July 6, 2021

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
A Word from our Sponsors
Member News
Research and Resources
In the News
Job Announcements


The National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials is a non-profit professional organization that advances official policies that promote county and regional park and recreation issues while providing members with opportunities to network, exchange ideas and best practices, and enhance professional development.

Learn more about us at:


The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on July 20 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by July 19.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

Job Announcements

NEW - Parks and Recreation Director
City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Closing Date: Jul 30, 2021

NEW - Recreation Supervisor
Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners
Port Charlotte, Florida
Salary: $49,462.40 /yr
Application Deadline: Jul 10, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 - MySites

MySites Reservations System is part of SEPI Marketing Incorporated. We have spent decades learning all about the many challenges outdoor hospitality venue owners face. We have designed our system to be easy to learn and user friendly. MySites Reservations offers a second to none user experience with an intuitive user interface. Technology should not be hard! The user friendliness carries throughout the system to our mobile version which will allow you to run your business seamlessly while working outside.

MySites Reservations sets itself apart from many other management systems with a robust marketplace of RV Travelers. We provide helpful camping information for the masses through our private social media groups, RV Travel Search Engine, and our highly rated mobile application. When you choose MySites as your reservations system, we know you will be managing your clients well and so we will your campground NEW BUSINESS! Referrals are free and we will shoot to fill all your spots!

For more information:


4 C’s of outdoor recreation: the mission-critical roles of local & county parks
Courtesy of NIC Outdoors

By Jaro Horvath, outdoor partnerships lead at NIC Outdoors, now a part of Tyler Technologies

While working on a project for an NIC Outdoors partner, one of my colleagues said: “I love working on these projects, but I wish I was outdoorsy. I am not outdoorsy. ”What do you mean?” I asked. “Don’t you walk in nature, hike, explore your local parks? You’ve told me you do, right?”

“Yes, I do, of course …” Lydia replied, when I interrupted her with a joyous shout out: “You are outdoorsy!!!”

For years, the outdoor recreation and adventure industry and many “outdoorsy” people have somehow managed to intimidate the masses with campfire bragging rights were earned by stories of people who do things like backpacking, backcountry hiking/skiing, canyoneering, climbing Kilimanjaro – you know, the “epic” stuff. It took me being an outdoor adventure guide to realize what a ridiculous attitude this was. Certainly, backpacking Yosemite, climbing Kili or rafting the Zambizi River while counting crocs are adventures of a lifetime. Yet it’s so far removed from the reality of what being “outdoorsy” means. Being outdoorsy is so much more broad, diverse – and available to all!

Read more:


Member News

Mayor Jacobs taps Navy veteran to lead Knox County Parks and Recreation
Courtesy of

By Hannah Moore

TENNESSEE - Following an extensive search, Navy veteran Joseph “Joe” Mack has been chosen to lead the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Knox County team,” Mack said. “I look forward to meeting the recreational needs of the citizens of Knox County while also making Knox County and its beautiful natural resources a destination for outdoor recreation enthusiasts from around the world.”

Read more:


Dane County Parks Director Darren Marsh to retire after 28 years
Courtesy of the Cap Times

By Abigail Becke

WISCONSIN - After nearly 30 years working for the Dane County Parks System, Darren Marsh plans to retire this week as director. Marsh began working for the county parks system in 1993 as operations manager before taking on the leadership position as director in 2003. His last day is July 1.

“I appreciate the opportunities that I’ve been given to serve you and would like to thank all of you, our volunteers, partners and park visitors for the amazing support you’ve given to growing the Dane County Parks System and programs,” Marsh said in a letter to park users.

Read more:


Mercy Health makes $1M donation to Metroparks Toledo
Courtesy of

By John Lasko

OHIO — Officials with Metroparks Toledo announced Friday that they have received $1 million from Mercy Health — Toledo to be used toward the completion of the Glass City Metropark.

Specifically, the funds will be used to construct what officials there call "The Cove." It's part of Phase Two of the Glass City Riverwalk construction. It will allow visitors to do such things as kayak, canoe and fish along the Maumee River. Construction on The Cove is expected to begin sometime next month.

The Cove will be the 40th access point along the 107-mile Maumee River State Water Trail, which extends from Lake Erie to the Indiana border.

Bob Baxter, president of Mercy Health — Toledo, says they are on board with this project because it promotes health and wellness.

Read more:


Research and Resources

Treasury Releases Updated FAQs for Fiscal Recovery Fund Eligible Uses
Courtesy of NACo

By Eryn Hurley

On June 24, the U.S. Treasury Department released new FAQs related to eligible uses of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (Recovery Funds) for court case backlogs, outdoor spaces and revenue loss.

See below for an overview of key items, which include clarification on both general eligible uses of Recovery Funds and new eligible uses to increase public safety as outlined in the Biden Administration’s strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime and ensure public safety.

Outdoor spaces: Additional clarification on using Recovery Funds to reinvest in outdoor spaces. Recovery Funds can be used in the following ways:

- Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs): Recovery Funds can be used to support populations disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic When providing services and programs to build stronger neighborhoods and communities, recipients can use funds towards the following: investment in parks, public plazas and other public outdoor recreation spaces that may respond to the needs of disproportionately impacted communities.

- Small businesses: Recipients may provide assistance to small businesses in all communities. This includes enhancing outdoor spaces for COVID-19 mitigation (i.e. restaurant patios) or improving the build environment of the neighborhood (i.e. façade improvements).

- General maintenance of parks: Recognizing that parks were used during the pandemic, Recovery Funds can be used for maintenance needs associated with overuse of parks.

Read more:


Park and Recreation Salary Survey
Courtesy of NRPA

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there were more than 165,000 full-time employees of local park and recreation agencies throughout the United States in 2020 and several hundred thousand more part-time and seasonal workers. It is these skilled teams that program events, maintain facilities and otherwise ensure that every member of a community can access and enjoy all that their local park and recreation agencies have to offer.

Comprehensive compensation data provide park and recreation agency leaders with guidance on how to attract the best staff. Such data also can provide park and recreation professionals with insights about salary and benefits being offered by potential employers. To amass that data, the Research team of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) sent a 34-question survey in March 2021 to elicit not only the salary data of 10 positions at park and recreation agencies, but also general information about benefits and salary policies. The responses from leaders of nearly 450 park and recreation agencies across the United States are the basis of this report.

Read more:


Nonprofit to release ‘tree equity’ scores for urban areas
Courtesy of the Associated Press

American Forests, a Washington-based, nonprofit conservation organization, recently published Tree Equity scores for 150,000 neighborhoods in 486 urbanized areas.

Each score is based on how much tree canopy and surface temperatures align with the number of people living in a given area or neighborhood, income, employment, race, age and health factors. The scores indicate whether there are enough trees for everyone living in those areas to experience the health, economic and climate benefits that trees provide.

Read more:


Inclusive Play Matters
Courtesy of PlayCore

Every child's right to play implies that children should not be subjected to the loss of opportunity for active, independent participation in play by characteristics over which they have no control." Read more in this week's article from Me2: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design.

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A Disc Golf Course in the Woods
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Deanna Scheffel

The city of Franklin, Tenn. found a unique way to blend a parks sports facility with urban forestry by incorporating a low-impact disc-golf course into an underutilized area within a park.

Located on the east side of town, Liberty Park is 75 acres with heavily wooded land in the back 15 acres. With elevation changes of 100 to 200 feet and uneven terrain, the city’s parks department envisioned a disc-golf course as a great use for the area. With the help of the Williamson County Disc Golf Association, a 10-hole course was designed and construction was underway in fall 2008. The parks department saw this as a great opportunity to implement sustainable practices, employee training and public education while managing an urban forest.

The city’s arborist, Todd Snackenberg, used the course-development area to conduct chainsaw safety and train park employees. As the staff gained experience, training moved toward work sessions to remove dead or dying trees throughout the course. Non-native invasive species also were targeted for removal. Great care was taken to remove as little native material as possible and to leave the area in its natural state.

Read more:


Preserving Parks Without Wiping out the Budget
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Heather Reichle

In this tough economy, budgets for ball fields are being squeezed like every other area of parks and recreation. Because of this stress and an immediate need to make changes, parks departments are devising clever ways to cut costs while sustaining high maintenance standards for the community.

Read more:


Supporting Inclusive Health through Parks and Recreation
Courtesy of NRPA

By Maureen Neumann

Park and recreation professionals are uniquely suited to deliver programming and services that advance the health and well-being of their community members. More and more, park and recreation professionals are serving as stewards of community wellness hubs — trusted gathering places that connect every member of the community to essential programs, services and spaces that advance health equity, improve health outcomes and enhance quality of life.

But how can park and recreation professionals best serve ALL members of the community?

Key actions like adhering to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), equal employment opportunity, and other civil rights laws are great steps, but to truly serve all community members, park and recreation professionals should take more intentional steps to ensure that all voices of the community are heard and valued during both the planning and implementation process of programs, services and built environment enhancements.

Read more:


3 tips for more accessible social media
Courtesy of

By Brian Pittman

Organizations that want to stay relevant and respected must embrace inclusivity.

But inclusivity and accessibility are connected, especially on social media. Here are three tips to bring your social media program up to speed with these expectations:

1. Rethink hashtags and emojis…

Read more:


In the News

Will the feds close California forests to hunters, campers again?
Courtesy of the Sacramento Bee

By Ryan Sabalow

A smoke machine at a gender reveal party. Sparks from flat tires. Escaped camp fires. Illegal fireworks.

As California gets hotter and drier, some moment of human carelessness or just bad luck will undoubtedly ignite another uncontrolled fire that sweeps through thousands of acres of forestland and dry brush, leaving people dead.

Last September, as millions of acres burned, the U.S. Forest Service did something it had never done before to try to prevent people from catching even more forestland on fire. It closed all of its 20 million acres of California forests to the public for nearly two weeks.

Some open-lands advocates are worried that last year set a troubling trend of locking the public out of Forest Service lands that are managed with taxpayer dollars and set aside to be enjoyed in perpetuity.

Some environmental groups are troubled by the precedent the federal government set last year. Ryan Henson, policy director of the California Wilderness Coalition (CalWild), said there’s concern that the Forest Service will adopt a mindset of, “We can’t even afford to manage the land, so let’s put up a gate on it.”

Read more:


Lawn care is going electric. And the revolution is here to stay.
Courtesy of the Washington Post

By Tik Root

It was a few minutes past 6 a.m., and the sun had already started to boil the muggy Alabama air. Matt Harrison, 38, watched as his colleague backed the public works pickup truck into a parking spot alongside city hall. The two tipped the tailgate and slowly lowered a shiny orange push mower onto the pavement.

Harrison popped open the top of the mower, where a pull cord might normally be, and instead snapped two battery packs into place. Click. Click. A moment later, the low whoosh of mower blades filled the air. A slight whine from his co-worker’s electric leaf blower soon joined the din.

Passing joggers hardly noticed.

“I was kind of skeptical at first,” Harrison said after cutting the grass. Until April, he had spent his 20-year career using gas-powered lawn maintenance equipment. He worried that the electric versions wouldn’t be powerful enough, or would die too quickly. “It proved me wrong.”

From the mower and blower to weed whips and chain saws, Harrison said nothing on his truck is gas anymore. “You don’t need ear protection,” he said of the battery-powered equipment. And “you don’t have to worry about coming home smelling like gas.”

Read more:


'The Model Is Broken As It Currently Stands': Milwaukee County Parks Director on the State Of Parks Funding
Courtesy of WUWM

By Audrey Nowakowski, Jack Hurbanis

WISCONSIN - Last year around this time, all Milwaukee County Park buildings were closed, pools were shut and even playgrounds were taped off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This season, golf courses are open, beer gardens are coming back, some pools and splash pads are open and even some outdoor concerts are returning.

However, this is being done in an already severely strained system. Just 75 lifeguards out of a typical 200 are working, and only about a fourth of what is usually 900 seasonal staff are currently working. Guy Smith, the executive director of the Milwaukee County Parks, says the park system has become increasingly reliant on fee-based services to operate, with only about $1.50 a month per Milwaukeean being invested in parks through taxes.

Smith says the current model is not serving the parks system effectively and has begun the process of exploring new funding models with the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

Read more:


A Milford girl was injured by high water pressure at a splash pad. Now Ohio is taking action
Courtesy of

By Anna Staver

OHIO - Kim Manion didn't think twice about sending her daughter to an indoor water park for a birthday party. There would be pizza and presents and her daughter's best friend. Everything sounded great until the Milford mom got a phone call no parent wants to hear: "My child crying and sobbing."

The other mom didn't know what was wrong, but 7-year-old Makenna Day had run from the water at the Warren County facility, holding her private area.

By the time they reached Cincinnati Children’s Liberty campus emergency room, Day's clothes were soaked in blood and the little girl was hysterical. The doctors couldn't find the source of the bleeding, so they prepped for exploratory surgery. The two-hour operation uncovered a four-centimeter-long laceration inside Makenna that was "millimeters from lacerating her cervix." They called an OBGYN to stitch her up.

"This happened from playing in a water park. Makenna stood over a water feature, as I've seen many children do," Manion said. "I had no idea the water pressure could cause such a traumatic injury."

Read more:


As Urban Areas Feel the Heat, It’s Time for National Cool Communities Standards
Courtesy of Next City

By V. Kelly Turner

Over the past 30 years, guess what kind of weather disaster has killed more Americans than any other? It’s not hurricanes or tornadoes. It’s not flooding or lightning. It’s heat. And like many other environmental dangers, it disproportionately kills people of color.

We can’t control the weather, and in the longer term, even with major climate action from world leaders, some warming is already baked into our climate system. But there is one aspect of extreme heat we can control. Cities are hotter because of how we build them, and they can be cooler if we build them differently.

It’s time for federal regulations to limit how much buildings, roads, parking lots, and other urban features are allowed to heat up the neighborhood. Just as the EPA regulates runoff pollution through the Clean Water Act and air pollution through the Clean Air Act, the agency should also regulate heat pollution through a “cool communities” act.

Read more:


Hickenlooper, Padilla Introduce Bill to Create New, More Accessible Community Parks
Courtesy of

Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Alex Padilla introduced the Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act, a bill to create a new, one-time $500 million federal grant program to help state and local governments build new parks and greenspaces to increase access to the outdoors in underserved communities.

One-in-three Americans, including 28 million kids, lack access to nature near their homes, and the problem is heavily concentrated in communities of color. In Colorado, 56 percent of people of color live in “nature deprived” areas compared to just 34 percent of white Coloradans.

Read more:


The Cities Trailblazing Transit Service into the Wilderness
Courtesy of Next City

By Gregory Scruggs

WASHINGTON - In whisking hikers from busy downtown streets and light rail stations out to hundreds of miles of backcountry trails, Trailhead Direct represents what outdoor recreation groups and transit planners alike believe will be increasingly necessary in years to come: an alternative to driving for people who want to spend some time in nature.

“Not everyone has a car,” says Yvette Lopez-Ledesma, the Urban to Wild Director for the Wilderness Society. “Transit agencies need to ensure that whatever their limitations, people can access public lands with public resources like transit.” With interest in outdoor recreation booming during the pandemic, an analysis by the Outdoor Industry Association found that newer participants in activities like hiking are more likely to be female, younger, living in an urban area and more ethnically diverse than existing participants.

Read more:


Why We Need Public Transit to Public Lands
Courtesy of the Outdoor Alliance for Kids

By Katherine Garcia and Jackie Ostfeld

When we talk about barriers to accessing public lands, common culprits include expensive entrance fees, a lack of gear, or a lack of experience or perceived safety. While those barriers are real, they assume there’s a way you can get to the parks in the first place. What if you don’t own a car? For too many people, the barriers begin before they get out the door.

Nearly one-third of people in the U.S. live more than a 10-minute walk from a community park. Green space in our cities is distributed unfairly and inequitably due to years of racist land-use practices like redlining, which has left many frontline communities to disproportionately bear the brunt of environmental degradation like polluted air and water and the impacts of climate change like the urban heat island effect.

For many people, access to local parks and green spaces is further hampered or nonexistent due to the limitations of public transit. Many of our public lands are only accessible by private vehicles. However, the percentage of Black, Latinx, and lower-income families who do not have access to a car is more than twice as high as white and higher-income families. Without a car, it’s practically impossible for many communities to make the most of the health benefits and enjoyment provided by nature access.

Read more:



All Webinars Now FREE to the Public (Future & Archived)
Courtesy of American Trails

American Trails is now offering all of our archived webinars (and any learning credits) in our Advancing Trails Webinar Series for FREE and can be downloaded via our online store.

We invite you to view our archived webinars if you missed any of them. We record all of our webinars, offer an unedited closed caption transcript, and include the resources slide with links provided by the presenter(s) relevant to the webinar topic. Our webinars also include learning credits, which are now also free, where offered.

There are 120+ webinars on a variety of trail-related topics including advocacy, planning, building, design, maintenance, management, funding, and more! Browse all of our webinars where you can filter by date, title, category, and most viewed.

For more information:


Pre-recorded Webinar: A Conversation about Racism’s Impact on Parks, Greenspace and the Environmental Movement
Courtesy of PlayCore

DATE: Wednesday, July 7
TIME: 2 - 3 p.m. EDT
COST: Free

We are excited to have partnered with Children & Nature Network to offer an encore presentation of their recent webinar on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion specifically in the park and recreation industry. This event is eligible for .1 IACET CEU for all attendees.

Hear from Dr. Gail C. Christopher and daughter, author Heather McGhee for a stirring conversation on the impacts of systemic racism seen in the distribution of parks, equitable access to green space, and support for outdoor learning opportunities. Two of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offer a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color.

For more information:


Webinar: Trail Construction Costs, Risks, and Tips for Success
Courtesy of American Trails

DATE: July 14, 2021
TIME: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
COST: Free
ORGANIZATION: American Trails

This is an update to the February 2018 “Trail Construction Cost Realities.” Budgeting and cost estimating critical elements of a trail project’s success. Understanding the factors associated with trail construction cost estimates is essential for accurate cost estimating. As a prelude to our “Return on Investment for Parks and Trails: Economics and Beyond” webinar, this webinar will provide a foundation to assist with trail construction cost estimating. Key factors associated with trail construction costs will be discussed and an estimating tool will be made available to webinar participants. The methodology presented in the webinar applies to ALL trail construction projects, though most examples included will be natural surface trail projects. This webinar is appropriate for recreation planners, land managers, trail advocates, policy makers, designers, and architects. Trail service providers are also welcome.

For more information:


Webinar: Return on Investment of Trails and Parks
Courtesy of American Trails

DATE: July 22, 2021
TIME: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
COST: Free
ORGANIZATION: American Trails

Trails and parks are more than the sum of their economic impact, as well as the additional co-benefits of driving equity, social and climate resilience, health (physical and mental), etc. to one’s community. It is common to see case studies and anecdotal examples of the economic benefits to communities of parks, trails, and trail systems, however, there are many less tangible, but equally important, benefits to trails. This webinar will build upon the information provided in the updated "Trail Construction Costs, Risks, and Tips for Success" webinar to provide tools and demonstrate the process for including tangible and intangible benefits in calculating the return on investment for many different types of communities that invest in trails and parks. We will be joined by experts representing a wide spectrum of trails and parks from urban to rural settings, and from pedestrian to biking to motorized use.

This webinar will be a hybrid presentation that will include short presentations from each presenter, followed by a facilitated discussion on 4 hot topics in regards to this webinar topic. We will take an attendee question or two following each topic, if time allows, as well as holding Q&A at the end of the webinar.

For more information:


Browse 2021 Education Session Highlights
Courtesy of NRPA

September 21 to 23, 2021 - Nashville, TN

The 2021 NRPA Annual Conference will include more than 80 inspirational education sessions, 20 speed sessions and 20 NRPA Research Sessions presented by top speakers from inside and outside of the park and recreation field. These sessions are categorized into 12 distinct education tracks to help you easily determine the sessions that will meet your needs. Browse our education session highlights to see a list of all of our one-hour education sessions listed by track. Stay tuned for the full education session schedule coming soon!

Early bird registration ends on August 6. Secure the best registration rate today before prices go up!

For more information:

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