December 7, 2021

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
Welcome New Members
Member News
A Word from Our Sponsors
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 December 21, 2021.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by December 20.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

BeachTech logo

Job Announcements

Project Manager
Metroparks Toledo, Ohio
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Closing Date: Open until filled

Parks Program Manager
Jackson County Roads & Parks
Central Point, Oregon
$90,875 - $116,002 Annually
Closing Date: Open until filled

Executive Director
Stark County Park District
Canton, Ohio
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Closing Date: Jan 5, 2022

Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation
City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Closing Date: Dec 31, 2021

Park Maintenance Supervisor
Santa Clara County Parks
Los Gatos, California
$104,248 - $126,739 Annually
Closing Date: Dec 15, 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

Johnson County seeking your processes on golf course pro shops

Johnson County Parks and Recreation District (Kansas) is in the process of reviewing its golf course pro shop processes and is requesting information from other agencies on how they handle operations, staffing, and revenue. A survey has been created that will take only a few minutes of your time. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Survey Link:

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 Members

Mrs. Jackie O'Connell
Executive Director
MetroParks of Butler County
Hamilton, Ohio

Ms. Antoinette Green
Office Administrator
Ashtabula County Metroparks
Jefferson, Ohio

Ms. Kim Reser
Assistant Director
Springfield-Greene County Park Board
Springfield, Missouri

Mr. Chris Ward
Oakland County Parks and Recreation
Waterford, Michigan


Member News

Cleveland Metroparks gets $985,000 grant to design proposed East Side shoreline park
Courtesy of

OHIO - The Cleveland Metroparks has been awarded a $985,000 grant to help design 79 acres of park area along the Lake Erie shoreline.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded the grant through the National Coastal Resilience Fund, according to a Friday news release from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The project, otherwise known as the Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Design and Engineering (CHEERS) plan, is expected to protect Interstate 90, which hugs the shoreline in the area, from heavy storms and better connect the lakefront with majority Black neighborhoods.

Read more:


Snow is coming to 33 L.A. County parks this winter
Courtesy of

By Sareen Habeshian

CALIFORNIA - Starting in December, Parks After Dark will bring 40 tons of snow to various locations across the county, the Department of Parks and Recreation announced Tuesday.

The snow day events will host free activities, including a sled hill, a snow play area, visits with Santa and holiday crafts. There will also be filled holiday stockings available for every child (while supplies last), along with a hot cocoa station, food giveaways and more.

Read more:


A Word from Our Sponsors

Booking Should Be Easy
Courtesy of MYSites Reservations

“The most precious resource we all have is time.” — Steve Jobs

It is said that on average a campground can have 4000 new bookings per year. When compared to many other campground booking systems, MYSites Reservations System can shave as many as 2 minutes of staff members time processing a new reservation.

If we assume that 60% of campground guests will book online and if we were to use the above-average bookings per year, this would mean as many as 3200 minutes (533 Hours) are being consumed by lengthy booking processes.

What about processing late check-ins the following day? MYSites Reservations System has an after-hours check-in module allowing guests to check themselves in while helping your staff save time checking in late arrivals the following morning.

Additional time-saving opportunities include our contactless check-in and online waiting list website widgets. These are also free and included within MYSites Reservations System, which is offered at NO COST to the campground.

See how we can help you by booking your demo today!

Request a Demo:


Research and Resources

2022 Directors School Call for Instructors
Courtesy of NRPA

The NRPA Directors School was established in 2008 with the purpose of providing professional knowledge and skills for park and recreation professionals being groomed for the position of director or those recently appointed to the position of director. We are currently seeking instructors with extensive teaching experience with positive results at the local, state, regional and national levels in workshops, conferences and/or college classroom instruction.

The deadline to apply is January 7.

For more information:


The Outdoor Recreation Economy by State
Courtesy of Headwaters Economics

The outdoor recreation economy is a significant and growing contributor to the U.S. economy, as measured by the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA), produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce. (Read more about the data sources, methods, and definitions used in this post.)

In 2020, outdoor recreation contributed $374 billion (1.8%) to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). This is more than twice the size of motor vehicle manufacturing and air transportation, three times the size of oil and gas development, and nearly four times the size of performing arts.

Read more:


Study: Great Allegheny Passage is 'an economic highway' that generated $121 million in 2019
Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Bob Batz Jr.

PENNSYLVANIA - The Great Allegheny Passage not only connects Pittsburgh with Cumberland, Md., but also connects businesses and governments along the entire 150-mile trail with tens of millions of dollars per year.

Growing numbers of people who come from every state and more than 35 countries to bike and hike along this route drove others to open businesses to cater to them ranging from bike shops to bistros and bed-and-breakfasts, in places that once were economically dependent on coal and coke, lumber and paper and other manufacturing.

A new study that Pittsburgh consulting firm Fourth Economy did with the Great Allegheny Passage Conservancy reports that tourism along the trail created an economic impact in 2019 of more than $121 million.

Read more:


Economic Profile System Now Includes Indigenous Areas
Courtesy of Headwaters Economics

Headwaters’ Economic Profile System (EPS) now includes search options for Indigenous Areas such as reservations and other tribal lands.

This latest update to our popular socioeconomic data tool allows users to quickly search and view data about the population, income, employment, and demographics for Indigenous Areas. Users can also customize reports with more detailed data and compare data across Indigenous Areas, cities, counties, or states.

For more information:


Tech Tools for Public Health
Courtesy of GreenPlay

By Alaina Brandenburger and Teresa L. Penbrooke, PhD, CPRE

In the past decade, parks and recreation agencies across the country have begun recognizing their vital role in community health and wellness. This aspect of parks and recreation has become a key focus of many parks and recreation planning efforts. New technologies are emerging that aid agencies in determining how their system contributes to the vibrancy and overall health of a community. Newer tools including artificial intelligence and satellite imagery can be used to measure a variety of factors that contribute to a comprehensive assessment of any parks and recreation system.

Recently Alaina Brandenburger from GreenPlay LLC interviewed leaders from two newer technologies that GreenPlay is using to delve deeper into these aspects. Jared Hanley from NatureQuant and Matthew Saponaro from A.I. Whoo discussed how they are currently leading the way in incorporating technology into parks and recreation planning. Both of these companies offer tools that can help your agency assess how your parks and recreation system contributes to community health and wellness, but this is achieved by two different methods of measurement.

Read more:


Inclusive Play By Design
Courtesy of Let's Talk Parks

In this episode, Becky sits down with Jill Moore, Inclusive Play Specialist at Landscape Structures, to discuss what it really means for a playground to be inclusive. We talk about the definition of accessible versus inclusive (and why they're so different!).

Jill opened my eyes to our need to involve people of all backgrounds and abilities to the table when it comes to planning and designing our parks.

There is so much to learn when designing our parks to be safe spaces for our children to take risks and grow as human beings. A big thank you to Landscape Structures for sponsoring this video!

Watch here:


2021 NRPA Out-of-School Time Report
Courtesy of NRPA

The 2021 NRPA Out-of-School Time Report, based on the responses from an August 2021 survey of 331 park and recreation professionals, celebrates how out-of-school time programs are making a real difference in the lives of their communities’ youth. The study also highlights the challenges professionals face in delivering these programs and what more can be done to fully deliver on these programs.

Read more:


Designing a senior center that meets the needs of its members
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Peri Sutton and Ray Holliday

TEXAS - The Hilltop at Eagle Pointe is a trendsetting, active-adult facility designed to accommodate Mont Belvieu, Texas, residents 55 years and older. The 12,240-square-foot center has many amenities and an increased number of program offerings. Since the center opened in October 2018, membership has risen from 118 to 506—a nearly 500-percent increase—and many members have reported significant improvements in their mental and physical health.

Due to budgetary constraints, not every desired space could be included in the building program. The design team developed a “money game” exercise to assist senior center members in narrowing the choices. The design team distributed an allotment of tokens representative of the project budget to each participant. Spaces on the wish list—a multi-purpose room, fitness room, and movie theater—were given an approximate cost, in tokens, to “purchase” that space. In giving each person a set number of tokens, the seniors were forced to identify and prioritize programmatic spaces in the new facility. The design team then recorded the money-game data into a spreadsheet. The results, however, were unexpected. By far, the most desired space was a kitchen. A multi-purpose room, aerobics room, great room, and game room closely followed. Members did not desire a stage in the multi-purpose room, a dedicated technology room, or a community garden.

Read more:


Virtual Engagement: Success Stories from the Field
Courtesy of GreenPlay

By Alaina Brandenburger

When the world shut down due to COVID-19, some agencies chose to pause their planning projects until they could reopen, others moved forward. Having worked remotely since 2010, GreenPlay was able to pivot quickly, shifting community and stakeholder engagement from in-person to online. We used tools like Zoom and Bang the Table to move forward with the public input process on many different projects and have found that in some cases, these tools allowed us to engage people who would not normally attend public meetings. Here is how a virtual engagement process has worked on many of our projects.

Read more:


In the News

This Kansas City-based show is diversifying the outdoors one episode at a time
Courtesy of the Kansas City Star

By Farrah Mina

“Urban American Outdoors” is in the business of changing narratives — like the myth that Black people can’t swim. The Kansas City-based creators of the outdoors show put that notion to bed years ago with footage of a team of Black divers plunging into the South Pacific.
It’s all a part of what the show does: challenging the larger misconception that Black people don’t connect with nature.

“There was a statement made that African Americans started just getting into the outdoors in the late ‘90s,” said host Wayne Hubbard, who co-founded the show with wife Candice Price. “Well, no, that’s not right. We’ve been outdoors recreating in this space for a very long time.”

When it was conceived in 1998, the show was the first of its kind, Hubbard and Price said, with content owned, produced and hosted by Black people for a Black audience.

Read more:


A crowded park, worsening fire danger sparks battle: ‘I don’t feel safe there anymore’
Courtesy of the LA Times

By Hailey Branson-Potts

CALIFORNIA - The Auburn State Recreation Area occupies 40 miles of steep river canyons and rugged terrain in drought-stricken El Dorado and Placer counties.

The counties, which stretch from the Sacramento suburbs into the Sierra, are two of the fastest-growing in California, experiencing a population boom that was hastened during the COVID-19 pandemic by urban expats fleeing expensive cities with a newfound ability to work remotely.

They are also two of the places in California that burn the most.

California is now considering a controversial plan to accommodate growing use of the Auburn State Recreation Area. Residents in foothill communities and local fire agencies are enraged by a proposal by California State Parks and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that would allow up to 142 new campsites to be built in the crowded park.

“Often when people are opposed to development, it’s for issues of convenience: issues of traffic, noise, et cetera,” said John Michelini, board president of the Foresthill Fire Protection District, one of several public safety agencies opposed to the plan. “This is a matter of life and death and people’s properties.”

Read more:


A Willfully Misunderstood Earmark Can Help Reduce Climate-Change Heat Deaths
Courtesy of the New Yorker

By James Ross Gardner

The tree-equity portion of the Build Back Better Act aims to redress some of those decades-old policies. In its current form, the bill, passed by the House earlier this month, earmarks three billion dollars to expand and protect urban tree canopies, with priority toward neighborhoods where thirty percent or more residents live below the poverty line and in areas “with lower tree canopy and higher maximum daytime summer temperatures compared to surrounding neighborhoods.” Grants would go to nonprofits and state and local governments to achieve equity goals. According to one estimate, that will require five hundred and twenty-two million new trees in urban neighborhoods.

Municipal leaders say that funding is urgently needed. In Arizona, more than three hundred people died from heat-related illness in Maricopa County last year—and at least four hundred and ninety-four people statewide. Kate Gallego, the mayor of Phoenix, the county seat, has made increasing tree cover a pillar of her administration’s agenda. Gallego was the first U.S. mayor to sign an agreement with the conservation nonprofit American Forests to achieve citywide tree equity by 2030, a goal that could require planting as many as ten thousand trees annually.

Read more:


Federal Grants RAISE the Bar for Active Transportation Investments
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

By Sophie Mangassarian

Federal policymakers increasingly are taking notice of a rising demand for trails, walking and biking. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced an unprecedented investment in projects that advance trail and active transportation infrastructure through its competitive, multimodal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program (formerly known as TIGER under the Obama Administration and BUILD under the Trump Administration).

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced nearly $1 billion in RAISE grants this cycle, with an emphasis on those that “that will improve infrastructure, strengthen supply chains, make us safer, advance equity, and combat climate change.” The process was extremely competitive, with only about 1 in 10 applicants receiving awards.

Projects that were solely or mainly about trails secured 19% of the overall funding, and projects that were predominantly to make roads safer for vulnerable road users like bicyclists and pedestrians secured another 21% of the funding. Many of the successful projects focused on increasing connectivity to routine destinations, which is also a key trend among communities building out their trail and active transportation networks.

Read more:


Parks & Rec. Agencies Can Provide Resources for Mental Health Programs
Courtesy of GreenPlay

By John Rainey

One in five adults in the U.S. experience some form of mental health issue like depression or anxiety every week. In addition, mental ill-health is one of the most common causes of disease worldwide – it’s also on the rise.
That’s why it is essential to find ways to improve our mental health and sense of well-being.

One approach to this problem is a type of therapy that is becoming more popular: “ecotherapy” or nature-based therapies, which advocates claim can improve mental and physical well-being. This type of formal therapeutic treatment involves being active in natural spaces.

One innovative program in Boulder, Colorado, is called Pathways, which is run by the local hospital, Boulder Community Health (BCH), in collaboration with the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department. The Pathways program provides a range of guided outdoor activities held in natural spaces throughout the Boulder area.

The program uses mindfulness-based techniques, coupled with nature-based care, to engage patients in outdoor activities that build resilience and help overcome mental health challenges.

Read more:


How Unlikely Hikers Is Creating Community and Belonging Outside
Courtesy of NRPA

We’re continuing our celebrations of the Hike Your Turf campaign in partnership with our friends at Merrell. All month long, we’ve been discussing the importance of getting outside and the need for equitable access to parks, trails, greenspaces and more.

On this episode, I’m so excited to welcome one of Merrell’s ambassadors to chat about her journey to becoming an outdoor leader, advocate and community builder. Jenny Bruso is the founder of Unlikely Hikers, a community she created when she discovered a connection with nature, but found outdoor culture to be hostile to those who don’t fit the white, straight-size, cishet-normative, able-bodied mold.

Read more:



Webinar: Adaptive Mountain Biking
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: December 16, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: American Trails

This webinar will provide an introduction to the topic, including general definitions, trail signage opportunities, as well as trails managed use, class, designated use, etc. and how there is overlap in sustainable trail building tactics (methodologies) and usability for all.

This webinar will also speak about adaptive mountain biking specifically and the HOW (how to get trail crews involved, their buy-in/support, making change, being inclusive. This will also include work that has been done to create guidelines (no standards until a Natl Agency adopts them) for trails and a general categorization of devices and capabilities.

Lastly, the webinar will cover the design and technical aspects of adaptive mountain biking trails.

For more information:


2022 Revenue Development and Management School
Courtesy of NRPA

Join us for the 2022 Revenue Development and Management School taking place in Wheeling, West Virginia, March 13-18, 2022. Participants will learn valuable skills — including how to develop a cost recovery plan, where to find costs savings and efficiencies, and how to position parks and recreation as an essential service that drives economic development.

For more information:

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