


In the News

Why We Should Be Turning Former Mines into Trails
Courtesy of Outside Online

By Heather Hansman

Reclaiming damaged landscapes for recreation takes pressure off of other precious places. And it creates more spaces to be outside, especially in areas where people haven’t previously had access to trails or parks. It’s not easy—it takes funding, will, consensus, and a plan to convert a mine or a missile range into a mountain bike trail. But right now several pieces of policy are in play that could shape how we re-envision and restore these landscapes.

In March, Representative Matt Cartwright, from Pennsylvania’s eighth district, introduced the RECLAIM Act, and a bill to amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, both of which would designate money to states and tribes for cleaning up and repurposing land and water destroyed by mining. It’s a pitch to contribute toward the estimated $280 billion it would take to clean up all the abandoned mines in the U.S., and it’s gained traction in the Senate, too. One of the major goals of the RECLAIM Act is to “revitalize coal communities,” and build projects that can bring other sources of income to these areas.

Read more:


Teen Girls Need Better Public Spaces to Hang Out
Courtesy of City Lab

By Alexandra Lange

When the playscape Swing Time popped up in Boston in 2014, visitors started having too much fun. The 20 hoop-shaped swings suspended from a white shade structure light up when in use, glowing purple with vigorous motion. Its creators at Höweler + Yoon Architecture had imagined people would swing in ones and twos. Instead groups tried to pile on together, hoping to share the sway and have a conversation.

Susannah Walker, co-founder of the newly created British charity Make Space for Girls, saw in Swing Time something that would have delighted her 17-year-old self.

There aren’t enough spaces for teen girls. Where aren’t teenagers seen as invaders? They are too big, too loud, too old for playgrounds, at least in the eyes of parents; and too young, too loud, too broke for restaurants, bars and stores. The problem is magnified for teen girls who, surveys show, are less likely to use the basketball courts and skate parks intended for adolescents, and run the risk of harassment, or worse, when they appear in adult spaces.

Read more:


Making the Grade: Supporting the Growth of Local Parks and Recreation
Courtesy of NRPA

By Emily Feenstra

In March, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which examines the conditions, needs, and opportunities for improvement for 17 categories of infrastructure in the United States. ASCE has released this report every four years since 2001 to provide actionable information and recommendations to lawmakers and industry stakeholders on how best to address the nation’s infrastructure challenges.

ASCE’s assessment of national, state and local parks in 2021 was a D+. The reason for this grade is simple: park and recreation departments are doing fantastic work, but they need sustained, reliable funding to do more.

Read more:


Party of 4? Your trail is ready. Busy parks try reservations
Courtesy of the AP

By Michael Hill

Nick and Matthew Golebiewski climbed to the summit of Gothics Mountain in the Adirondacks with packs, water, good boots and a new must-have item: advanced reservations.

The free reservation system went online recently to handle the fast-growing number of visitors to the privately owned Adirondack Mountain Reserve. Similar management systems are in place this summer season for outdoor attractions from Maui to Maine, typically in response to the pandemic or to crowds that were surging even before lockdowns inspired more wilderness visits.

“We need people’s experience to match their expectations, and there’s a massive disconnect right now,” said Desai, who advocates for Yosemite. “People think they’re getting nature and beautiful trails and instead they’re inhaling car exhaust for hours and finding trails and facilities overcrowded.”

Read more:


Cross-Sector Coalition Comes Together To Help Create A More Welcoming & Inclusive Outdoors
Courtesy of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) has partnered with THOR Industries (NYSE: THO), one of the world’s largest manufacturers of recreational vehicles, to establish a coalition to help ensure everyone feels welcome in all facets of outdoor recreation activities - from camping and fishing to boating, off-roading, archery and beyond.

The Together Outdoors coalition is being established to support and equip the recreation economy in raising awareness of equity and inclusion issues in outdoor experiences and provide education and awareness to help eliminate existing barriers. Open to cross-sector participation, the Together Outdoors coalition will provide training, resources, grants and other ways for manufacturers, retailers, service providers, stakeholders and individuals in the outdoor industry to support the advancement of equity and inclusion in all forms of outdoor recreation and connect with advocacy groups. THOR is funding the development, creation and initial operations of the coalition as part of a multi-year commitment.

Read more:


Biden targets $2.8B for conservation, outdoor recreation
Courtesy of the AP

By Matthew Daly

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday proposed funding for dozens of conservation and recreation projects across the country as it allocates $2.8 billion in grants and programs authorized by a landmark conservation law enacted last year.

Congress approved the Great American Outdoors Act by wide, bipartisan majorities with a mandate to support rural economies, boost outdoor recreation and improve access to public lands. The law authorizes $900 million per year — double previous spending — for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and $1.9 billion per year on improvements at national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and rangelands.

Read more:


House Transportation Bill: Truly Transformative for Active Transportation
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

On June 4th, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) introduced the INVEST in America Act of 2021. The committee has written a transformative transportation bill the likes of which we have not seen in a generation.

For the first time in federal law, this bill recognizes active transportation as mainstream mobility that requires a comprehensive policy approach. Active transportation is suffused throughout the bill to an unprecedented degree.

On Thursday, June 10 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, I hope you will join us for a webinar to discuss the INVEST in America Act and what it means for our movement. We will answer your questions and talk about what is coming next—including how we can best leverage our collective action to pass the most transformative transportation bill in a generation, issuing in a new era in which active transportation is recognized as a mainstream priority.

Read more:


Sen. Ron Wyden, U.S. Rep. Blake Moore Introduce the Bipartisan Recreation Not Red-Tape Act 
Courtesy of

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and U.S. Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, today introduced the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act to remove barriers to outdoor recreation, making it easier for Americans to enjoy public lands and boosting rural economies across the country.

This bipartisan legislation would require the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to review their permitting processes for guides and recreation enthusiasts and improve efficiency, encourage military branches to inform service-members and veterans of outdoor recreation opportunities, hold agencies accountable for prioritizing outdoor recreation and increase volunteerism to address the maintenance backlog of America's public lands. The RNR Act also includes the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act, introduced by Sens. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M, and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., which would improve outdoor recreation permitting processes.

Read more:


Lifeguard Shortage Imperils Summer Swims at Public Pools
Courtesy of

By Zoe Manzanetti

City pools across the nation are announcing reduced hours or seasonal closures due to a national shortage in lifeguards. Even as pandemic restrictions are loosening, pools in Wisconsin, Connecticut, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas and other states have announced adjustments to their usual seasonal schedules, disrupting another year of summer plans with local repercussions from the global coronavirus pandemic.

Lifeguard numbers have been declining for years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were approximately 31,000 less lifeguards, ski patrol and other recreational protective service workers in 2020 than there were in 2018. The Federal Reserve of St. Louis also reports a steep decline in labor force participation of 16- to 19-year-olds from 2000 to 2011, and the numbers have remained low since. But the number of lifeguards has dropped even further in the past year.

Read more:



Water Works for Everyone: Making Pools Accessible for EveryBODY
Courtesy of PlayCore

Opens: Monday, June 7, 8 a.m. EDT
Closes: Friday, June 11, 11:59 p.m. EDT
Deadline to complete assessment - Sunday, June 13 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT)
Registration Code: COMMUNITY

Certificate of Completion will be sent within 10 business days.

In order to ensure equitable use by all, aquatic agencies and facilities must understand, embrace and respond to inclusive guidelines and programming, align to community needs, and implement innovative ways to offer environments that serve diverse individuals. This session will explore evidence-based health benefits of water immersion, share meaningful facility design strategies, and review ADA and ABA guidelines to make your facility a place for everyBODY to enjoy.

For more information:


Counties at Work Virtual Summit
Courtesy of NACo

June 10-11, 2021

With automation, shifting demographics and the vast impacts of COVID-19 and increased remote work opportunities, America’s counties are planning for evolving workforce and industry needs.

Please join the National Association of Counties (NACo) on June 10 and 11 for the Counties at Work Virtual Summit, a free, two-day online event that will feature experts and effective county solutions for many workforce issues. We are pleased to announce our keynote speaker, US. Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh.

For more information:


Webinar: The History of Equity in Parks and Recreation
Courtesy of NRPA

Tuesday, June 15 at 2 p.m. ED

One in three people in the United States lack access to a high-quality park within a half-mile of their home; for some, this was done intentionally. Decisions made throughout U.S. history created the inequities in park access and quality that we see today. From the consequences of the first Europeans settling on Indigenous lands to the intentional impacts by land-use professionals in the 20th century to segregate cities, this webinar will explore U.S. history and the evolution of parks and recreation. Before park and recreation professionals can address these inequities, we must understand the past events that created them. Join us for a webinar that will provide a starting point for understanding this history on a national and local level.

For more information:


Webinar: Transgender Inclusion in Sports: 101
Courtesy of NRPA

DATE: Thursday, June 17
TIME: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. EDT
COST: $70 for members and Premier members, and $100 for non-members

Join us as we host a two-hour webinar with Athlete Ally, an organization that works to create LGBTQ+ inclusive athletic environments and to mobilize athletes, teams and leagues to use their platforms to champion equality. You’ll learn about transgender inclusion in sports from Chris Mosier (he/him), the founder of and the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Trials, and Anne Lieberman (they/them), the director of policy and programs at Athlete Ally and three-time Muay Thai champion fighter and coach. This webinar will provide ways to break down the barriers that have systemically excluded an entire community of people from participating in sports. Registration for this webinar is free, with the option to register for 0.2 CEU for the price of $70 for members and Premier members, and $100 for non-members.

For more information:


Webinar: Introduction to Trail Design and Development Part 2
Courtesy of American Trails

Date: June 17, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: Free

In the Introduction to Trail Design and Development we will discuss sustainable trail design that is common for trails as well as unique elements associated with specific types of trail use. Alternative types of construction documents for use to guide development will be reviewed. The sequence of events from design to development will be highlighted. A discussion of the different types of workforces available to develop and manage trails will occur.

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:


2021 Shift Summit
Courtesy of GP RED

October 18-20, 2021 - Grand Junction, Colorado

The 2021 SHIFT Summit theme is Ensuring Access to Nature – For Human Health and the Environment, with a focus on advancing equitable access to preventive health through nature and the outdoors. The health benefits of nature are now well documented. This annual Summit brings together researchers, funders, educators, retailers, and conservationists, along with outdoor recreation, health, military, and nature therapy professionals who share experiences, evidence, and ideas for better linking of both humans and nature. The Summit is based on sound science combined with experiential, health, stewardship, and land management aspects to balance equitable reciprocity and access to the places, flora, and fauna that we all need to exist and thrive.

For more information:

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