July 20, 2021

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
Welcome New Member
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 August 3, 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by August 2.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

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


Welcome New Member

Mrs. Angie Nagle, Executive Director
Bucks County Parks and Recreation
Langhorne, PA


Member News

The Genesis Project: How a Mother Is Keeping Her Son’s Spirit Alive
Courtesy of NRPA

SOUTH CAROLINA - In 2014, Jennifer’s 13-year-old son, Genesis, tragically drowned in a local pond because he didn’t know how to swim. After Genesis’ drowning, the Genesis Project was established, which aims to raise funds to offer aquatic safety programs in rural areas of Charleston County, alongside CCPRC. Despite her grief and her own fear of water, Jennifer not only conquered her fears and learned to swim, she also volunteered with the Charleston County Parks Foundation to offer swim lessons and water safety instructions to rural areas of the community.

What’s more, when CCPRC opened the West County Aquatic Center in June 2019 in the same small town in which Genesis drowned, Jennifer was one of the lifeguards on duty. And, in keeping Genesis’ spirit alive, the pool at the aquatic center is now named, “The Genesis Pool.”

Listen here:


APA Recognizes Los Angeles County's Sustainability Plan
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Clement Lau

CALIFORNIA - The American Planning Association's Sustainable Communities Division has honored the county of Los Angeles with the Award of Excellence in Sustainability for its groundbreaking 2019 OurCounty Sustainability Plan. Unlike other sustainability plans, the OurCounty plan is unique in its regional focus as it moves to tackle a wide range of environmental, social, and economic challenges.

OurCounty was developed in a collaborative process involving hundreds of stakeholders, thousands of hours of equity-centered dialogue, substantial research, and cutting-edge analyses in a process led by the county’s Chief Sustainability Office. Over the course of two years, the county took a comprehensive, community-based approach to crafting the nation’s most ambitious regional sustainability plan that is bold, inclusive, and sets a vision for the present and future generations of Los Angeles.

Read more:


Cleveland Metroparks opens unique play space at Edgewater Park
Courtesy of

By Brenda Cain

OHIO – The largest play space in the Cleveland Metroparks network opened recently near Edgewater Beach.

The nearly one-acre play area – christened the Lindsey Family Play Space -- is the largest of its kind in the Metroparks Emerald Necklace system. It is located near the Upper Edgewater Picnic Shelter at Edgewater Park, surrounded by open fields and a newly paved loop trail.

The $500,000 play space is a gift from Brett and Theresa Lindsey, and additional individual and corporate donors. It was designed by the Cleveland Metroparks to align with the natural beauty of Edgewater Park.

Check out the photos:


Research and Resources

What Makes a High Quality Park?
Courtesy of Planetizen

What makes a park "high quality"? The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently released a report to answer this question. Based on interviews with parks professionals and other experts from around the country, the report presents a framework for park quality that can help all park developers and managers assess quality, park by park and systemwide, to make investments and address longstanding disparities in access to high quality parks.

To help define park quality, ULI hosted a two-day workshop in Nashville in April 2019 to get input from nearly 30 leaders in parks and recreation. Attendees identified cities that had successful programs or processes in place to evaluate the quality of their parks or park systems, and interviews were conducted with parks and recreation department staff in a number of these cities, along with other experts.

Findings from the interviews were analyzed to create a framework of five key characteristics of quality. Specifically, high quality parks...

Read more:


New Study Ranks the Urban Heat Island Effect in U.S. Cities
Courtesy of Planetizen

By James Brasuell

"The nonprofit research group Climate Central analyzed land cover in 160 cities, looking at things like the amount of pavement versus trees, population density and the heights and types of buildings to give each city a heat "index" or intensity score," explains an article by Barbara Moran.

New Orleans, Newark, and New York are the top three cities on the index.

"Jen Brady, a senior data analyst with Climate Central, said that scientists' understanding of urban heat has been evolving rapidly, and growing more sophisticated. To crunch the data for this study, she used a formula developed in 2020 that looked at 17 classes of land cover, and weighed certain heat contributors like reflective surface or 'albedo' higher than others, like population density," adds Moran.

Moran also points out the Climate Central study adds to a growing body of work finding evidence that heat disparities break down in along racial and class lines all over the United States.

Read more:


The Future of the Outdoor Recreation Economy
Courtesy of American Trails

To continue building a robust future for outdoor recreation, the outdoor sector needs investments in outdoor infrastructure, businesses that support collaboration and sustainable growth, a talent pipeline to build a skilled workforce, and marketing resources that ensure quality and equity.

Read more:


Equity: Do We Agree on What We Are Talking About?
Courtesy of NRPA

By John L. Crompton, Ph.D.

NRPA is unequivocal in its commitment to equity, establishing it as one of the organization’s three pillars and declaring, “We must put equity at the center of all we do.” Ironically, equity always has been at the center of what we do, because it is implicit in every decision recreation and park managers make — renovating one playground rather than another; organizing special events in one area of the community rather than another; assigning the best recreation managers to one center rather than another and so on.

The intent of establishing equity as a pillar of NRPA’s work is to encourage the field to shift it from being a random outcome of policy and service delivery decisions to an intentional commitment to an agreed principle of equity.

Read more:


2021’s Best Dog Park Cities
Courtesy of

Dog parks can be a real treat for your pup — and for you: While Fido runs around and tussles with pals, you get a chance to rub elbows with fellow dog lovers.

But you won’t find pooch-friendly green spaces in every city, and if you’re lucky to, they won’t all be up to snuff.

That’s why LawnStarter rounded up 2021’s Best Dog Park Cities, by ranking nearly 100 U.S. cities based on access, quality, and climate factors.

More specifically, we looked at the number of dog parks in each city, average visitor ratings, and historical weather data so you and your canine companion can enjoy the best time.

Check out our ranking below. You’ll also find highlights, lowlights, and top-dog tips from experts.

Read more:


Creating Treasure Maps
Courtesy of Camp Business

By Lony Ruhmann

I volunteer at Camp Med, a licensed summer camp and after-school program sponsored by the city of South Pasadena, Calif. This summer a treasure map event for the campers (ages 5-12) was held. It was interesting to see the kids in action.

They dug right in, clipping pictures with gusto. There was an atmosphere of fun, but also of peace and cooperation. For an arts-and-crafts activity, the boys were highly engaged, with some even trading pictures as if they were baseball cards. There were specific images that were popular. The boys liked cars. The girls went for animals. One girl’s treasure map had pictures only of dogs. Pictures of tasty foods were also common.

One surprising element was how many pictures of beauty, such as art objects, upscale furniture and ancient artifacts, the children chose. I asked one boy why he used a particular image and he said, “Because it is cool.” One of the counselors remarked that it seemed like the children’s subconscious was actively at play.

Read more:


Vermont State Parks launches initiative to inform visitors when lots are full
Courtesy of the Burlington Free Press

By Ella Ruehsen

Many Vermonters are no stranger to the deflated feeling of packing up for a family outing and driving out of the way in hopes of a day full of sunshine and fresh air, only to come across lots too full to park.

Vermont State Parks recently announced the launch of Twitter accounts dedicated to updating visitors about parking availability at four of their most highly trafficked parks.

Read more


Master-Planning a Garden
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Clement Lau

CALIFORNIA - The American Public Gardens Association defines a public garden as “an institution that maintains collections of plants for the purposes of public education and enjoyment, in addition to research, conservation, and higher learning. It must be open to the public and the garden’s resources and accommodations must be made to all visitors.” Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, public gardens have become very popular destinations, serving as places of hope and healing for a weary public. Los Angeles County is home to numerous public gardens, including Descanso Gardens, which is one of four botanic gardens/arboreta in the county’s park system; it is well-known for the Enchanted Forest of Light show, and the park recently adopted a master plan to guide its development over the next 15 years.

Read more:


FAQ: Effect of Boardwalks on Vegetation and Wildlife
Courtesy of American Trails

Wetlands are of great interest to students, teachers, scientists, and the general public, but few individuals venture into them due to the dense vegetation, standing water and deep organic soils. A few enter with canoes or waders. An alternative and more convenient means of access—boardwalks and trails—are needed by the rest.

Most people don't worry about vegetation under boardwalks. Every other kind of trail has a bigger impact on drainage, plants, etc.

How can the impacts of boardwalks and trails upon vegetation and wildlife be reduced? The Association of State Wetland Mangers, Inc. guide Constructing Wetland Boardwalks and Trails recommends a variety of measures for reducing impacts...

Read more:


Don’t Hike So Close To Me: How The Presence Of Humans Can Disturb Wildlife Up To Half A Mile Away
Courtesy of the National Parks Traveler

By Jeremy Dertien, Clemson University; Courtney Larson, University of Wyoming; and Sarah Reed, Colorado State University

Seeing animals and birds is one of the main draws of spending time in nature. But as researchers who study conservation, wildlife and human impacts on wild places, we believe it’s important to know that you can have major effects on wildlife just by being nearby.

In a recent review of hundreds of studies covering many species, we found that the presence of humans can alter wild animal and bird behavior patterns at much greater distances than most people may think. Small mammals and birds may change their behavior when hikers or birders come within 300 feet (100 meters) – the length of a football field. Large birds like eagles and hawks can be affected when humans are over 1,300 feet (400 meters) away – roughly a quarter of a mile. And large mammals like elk and moose can be affected by humans up to 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) away – more than half a mile.

Read more:


How do we measure parks?
Courtesy of GP RED

By Robby Layton, PhD, FASLA

Elements of Parks and Greenspace: Using Component Based Methodology to Audit Parks and Greenspace
This Research Brief is part of a 3-volume discussion about the measurement and analysis of parks and other public greenspaces. Each volume builds on the previous one, so it is suggested that the reader begin with volume one and continue with the remaining two in sequence, but that is not completely necessary for each individual volume to be useful as an independent report.

This first volume discusses a number of variables that can be used to describe, measure, and analyze individual parks and greenspaces and compare them to one another Volume II describes how data on such variables can be used to evaluate the potential of a given park or greenspace to support public health goals.

Read more:


Call for Proposals | Greater & Greener 2022
Courtesy of City Parks Alliance

June 18-21, 2022 in Philadelphia, PA

Greater & Greener is the leading international conference for urban park leaders, design professionals, public officials, advocates, funders, and innovators to explore the role of parks and recreation in addressing some of the biggest challenges facing 21st-century cities. The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated a national dialogue on the essential role of parks and open spaces in our cities, and Greater & Greener will continue to lead this conversation by bringing together experts to share lessons, network across sectors, and engage together.

Greater & Greener is an opportunity to share your work with more than 1,000 urban leaders and park practitioners from around the world. We welcome your creativity and proposals for presentation topics that will enable us to collectively reflect and share ideas for how parks and open spaces can better serve this moment and our communities going forward.

Presentation proposals must be submitted on or before August 30, 2021.

For more information:


2021 SHIFT Summit: Call for Session Abstracts and Proposals
Courtesy of GP RED

October 18 - 20, 2021 in Grand Junction, CO

Don't miss the opportunity to join fellow land managers, researchers, practitioners, funders, educators, retailers, and conservationists, along with outdoor recreation, health, military, and nature therapy professionals at the 2021 SHIFT Summit (Shaping How we Invest for Tomorrow). Submit a session proposal now for the chance to contribute your innovative thoughts and ideas while sharing your experiences, evidence, and ideas for enhancing the reciprocal relationship between humans and nature.

This year's 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.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 13th at 11:59 PM PST.

For more information:


In the News

Boulder County Commissioners discuss high rate of recreation at county parks, ways to mitigate damage
Courtesy of Daily Camera

By Annie Mehl

COLORADO - Boulder County commissioners on Thursday discussed the high numbers of recreators that have visited area parks and open space since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the way they have been managing the impact the spike has had on the land.

In 2020, Boulder County Parks & Open Space had 2.1 million visits, which was a 44% increase from 2019, said Jeff Moline, interim co-director of Boulder County Parks & Open Space.

“Generally what we’re seeing across our whole system, thus far is a 41% increase over 2019,” he said. “So while last year was record numbers, this year we’re starting out not seeing quite those record numbers but numbers increased over what we had seen in 2019.”

Read more:


Trails and Open Space "Get Out Spread Out" program encourages Pikes Peak region residents to escape the crowds
Courtesy of the

By Joanna Zaremba

COLORADO - If you want to escape the crowds on your next outdoor outing, the Trails and Open Space Coalition Get Out Spread Out Program can point you toward more than 100 lesser known trails, open spaces and parks to explore.

Get Out Spread Out originated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to help people stay safe while getting outside. Now the program’s focus has shifted to reducing overcrowding on trails, promoting responsible trail use, and supporting people becoming healthier by spending time outside.

“We’re still doing [Get Out Spread Out] because even though the pandemic is over the crowds are still there, and we still want to encourage people to to get out and spread out just for parking reasons and for resource reasons,” TOSC Executive Director Susan Davies said. “If we have too many people on a trail even without COVID what do they do? They walk around each other. They do damage to the ecosystem.”

Read more:


NRPA Announces More Than $2.5 Million in Funding to Support Equitable Access to Parks
Courtesy of NRPA

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) awards grant funding totaling more than $2.5 million to support the advancement of community-driven, systems-level strategies for equitable park access that improve the environmental resilience and health of communities. The grant funding also will provide ongoing peer learning and coaching, professional development and access to networks of like-minded park and recreation professionals throughout the country.

Read more:$2.5-million-in-funding-to-support-equitable-access-to-parks/


The beach is there for all of us — we just have to get there
Courtesy of the LA Times

By Frank Shyong

CALIFORNIA - When I first moved to Los Angeles in 2006, I imagined that I’d be going to the beach all the time.

I changed the background of my Myspace profile to a picture of Venice Beach palm trees at sunset as part of my preparations to live out the sun-drenched California fantasy that brings so many people to this state. Obviously, I would get into surfing. The only question was how good would I be.

Fifteen years later, I have still never surfed, and my fantasy of a beachy lifestyle has run aground on a hard reality. The coast exists for all of us, and our right to beach access enjoys greater protections here than in almost any other state. But first, you have to get there.

In the quadratic equation of distance, parking, traffic and transfers we use to determine our every course of action across this city, the beach is one of the hardest to solve.

Read more:


A River Runs Through It
Courtesy of NRPA

By Kathleen Gibi

It almost seems as if the Tennessee RiverLine, a project that aims to connect communities along the 652-mile Tennessee River through a continuous system of paddling, hiking and biking trails, is aiming to address these trends that sprouted in the midst of the pandemic. As it so happens, the vision for the initiative had been brewing for several years, and now presents a fresh and engaging model for amplifying recreation’s impact on the economy, environment, health and everyday living.

In January 2021, after supporting the Tennessee RiverLine in many ways since its inception in 2016, TVA joined UT Knoxville as principal partner of the Tennessee RiverLine by announcing a $1.2 million commitment to further the Tennessee RiverLine’s regional efforts.

Read more:


Judge denies emergency motion to stop Boulder from funding Rocky Mountain Greenway
Courtesy of American Trails

By Deborah Swearingen

COLORADO - A judge on Tuesday denied an emergency motion meant to stop Boulder from spending money to build an underpass connecting trails in Boulder and Boulder County with trails in Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, the site of a former production facility for nuclear weapons parts.

The motion, which sought injunctive relief or a temporary restraining order, was filed by attorney Randall Weiner on behalf of the Colorado chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Environmental Information Network and biologist Harvey Nichols.

Read more:


Great Lakes Trails: Relief funds spark new investments into outdoor recreation
Courtesy of Great Lakes Now

By Noah Bock

With a rebounding economy and plenty of federal relief funds, states across the country are finding themselves with extra money to spend.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer yesterday announced a proposal to spend $150 million of relief funds from the American Rescue Plan on state and local parks and trails. That’s in addition to the $250 million investment in state parks and trails already proposed in June.

Andrea LaFontaine, executive director of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, says that the COVID-19 pandemic showed outdoor recreation assets like trails are worth investing in.

Read more:



Webinar: ADA Standards for Accessible Design for Play Areas
Courtesy of PlayCore

DATE: Wednesday, July 28, 2021
TIME: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m.
COST: Free

On March 15, 2010 the Department of Justice adopted the long-awaited revisions to the ADA 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. The Title II and Title III regulations were officially published in the Federal Register on September 14, 2010, becoming mandatory on March 15, 2012. This session will explore the impact of the 2010 ADA Guidelines for Accessible Design for parks and playgrounds, and will provide tools to help evaluate the level of compliance of community play areas to plan for future needs.

For more information:


Webinar: Trail Design Details - The Wins and Losses
Courtesy of American Trails

Date: July 29, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free

Every trail project has many design details to incorporate for a functional, well-connected and attractive project Features like pavement, signage, furnishings, architecture, striping, landscaping, and irrigation all contribute to a great project. Design details are often well established. There are also opportunities to try new ideas to either update a design detail or address a challenge. Successful design details get added to the Toolkit. We often don’t hear about the design details that weren’t successful. This presentation will share both the wins and losses from one planner with extensive experience in trail planning and design, including background on the creative process, testing, problem solving, and evidence of success and sometimes failure.

For more information:


Webinar: Upcoming Webinar on Rails-with-Trails
Courtesy of PBIC

DATE: Thursday, August 19, 2021
TIME: 1:00 - 2:30 pm Eastern Time
COST: Free

Many communities across the United States recognize the benefits of developing shared use paths and other trails to make transportation network connections for bicyclists and pedestrians and to increase physical activity and improve health.

A new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Rails-with-Trails: Best Practices and Lessons Learned, examines safety, design, and liability issues associated with the development of shared use paths and other trails adjacent to active railroad and transit rights-of-way. It explores lessons learned from the experience of rails-with-trails, and suggests best practices to enhance safety and security for railroads, transit, and trail users.

During this webinar, the authors will share findings, recommendations, and lessons learned. Following the presentations, the panelists will respond to questions from webinar participants.

For more information:

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