June 22, 2021

In This Issue...

Welcome New Members
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 July 6, 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by July 5.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

Job Announcements

NEW - Executive Director of Parks and Recreation
Village of Lincolnwood, Illinois
Salary: $110,490 - $145,847 /yr
Closing Date: Aug 15, 2021

NEW - Intern: Recreation
Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners
Port Charlotte, Florida
Salary: $11.61 - $16.61 Hourly
Closing Date: Jul 22, 2021

NEW - Director of Parks and Recreation
City of Corpus Christi, Texas
Salary: $134,964 - $167,629 /yr
Closing Date: Jul 30, 2021

Planning & Development Manager
Johnson County Park & Recreation District
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Salary: $78,894 - $118,331 /yr
Closing Date: Sep 1, 2021

Park Ranger I
Santa Clara County Parks
Los Gatos, California
Salary: $64,613 - $78,143 /yr
Closing Date: Jul 26, 2021

Animal Services Manager
City of Sugar Land
Sugar Land, Texas
Salary: $75,000 - $98,000 /yr
Closing Date: Jul 9, 2021

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

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

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

Welcome New Members

Mr. Robert Willis, Director
Avery County Parks and Recreation
Newland, North Carolina

Mr. Carson Williams, Aquatic Facility Manager
Avery County Parks and Recreation
Newland, North Carolina

Mr. Brandon Campbell, Lead Programmer
Avery County Parks and Recreation
Newland, North Carolina


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

NACPRO welcomes new sponsor - NIC Outdoors

Touchless Park Reservation Platform Transforms Tourism Experience at Maryland’s Kilgore Falls

The Falling Branch area of Rocks State Park in Maryland is a 67-acre parcel in Harford County with a waterfall named Kilgore Falls. Over time, Kilgore Falls has become a very popular outdoor recreation destination, especially for day-use recreationists.

Due to that popularity and space issues stemming from the area’s 30-vehicle parking lot, the amount of visitors who were turned away would often cause traffic issues on rural roads and queue long lines. This, in turn, prompted off-street parking, walk-ins and drop-offs. Neighbors began to complain about illegal parking, heavy traffic and speeding, and unfortunately, confrontations with park staff were not uncommon, with disputes occurring over parking and access. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) realized it needed a fix, and it needed it fast.

For the 2019 season, the DNR created a call-in reservation system. Park staff took calls during office hours and emailed passes to customers. However, this system created a significant staff workload and severely limited the staff’s capacity to help each customer.

Then, for the 2020 season, the DNR partnered with digital government solutions firm NIC and implemented YourPassNow for weekend reservations.

Read more:


Member News

From Pines to Prairie: Putting Adaptive Resource Management to Work
Courtesy of NRPA

By Tim Schetter, Ph.D.

OHIO - As I scanned the perfectly straight rows of densely spaced pines at Metroparks Toledo’s (Ohio) Oak Openings Preserve, I knew we had a problem. Planted with enthusiasm by earlier generations of conservationists to stabilize soils after the dust bowl, the original intent was to harvest them for timber. But in the flat northwest Ohio landscape dominated by farm fields and woodlots of native hardwoods, the pines quickly became a popular destination for park visitors seeking seclusion and the hint of iconic western landscape the pines inspired. In deference to the public, previous park managers didn’t have the heart to follow through with the original plan. Now the pines were finally succumbing to lack of sunlight — no longer able to produce enough sap to expel bark beetles or resist summer droughts. Within a couple decades, many would be dead. To my surprise, “adaptive resource management” was the solution to my problem.

Read more:


Research and Resources

The Future of the Outdoor Recreation Economy
Courtesy of Headwaters Economics

The outdoor recreation economy is thriving and benefitting many communities. Participation in the outdoors continues to grow, even during the Coronavirus pandemic. In this report, produced in partnership with the State Outdoor Business Alliance Network (SOBAN), we show the economic contributions of outdoor recreation.

In this report we illustrate how investments in outdoor recreation support diverse community values, such as public health, equity, transportation alternatives, and resilience to natural disasters. We also highlight the need to anticipate challenges that can be associated with outdoor recreation, such as diversifying the economy, developing affordable housing, creating inclusive access, and reducing the impact to the environment. Also, while the demand for outdoor recreation access and equipment grew during the pandemic, some companies were faced with significant supply and distribution constraint challenges.

Read more:


How Parks Canada Embraces Dialogic Interpretation
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

By Jennifer Bain

There was something about the guided tour of New York’s Tenement Museum a few years back that resonated as the engaging guide asked about our thoughts and experiences and went where the conversation took us instead of just droning on with a dull prepared script.

I didn’t know it then, but it’s a technique called dialogic interpretation, or dialogic learning, and it’s being increasingly used to create shared journeys. And it’s a technique that Parks Canada has been quietly rolling out in its national historic sites, both with and without guides.

Read more:


New Workforce Development Resources Available Now
Courtesy of NRPA

Developing and retaining a diverse workforce is a key component to building the field of parks and recreation. Because of this, NRPA developed two resources to help you explore what workforce development is, what it can be for the field, and how we can reflect on developing or renovating equitable community-based workforce development programs.

Workforce Development: A Resource Guide for Parks and Recreation provides case studies highlighting programs dedicated to workforce development opportunities, primarily with youth and young adults, that engage future generations of park and recreation professionals and advocates.

The accompanying workbook, NRPA Workforce Development: Self-Guided Workbook for Parks and Recreation, will help you explore goals and practices around recruiting and retaining employees. By creating and supporting workforce development programs that engage and amplify park and recreation job opportunities for people of color, women and people in low-income households, we can better advance the long-term sustainability of the field and build more resilient communities.

For more information:


Electric Bike Laws - State by State
Courtesy of People for Bikes

Electric bicycle (e-bike) laws are different in every state, and can be confusing for riders, retailers, and suppliers. PeopleForBikes is making riding an electric bicycle easy and accessible for all.

For more information:


Sizing Up Scoring
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Fred Engh

If you poll recreation professionals on the Top 10 issues they face in youth-sports programming, everything from parent behavior to coaches’ background checks make that list.

And near the top of that list is another headache-inducer: keeping score at games.

That’s right--the age at which the score should be kept in youth sports is a hotly debated topic in the industry.

I recently received the following letter on this subject from Penny Hernandez, program coordinator for the city of Vacaville Community Services Department in California:

I would like to ask your opinion on scorekeeping. I offer a recreation winter basketball league for grades one through six. Over the past few years, parents and coaches have gotten out of control. Kids are crying as they lose a game in overtime and, of course, the blame always is directed at the officials or the scorekeepers. This year we made a departmental decision not to keep score. Boy, were we ever attacked by parents and coaches. We still want to try this out, and see what the outcome could be. What are your thoughts on keeping score in this age group in a recreation league? We play a 10-game season. We don't keep stats, we don’t have first place or playoffs, and there are no all-stars or all-star teams. After the season ends, it ends.

Read more:


DEC, State Parks prep for busy summer with campsite improvements, ‘glamping’ options
Courtesy of

By David Figura

NEW YORK - The Department of Environmental Conservation and State Parks expect a busy camping season this summer and are encouraging campers to make reservations soon if they haven’t already – and have backup plans as a precaution if they get turned away if a campsite is full.

The DEC, which opened most of its campgrounds, recently announced a list of improvements at several of its camping facilities, including several at Frontier Town in North Hudson in Essex County. Meanwhile, State Parks last month announced it is offering “glamping” opportunities at several of its campgrounds.

State Parks is teaming with Tentrr, private business, to provide “fully outfitted platform campsites” in the Hudson Valley. This new outdoors opportunity is being offered at the Sebago and Silver Mine areas at Harriman State Park in Orange and Rockland counties; at Taconic State Park and Lake Taghkanic State Park in Columbia County and at Mills-Norrie State Park in Dutchess County.

Read more:


Resource Brief: Summertime Physical Activity among Diverse Adolescents
Courtesy of PlayCore

Not only is physical activity a major source of enjoyment and socialization for adolescents, it is essential for physical and mental health. Physical activity is not just a seasonal pursuit; it is a year-round need for all youth, regardless of sex, race/ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic status. Unfortunately, not all adolescents are active year-round, so we need to do better helping them obtain the physical activity they need.

Earlier studies found many youth gained more weight and were less physically active during the summer than the school year. This is surprising because school policies and class schedules do not force children and adolescents to sit in class for 6 hours per day in the summer. Summer weight gain was greater in some race/ethnic groups and among lower-income youth. The purpose of the study described here was to examine whether school year vs summer differences in physical activity varied by race/ethnic group and by sex.

Read more:


Take Action! Making Progress through Red Tape
Courtesy of Let's Talk Parks

Have you ever considered that "red tape" can ACTUALLY be a good thing? Sometimes the constraints we have can spark creative ways to move your ideas forward.

In this episode, Marissa and Becky discuss how we have found success in moving ideas forward in the field of Parks and Rec. We talk about the barriers of red tape, the surprising pros and cons of it, and how to move past it. We hope this episode is useful if you've been wanting to make progress on an idea or program, but haven't made traction. Sometimes just changing your mindset can give you new energy and perspectives to keep going.

Listen here:


SHIFT Award Nominations are Open
Courtesy of GP RED

Since 2014, SHIFT researchers have identified individuals, organizations, and initiatives from around the United States that leverage outdoor recreation for conservation to consider for the annual SHIFT Awards. In 2018, we expanded our search to include initiatives that advanced or promoted the health benefits of outdoor recreation. In 2020, we further refined the Awards to take into consideration initiative's impact on equitable access to nature.

For more information:


SHIFT Emerging Leaders Program – Accepting Applications
Courtesy of GP RED

Led by Dr. Morgan Green, the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) will be held October 15-17 prior to the Summit. The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) trains early career leaders to help develop our work at SHIFT and throughout the world. Our vision is to build a diverse coalition of career advocates and professionals who can champion the health benefits of nature and promote a more sustainable future for the planet.
Applications are due by July 30th, so get started on yours today.

For more information:


In the News

How Returning Lands to Native Tribes Is Helping Protect Nature
Courtesy of Yale Environment 360

By Jim Robbins

There is a burgeoning movement these days to repatriate some culturally and ecologically important lands back to their former owners, the Indigenous people and local communities who once lived there, and to otherwise accommodate their perspective and participation in the management of the land and its wildlife and plants.

Throughout the United States, land has been or is being transferred to tribes or is being co-managed with their help. In California, a land trust recently transferred 1,199 acres of redwood forest and prairie to the Esselen tribe, and in Maine, the Five Tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy recently reacquired a 150-acre island with the help of land trusts. Other recent land transfers to tribes with the goal of conservation have taken place in Oregon, New York and other states.

Read more:


9 Ways to Make the Outdoors More Inclusive
Courtesy of Outside Online

By Heather Greenwood Davis

It’s no secret that the outdoors isn’t always welcoming. For those who fall outside of the white, male, able-bodied, outdoor-enthusiast spectrum, feeling at home in wild places can be hard. Outside spoke to adventurers and activists who are pushing for a more inclusive industry, and their stories offer insight and advice on how we can create outdoor spaces that make room for everyone.

Read more:


Opinion: We're Loving Our National Parks to Death
Courtesy of Planetizen

"America’s national parks face a popularity crisis," writes Michael Childers in MinnPost, and a reservation system—like the one implemented for many parks during the pandemic—could help preserve the lands as intended and make the experience more pleasant for visitors.

The "exponential growth" in many parks' popularity "is generating pollution and putting wildlife at risk to a degree that threatens the future of the park system." As Childers notes, "park horror stories have grown common in recent years. They include miles-long traffic jams in Yellowstone, three-hour waits to enter Yosemite, trails littered with trash and confrontations between tourists and wildlife."

"The parks are underfunded, overrun, overbuilt and threatened by air and water pollution in violation of the laws and executive orders that protected them," Childers writes. He acknowledges that a reservation system "won’t be a popular solution, since it contradicts the founding premise that national parks were built for public benefit and enjoyment." But to preserve the parks "unimpaired," he argues, "crowd control has become essential in the most popular parks."

Childers also suggests promoting less visited national parks, monuments, and historical sites. "Sites such as Hovenweep National Monument in Colorado and Utah and the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Kansas deserve attention for their natural beauty and the depth they add to Americans’ shared heritage."

Read more:


‘Greenway Stimulus’ Could Bring Boom in Bike and Walking Trails
Courtesy of City Lab

By John Surico

Nationwide, greenway boosters are thinking even bigger. A chorus of advocates believe that the time has come for a “Greenway Stimulus.” About 200 environmental and active-transportation organizations, including Carta’s, are stepping up pressure to carve $10 billion out of the Biden administration’s prospective American Jobs Plan, or corresponding infrastructure-related bills, to help complete hundreds of proposed walking and bike trail projects around the country.

The ultimate goal: a nationwide network akin to the interstate highway system — but for cyclists and walkers instead of cars and trucks.

Read more:


New Zealand to spend millions weaning holiday towns off international tourism
Courtesy of the Guardian

By Tess McClure

The days of allowing tourist hordes to some of New Zealand’s best-known natural attractions are over, the government has signaled, as it unveiled new plans to protect the environment and reconsider the role of tourism in its economy.

The tourism minister, Stuart Nash, outlined on Tuesday plans to “reset” tourism for a post-Covid world – planning for fewer international visitors and attempting to diversify the economies of tourism-dependent towns.

Some of the country’s best-known natural attractions, such as Unesco world heritage site Milford Sound-Piopiotahi, will be transformed to take far fewer visitors. The dramatic slopes, still waters, and frolicking fur seals of Milford Sound-Piopiotahi have attracted millions of visitors.

But the site “cannot return to its pre-Covid state”, Nash said. Previously, it had been under “significant pressure” from 870,000 annual visitors – a deluge of people that Nash said undermined the infrastructure and cultural and environmental values of the place.

Read more


Summer camps haven’t fully recovered. That could hurt working moms.
Courtesy of

By Chabeli Carrazana

More than 60 percent of the summer camps returning in 2021 will be operating at limited capacity. Costs have also gone up, making some programs more expensive — and thus, inaccessible — to families this year. Other summer programs will not return at all, forced to pause operations for another year after a devastating 2020 cut into business.

So far this year, when child care has crumbled, moms have left work, cut their hours or taken on additional labor at home. Now, as a summer with reduced child care options draws near, the threat to mothers in the labor force is omnipresent.

Read more:


Traditional Day Camps - Are they on the brink of extinction?
Courtesy of Camp Business

By Jeremy M. Culpepper

The first day camps offered an exciting setting for children to explore the outdoors. It was typical for children to go to day camp at age five and continue until they were old enough or otherwise felt ready to go to overnight camp. Historically, many “feeder” programs were actually on the premises of residential camps. Day campers experienced many of the same benefits of outdoor programming. In fact, the only major difference between the two was the overnight stay.

However, in recent years, the terms “day camp” and “child care” have become synonymous, creating confusion as to what “day camp” really entails. Distinguishing between program options has become a growing issue among potential participants in these programs.

Read more:


Open or Close?
Courtesy of Camp Business

2020 was a summer of difficult decisions. For some, it was a last-minute decision, hoping that something would change, the regulations would ease, or the pandemic would calm to a dull roar. In light of COVID-19, some camps decided to close for the season while others decided to welcome campers in a modified version of camp. Meanwhile, others found alternative programs or ways to utilize their camps in unconventional ways. No matter what your camp decided (or was forced) to do, we salute the industry in making sacrifices, putting in longer hours, making the very best decisions on behalf of campers, their families and staff members. Here is a glimpse of those who shared their stories with us. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Read more:



Webinar: Current and Future Trends in Equestrian Trails
Courtesy of Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: June 24, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: American Trails

This equestrian forum offers an excellent format and opportunity to interact with panel experts and learn more about trending equestrian trails topics today and looking forward to the future.

Sharing current educational information with recreational trail planners, land managers, and trail users can be vitally important to the future success of sharing multi-use trails with equestrians. Learning about new trail technologies and responsible approaches to trail sustainability, stewardship, and inclusive community engagement can help guide us.

For more information:


Webinar: Using Wildlife Fright Distances to Inform Trail Planning
Courtesy of Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

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

Metro, the regional government in Portland, Oregon owns around 18,000 acres of natural areas, mostly in large habitat patches around the edges of the urban region. Several years ago, based on public feedback, Metro considered adding mountain biking and equestrian trails in addition to the usual hiking trails. We needed information about the differential effects of hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians to provide a great visitor’s experience while minimizing negative effects on wildlife. The presenter surveyed the scientific literature pertaining to the effects of hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders on trails, habitat, and wildlife to help inform the work of Metro’s parks and trails planners. This presentation will focus on minimizing the negative effects on wildlife in a recreational setting.

For more information:


SORP Webinar Series: Climate & Outdoor Recreation

DATE: Wednesdays in July
TIME: 10am - 11am Pacific
COST: Free
HOST: Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals

July 7 - Assessing Climate Vulnerability and Resilience

Gateway and natural amenity regions are dependent on natural ecosystems to sustain recreation and tourism economies. Climate change poses threats by potentially increasing the frequency and intensity of natural hazards. We'll dive into methods, framework, and outcomes of recently published vulnerability assessments conducted through the lens of sustainable recreation.

July 14 - Climate Adaptation Strategies

Join the climate adaptation experts from the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science who will walk us through a menu of adaptation strategies for outdoor recreation, outcomes from the inaugural online adaptation planning & practices course, and share relevant examples of adaptation in outdoor recreation.

July 21 - Path to 30 x 30: Aligning Conservation, Equity, and Recreation

As a means to address the impacts of climate change, President Biden issued an executive order establishing a national goal to conserve at least 30 percent of US lands and freshwater and 30 percent of US ocean areas by 2030, in an initiative commonly referred to as 30x30. Last month, the Department of the Interior, in coordination with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, and the Council on Environmental Quality, recommended a ten-year “America the Beautiful Campaign” in a report to the National Climate Task Force on how the Biden-Harris Administration should implement 30x30. Several states are also actively engaged in working toward 30 x 30. Join our expert panel in a discussion centered on the progress and implementation of this audacious initiative, highlighting opportunities for advancing outdoor recreation and access equity as it all moves forward.

July 28 - Civilian Climate Corps

A part of a proposed American Jobs Plan calls for $10 billion to launch a new large-scale 21st century CCC to combat the 21st century problem. The Civilian Climate Corps, as it would be called, would employ thousands of young people to address the threat of climate change, strengthen the country's natural defenses and maintain its ailing public lands. A number of congressional bills related to a civilian climate corps have been introduced recently. Join our panel in sorting through what's on the table, what's on the horizon, where there is alignment with outdoor recreation, and potential steps to implementation.


SHIFT Summit - Registration is open
Courtesy of GP RED

October 18 to 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. Held annually since 2015, SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest for Tomorrow) gatherings have been historically held in Jackson, WY. Now under organizational support from GP RED, the 2021 SHIFT Summit will be held in Grand Junction, Colorado, with strong local host community involvement. We will include a variety of research, practice, and experiential aspects, including workshops, poster sessions, lightning talks, panel discussions, nature and forest therapy practices, and plenty of opportunities for active outdoor recreation so we can deepen our connections to place and story.

The SHIFT Summit is a national gathering of hundreds of land managers, researchers, practitioners, funders, educators, retailers, and conservationists, along with outdoor recreation, health, military, and nature therapy professionals who share experiences, evidence, and ideas for enhancing the reciprocal relationship between 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 and ensure the survival of the places, flora, and fauna that we all need to exist and thrive.

For more information:


Basecamp 2021 Conference and Workshop
Courtesy of Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: November 7-9, 2021
Location: Tucson, AZ
Organization: Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University

Basecamp is a conference and workshop for outdoor recreation managers, non-profit organizations, researchers, and students to share information on sustaining outdoor recreation resources in the American West while building the region’s recreation economy.

The gathering offers an opportunity to share new research. It also includes dedicated workshops for collaboratively defining the West’s most pressing outdoor recreation research needs by revisiting and refining the Research Focus Areas developed since the Igniting the Science of Outdoor Recreation Initiative's Sustainable Recreation Research Workshop, held in Golden, CO in 2018.

For more information:

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