February 1, 2022

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 February 15, 2022.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by February 14.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

BeachTech logo

Job Announcements

NEW - Parks Services Manager
City of Carlsbad, California
$112,767 - $163,409 Annually
Closing date: Open until filled

Environmental Manager
Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Dept.
Lake Worth, Florida
$83,977 Annually
Closing Date: Feb 11, 2022

Manager of Permits and Revenue
Forest Preserves of Cook County
River Forest, Illinois
$82,867 Annually
Closing Date: Feb 14, 2022

Landscape Architect
Metroparks Toledo, Ohio
Salary commensurate with experience
Closing Date: Feb 20, 2022

Conservation Science Manager
Metroparks Toledo, Ohio
$68,137 - $95,393 Annually
Closing Date: Feb 20, 2022

Regional Operations Manager
Metroparks Toledo, Ohio
$63,559 - $88,982 Annually
Closing Date: Feb 25, 2022

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

Ms. Marlaine Creasey-Smith
Assistant Director
Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation, Virginia

Mr. Derrell Walker
Operations Division Manager
Cobb County Parks, Georgia


Best Practices Forum

Got an issue you need advice on? Or a best practice you want to share? Send us the details and we will publish it in the next NACPRO News. 


Member News

Ramsey County parks may stay open longer
Courtesy of the Star Tribune

By Shannon Prather

MINNESOTA - Ramsey County will consider easing rules for its 6,500 acres of parkland, including dramatically expanding hours and decriminalizing some minor infractions.

Under a proposal introduced at Tuesday's County Board meeting, parks would be open 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. year-round and those hours would not apply to people who, "without delay, are traveling on regional trails."

Officials said the "dawn-to-dusk" rule no longer makes sense, as residents want the opportunity to take an early-morning stroll before work or a moonlight cross-country ski. Many neighboring parks systems already use set times to avoid confusion for users.

Read more:


Metroparks Toledo receives grant to make programs more accessible
Courtesy of

OHIO - Programs from Metroparks Toledo will soon be getting a boost to accessibility thanks to a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

The nearly $25,000 grant to the Metroparks Toledo Foundation will be used to purchase two pieces of equipment to expand their adaptive program offerings. This equipment includes an Action Trackchair, which will help people with disabilities venture over terrain other than paved pathways, as well as a 32x22 foot pool that will help introduce people to kayaking and paddleboarding as well as provide adaptive programs for people with disabilities.

Read more:


Trail Tracker App Aims to Increase Safety in Ocean County Parks
Courtesy of American Trails

By Kimberlee Bongard

NEW JERSEY - Parks throughout Ocean County have seen significantly more people hiking on trails and gathering outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Though trails are marked, first time hikers have struggled to find their way back and have ended up lost in the woods on several occasions.

“Some trails are a half-mile loop and then there are others that are more challenging,” Bavais said. “If you’re not used to it and you’re not used to where you are, people panic.”

The trail tracker functions like a GPS and can pinpoint people’s location throughout Ocean County’s 27 parks and conservation areas. The interactive app can also provide visitors with a map of the trail and their latitude and longitude coordinates.

Read more:


Research and Resources

Recruiting and Retaining Young Adults to the Park and Recreation Workforce
Courtesy of NRPA

By Kevin Roth

Last month, I wrote about the particularly acute labor shortage facing employers across the United States. As recently as October, employers reported having more than 11 million open positions. State and local governments were not immune, with nearly a half-million unfilled non-education jobs.

A June 2021 Pew Research Center report identifies several factors for why fewer young adults seek summertime employment:

- Shorter school summer breaks (with schools in many areas not breaking until mid-to late-June and others starting the school year before Labor Day)

- Students taking high school or college classes during the summer break

- Students volunteering in the community (often because of high school graduation requirements, a desire to boost a college admissions application or a desire for service)

- Less availability of low-skill, entry-level jobs (especially office- and retail-based opportunities)

Read more:


The Trend of Expanding the Scope of Parkland Dedication Ordinances
Courtesy of NRPA

By John L. Crompton, Ph.D.

Courts have consistently endorsed and enhanced the principle of communities passing the costs of growth through to new residences that created the costs. The enhancements have led to the emergence of “new normals” manifested by expansion of the types of parks that are eligible, inclusion of development fees, and inclusion of reimbursement clauses. Figure 1 below shows a continuum of the evolution, extension and expansion of parkland dedication ordinances that has occurred over the past half century.

Read more:


This 16-acre Atlanta park was built to flood
Courtesy of Fast Company

By Nate Berg

GEORGIA - In the Vine City neighborhood outside of downtown Atlanta, a few city blocks faced a persistent threat. Filled with the modest homes of the neighborhood’s primarily Black community, this area was the low point in a 150-acre drainage shed. During storms, when water from the entire neighborhood rushed down into the combined sewer and stormwater system, the area would regularly flood. It got so bad that by the early 2000s, the city decided to buy up the most vulnerable 60 homes and tear them down.

With an average annual rainfall of about 50 inches, the problem was not necessarily solved. So the city of Atlanta and the Trust for Public Land teamed up to find a new use for the space. They hired global design, planning, and landscape architecture firm HDR to design a park for the land—the kind of open space that wouldn’t upend people’s lives if it got a little too wet.

But the city didn’t just want to replace low-lying flooded homes with a low-lying flooded park. They worked with HDR on a design that would turn the empty acreage into a thriving public space that could also serve as an engineered drain, safely taking in the water during heavy storms and gradually releasing it underground. The park is designed to flood—and protect the surrounding neighborhood.

Read more:


Measuring and Mapping Change around the Atlanta BeltLine
Courtesy of Planetizen

By James Brasuell

GEORGIA - Josh Green shares news of an interactive data mapping tool published online by the Atlanta Beltline in partnership with Neighborhood Nexus.

Atlanta BeltLine has published two maps—the Investment Data Explorer and the Demographic Data Explorer. Together, according to Green, the maps are "convenient means of keeping tabs on changes brought, in part, by one of America’s most ambitious urban redevelopment projects."

The Investment Data Explorer, "drills down on funding and progress across BeltLine subareas related to parks, housing, trails, transit and streetscapes, and arts and culture," explains Green. The Demographic Data Explorer "vividly illustrates shifts in population densities, incomes, rent growth, and other metrics since the BeltLine’s conception."

Read more:


Recreation 101: What does it mean to ‘Leave no trace’, ‘Plan like a Park Ranger’ and ‘Tread lightly?’
Courtesy of the St. George News

By Ammon Teare

After 2021 visitation broke records at Utah’s state and national parks, land managers and park rangers are using the winter lull to prepare for another busy year.

More visitors means more money entering local economies and more jobs, but it also means more traffic in the vicinity of recreation areas, more human impacts on scenic landscapes and more strain on gateway communities’ public services.

For these reasons, the agencies that manage national forests, parks and other wilderness areas continue to emphasize recreation ethics and conservation guidelines to ensure public lands are protected and everyone – locals and tourists alike – benefits from their use.

“It’s often said that parks are for people, but we’re also in the forever business,” said Peter Densmore, visual information specialist at Bryce Canyon National Park. “With that responsibility comes a certain state of mind when recreating within them to do so in a way that leaves things intact, leaves things as we found them and maybe even better than we found them.”

Read more:


Community Fitness Facility Trends for 2022
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

The pandemic had a significant impact on fitness facilities across the nation. In partnership with Matrix, the world’s fastest-growing commercial fitness brand, PRB surveyed parks & recreation professionals in different areas of the US. They shared their goals for their fitness offerings and any roadblocks that could hinder them from achieving them. The report below summarizes the data collected to identify fitness trends going into 2022.

Read more:


Menasha creates ‘Little Free Sled Library’ at two parks
Courtesy of

WISCONSIN - We’ve all heard and perhaps noticed little pantries or libraries throughout several communities in Northeast Wisconsin, well this Fox Valley town is taking it in a different direction during the winter months.

The Menasha Parks and Recreation announced on their Facebook page that they have opened Little Free ‘Sled’ Library’s at two local parks – Clovis Park and Barker Farms for the second year in a row. This free ‘library’ is filled with sleds for anyone to use.

Read more:


In the News

A Three-Pronged Approach to the Success of Michigan's Parks
Courtesy of NRPA

By Tina Nowakowski

MICHIGAN - If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that nobody can succeed on their own, and the success of parks and recreation is certainly not exempt. In 2020, Michigan Recreation and Park Association (mParks) joined forces with a broad and diverse coalition of like-minded nonprofits, private-sector organizations and municipalities to tackle their biggest advocacy effort to date — Proposal 1: Vote Yes for MI Water, Wildlife and Parks.

The proposal, which appeared on a contentious November 2020 ballot, expanded the work of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) and helped protect the state’s drinking water sources, wildlife habitats and parks for the future. The amendment sought to safeguard a constitutionally protected revenue source for conservation and recreation efforts for future generations, insulating it from partisan gridlock.

Read more:


New York’s Central Park Becomes a Living Climate Laboratory
Courtesy of Scientific American

By Daniel Cusick

NEW YORK - New York's Central Park means a lot of things to New Yorkers: playground, meeting place, natural oasis, arts venue and movie set, to name just a few.

Soon it will gain another title: living laboratory — specifically a research site to study how climate change affects urban parks.

Under a collaboration between the Yale School of the Environment and two New York City-based nonprofits, researchers will monitor, map and analyze changing climate conditions in the 843-acre park to better understand how warming affects trees, plants, wildlife and the tens of thousands of humans who use it every day.

Read more:


2022 NACo Achievement Awards

The National Association of County’s Achievement Awards program is a non-competitive awards program that seeks to recognize innovative county government programs. One outstanding program from each category will be selected as the “Best of Category.”

Application deadline: March 31, 2022

For more information:


2022 NRPA Awards

The National Recreation and Park Association’s awards program consists of the National Gold Medal Award (presented by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with NRPA), and the NRPA Awards which include the Innovation Awards, Spotlight Awards, Scholarships and Fellowships, and the Robert W. Crawford Hall of Fame.

NRPA Awards recipients are selected by the NRPA Awards and Scholarship Committee, except for the NRPA Best in Innovation Award where the winner is determined by public vote. Each award has specific eligibility criteria. All applicants must be current NRPA members.

Application deadline: March 25, 2022

For more information:


‘The Tesla of Snowmobiles’ is About to Hit the Trail
Courtesy of American Trails

By Jim Motavalli

Montreal-based Taiga Motors is taking US$500 deposits for its battery-powered all-terrain vehicles, which offer a whopping 180 horsepower to move just 586 pounds of weight. That means zero to 62 miles per hour in just 2.9 seconds—actually faster than any Tesla Model 3 (3.1 seconds).

That it’s also the quickest snowmobile ever goes without saying. The range is about 86 miles, and the snowmobiles—which will come in three models—start at US$15,000. They’re expected to reach reservation holders early in 2022.

The Taigas look like other snowmobiles. You can still use them to haul stuff or get around in snow country. But there’s a huge performance edge here. “Instant torque, no matter the elevation, temperature or riding style,” the company says. “Zero throttle lag and a perfectly linear response enable delicate control for technical maneuvers while an endless torque band provides unmatched towing and climbing capabilities.”

Read more:


The Perfect Moment: The Academy, Allyship, Awareness and Advancement
Courtesy of NRPA

By Tracey Crawford, CTRS, CPRP, and Roslyn Johnson, CPRP

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (the Academy) has been in existence since 1980 and has the history of developing programs and services that encourage excellence in park and recreation administration. The Academy’s focus is to inspire and strive to advance public park and recreation administration through the support and guidance of the top 25 educators and 125 practitioners from across the United States.

In 2020, the JEDI Task Force was formed and co-chaired by Tracey Crawford and Roslyn Johnson, and consisted of an additional 32 Academy members. The mission was set out with McCarty’s objective: to create allies, to make an impactful difference in our profession and to start the conversation about the importance of diversity in our profession.

The JEDI Committee presented a list of eight deliverable tasks, which were approved by the 2021 Academy Board of Directors, to focus their efforts moving forward...

Read more:


Geoffrey the Cute Pink Robot Pushed Off the Streets of Toronto
Courtesy of Treehugger

By Lloyd Alte

TORONTO - Geoffrey is a cute 10-pound delivery vehicle developed by Ignacio Tartavull and Gellert Mattyus of Tiny Mile. It's not really a robot; it actually is a cyborg: "a combination of a living organism and a machine," piloted remotely by a human using a computer and a joystick.

But now the city of Toronto has banned what it calls "micro-utility devices" from the sidewalks and bike lanes after complaints from the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee and the non-partisan Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODA). The latter writes that "disability community advocates have called for robots to be banned from sidewalks because they endanger safety and accessibility for people with disabilities, seniors, children and others."

Geoffrey was not autonomous and had a driver, but the AODA notes this is still a problem: "It’s no solution to require robots to have a remote driver. That cannot be policed. One can’t know from looking at a robot whether it has a remote driver somewhere at all, much less a sober one who is properly trained and attentive to steering."

Read more:



GP RED Presents: Integrating Preventive Public Health into Recreation Planning
Courtesy of GP RED

Throughout the past decade, parks and recreation practitioners have realized the role they play in public health and wellness. More often, parks and recreation master planning has been done with an eye toward how to improve community health.

In this video, Dr. Teresa Penbrooke discusses the process of parks and recreation planning with a focus on healthy communities. She outlines how to identify and implement projects with a focus on health and wellness, as well as how to eliminate barriers to participation.

Watch here:


Training: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
Courtesy of National Institute of Crime Prevention

Cities and Counties throughout the country are adopting CPTED ordinances requiring site plan reviews with crime prevention in mind. Law enforcement officers who are specially trained in CPTED are now working closely with Planners, Architects, City Officials, and Educators to ensure the proper design of structures, schools, and neighborhoods. Participants will learn how the design and use of the environment can control human / criminal behavior and reduce the fear of crime. They will learn crime prevention through natural means. How natural access control and natural surveillance decrease the opportunity for crime. Participants will learn the different aspects of lighting and its effects on human behavior. Participants will work together on a site survey and provide a group presentation of their results using CPTED strategies. They will learn the advantages of having a CPTED ordinance and how to construct and present one to lawmakers.

The NICP offers in-person, on-site, and online CPTED training courses. Listed below is more information about our courses including topic lists, agendas, and links to the in-person training calendar and online training.

For more information:


Webinars from American Trails

Walking Towards Peace: Veterans Healing on America’s Trails
Thursday, February 17
1:00 to 2:30 PM (Eastern Time)
No fee

Festivals and Events: The Devil is in the Details
Thursday, February 24
1:00 to 2:30 PM (Eastern Time)
No fee

Introduction to Trail Assessment Using UTAP and HETAP
Thursday, March 3
1:00 to 2:30 PM (Eastern Time)
No fee

For more information:


Webinars from NRPA

Accessing New Federal Infrastructure Investments
Thursday, February 10
2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern
Free for Premier NRPA members

Recently, the bipartisan “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. It is the largest investment in infrastructure made in nearly a century. Participate in this online learning event to become familiar with this investment and learn more information about accessing the funding.

Equity in Practice — What to Expect?
Thursday, February 24
2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern
Free for NRPA members

To develop a plan for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for the field, we spent last year connecting with and surveying the field to understand what DEI work is being done, who is leading the work and what support NRPA can provide. Join this talk as we review lessons learned from that process, discuss what equity means across our core competencies, and introduce NRPA’s new “Equity in Practice” member opportunities for 2022 and beyond.

Climate Resilient Parks: Feedback from the Field
Thursday, March 3
2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern
Free for NRPA members

We want to hear from you! Join NRPA Director of Community and Environmental Resilience Ayanna Williams, MSW, to discuss making our parks more resilient to the challenges of climate change. Share your stories, provide feedback and learn from your peers in the field.

For more information:


Webinars from PlayCore
Courtesy of PlayCore

Using Data for Improved Decision Making and Service Delivery (Pre-recorded)

Opens: Monday, January 31 at 8 a.m. EDT
Closes: Friday, February 4 at 11:59 p.m. EDT
No fee

Data, data, and data… How can we use it in decision-making and improving service delivery? We live in a world with lots of data that can inform the decisions we make every day improving service delivery and demonstrating the impact of our work. Data can help ensure we are equitably allocating our resources, strengthening grant applications, evaluating program impacts and so much more. This panel of parks and recreation professionals will share how they use data to schedule park maintenance activities, schedule asset replacements, identify gaps in programs and facilities in underserved communities, ensure equitable distribution of staff and funds, develop a healthy infrastructure plan and develop a system-wide equitable funding plan.

Biophilic Design: Nature-Based Outdoor Design Solutions for All
Thursday, February 3
2:00 - 3:15 p.m. EST
No fee

Biophilic design comes from biophilia, which literally means a love of nature but also recognizes human dependency on nature. The concept was popularized by Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, and Yale social ecologist Stephen Kellert. Design activates biophilia by creating equitable places of everyday life, where people and nature intersect, beginning in early childhood.

Good News in Parks: Learning from Urban: Big Ideas, Big Execution from Large Communities
Thursday, February 10
1:00 - 2:00 PM EST
No fee

To share the great work in Parks and Recreation agencies, join us for Good News, a monthly, interactive Zoom show where leading park and recreation professionals will share best practices that inform their work and the resulting positive impacts on communities.

Registration Code: COMMUNITY

For more information:


NOHVCC 2022 Annual Conference Will Be In Knoxville, Tennessee
Courtesy of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council

After missing the 2020 Annual Conference and hosting a virtual conference in 2021, NOHVCC hopes to finally meet in person in Knoxville, Tennessee this year. We are still in the planning stages and there may be changes to the format.

The dates for the 2022 Conference are August 18-20 – put them on your calendar now. The conference hotel is the Crowne Plaza in Knoxville.

For more information: