November 9, 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 November 22, 2021.

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

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

BeachTech logo

Job Announcements

Deputy Director of Resource Management
Forest Preserves of Cook County
River Forest, Illinois
$90,889 - $109,557 Annually
Closing date: Dec 3, 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 Members

Mr. Nicholas Smith
Parks and Recreation Director
Newaygo County Parks and Recreation, Michigan

Ms. Lorrie Pearson
Executive Director
Champaign County Forest Preserve District, Illinois

Mr. Brandon Cadwell
San Juan Parks and Fair, Washington

Mr. Matt Kriese
Parks Director
Brown County Parks, Wisconsin

Mr. Mark Shoemaker
Executive Director
Pottawattamie County Conservation Board, Iowa

Mr. Ryan Kane
St. Johns County Parks and Recreation, Florida

Member News

Broward Parks Scores a First with Way-Finding App for Visually Impaired
Courtesy of Broward County

FLORIDA - Park patrons who are blind or have low vision now have a whole new method to navigate around a Broward County park, thanks to AIRA, a way-finding app that gives such individuals real-time access to trained agents.

Broward County Parks is the first county parks and recreation system in the State of Florida to provide AIRA to its patrons. The County will pay an annual fee to activate the app, which can be downloaded for free and then used within park boundaries. Upon entering a park, a patron can engage the app, which will connect them to a trained AIRA agent with extensive training in working with people who are blind or have low vision. The agent, interacting with the patron in real-time, can provide up to 30 minutes of assistance per day to help locate specific facilities such as restrooms, shelters, and park offices, and to read signage, including park rules and posted safety guidelines.

Read more:


Great Parks Passes Tax Levy
Courtesy of Great Parks of Hamilton County

OHIO - I am excited to share that Hamilton County voters elected to support Issue 29, Great Parks of Hamilton County's proposed tax levy, in the November 2, 2021 election.

We greatly appreciate the support of the voters, and we are very excited about the future of your Great Parks. With this decision from the voters, we will move ahead with the needs identified in critical infrastructure and the public’s priorities from the park and facility master plan improvements. Great Parks looks forward to providing even more exceptional experiences for our residents to enjoy now and for generations.

The 0.95 mill ten-year tax levy will fund approximately 76% of the $101 million in critical infrastructure needs and approximately 56% of the $124 million in park improvements identified through the master plan process. For more information, visit

Todd Palmeter
Great Parks of Hamilton County CEO


A Word from Our Sponsors

MySites Reservation System was created to amplify the benefits of outdoor recreation and to highlight SEPI Marketing partners. The first version of the website launched 9 years ago but has grown exponentially since then. Currently, includes over 75,000 newsletter subscribers, 85,000 Facebook Fans, 70,000 monthly unique visitors and 40,000 current app users.

The community continues to swell, highlighting SEPI Partners and the Outdoor Recreation Industry as well. Hundreds of referrals are forwarded out to Campgrounds and RV Resorts every month, for free.

Now, SEPI Marketing is pleased to introduce MySites Reservations System, a software as a service (SAAS) featuring software for RV campground reservations. With the most current technology included, MySites is also offered for free to Resorts and Campgrounds. For details, schedule your demo today.

For more information:


Pilot Rock offers Custom Fabrication

You already know that we make the best line of outdoor site equipment in the industry, but did you know that we also offer custom fabrication services? We have the ability to take on your job or idea and turn it into a finished product no matter what step of the process you are in whether it be design, cutting, fabricating, welding, or finishing.

For more information:


Research and Resources

PlayCleanGo® Prevention Tools You Can Start Using Today
Courtesy of the River Management Society

700+ organizations across North America are helping the public stop invasive species in their tracks through PlayCleanGo. Our online store offers products for you to be part of the solution by providing recreationists tools to stop the spread of invasive species. PlayCleanGo® products are priced low to meet organization and agency budgets. Please take a moment to share this link with your peers.

For more information:


Management Challenges in Park and Recreation Agencies
Courtesy of NRPA

By Dr. Larry Allen, Dr. Ellen Drogin Rodgers, Dr. Bob Barcelona, Marvin Billups, Bill Clevenger, Dr. Gary Ellis, Sara Hensley, Richard Horton and Dr. Lynn Jamieson

One of the issues with identifying effective management strategies has been first to identify the primary challenges facing park and recreation agencies, and second, to identify available or needed research.

Certainly, there is a plethora of evaluative work identifying specific needs, but there is a lack of overall assessments of management challenges. Therefore, in 2018, the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) charged its Research for the Profession Committee to conduct a survey to identify the primary challenges facing park and recreation managers and the research necessary to inform evidence-based practices among the AAPRA members.

Individuals responded to the question: “Consider the array of daily challenges you face in managing and delivering services in your community. You NOW have the money and the resources to tackle them, which one(s) would you invest in solving?” Across the 55 individuals, 139 challenges were identified.

Read more:


Identifying User-Fee Traps
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Mark Nagel and Chris Austin

What do you do when some users will pay a higher fee if they have to, but others cannot? Do you set the fee lower and sacrifice revenue? Or do you set it higher and accept that some users will be priced out of the activity?

A thinking trap is an assumption about how the world works that keeps one from seeing other possibilities. This article will explore three thinking traps that may prevent a program from increasing its fee revenue. Along the way, four methods of generating fee revenue that respects differences in users’ ability to pay also will be discussed.

The first thinking trap is the uniform-fee trap. This assumes that every user must be charged the same fee. The escape from this trap is to realize that different users can be charged different fees for the same (or nearly the same) activity. This practice is called differential pricing, and it can take several forms.

Read more:


Building Resilience in Your Community
Courtesy of NRPA

By Jessica Livingston, M.Ed., CPTD, and Ainsley Worrell, M.S., CHES

Approximately one in five youth and adults worldwide experience mental health conditions and substance use disorders. In 2020, the number of people seeking help with anxiety and depression skyrocketed.

Over time, stress, trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) may contribute to serious health problems — such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, substance abuse and mental disorders, including depression or anxiety. Mental health conditions can create loneliness and isolation and have a substantial effect on relationships, school or work performance, health outcomes, and the ability to participate in the community.

The Community Resilience Initiative is an excellent resource for recreation professionals that offers training, community engagement materials, conferences and multiple products for embedding resilience building blocks into your programs to combat ACEs, trauma and toxic stress.

Read more:


Eco-friendly walking path opens at Eiserman Park
Courtesy of Branson Tri-lakes News

By Jason Wert

MISSOURI - The Branson Parks & Recreation Department held a ribbon-cutting celebration for the eco-friendly walking trail that was specifically designed to keep tires out of landfills. They also hope the new design will help to improve Lake Taneycomo’s water quality.

The walking trail is part of the Taneycomo Management Planning and Demonstration project. The project is funded through a partnership of Missouri State University, the Department of Natural Resources, White River Valley Electric, and the parks department. The parks department provided matching labor costs and was trained by Porous Pave, Inc. to build the eco-friendly trail.

Read more:


A fresh start for LaPorte County bike routes and a Berrien Springs park
Courtesy of South Bend Tribune

By Joseph Dits

INDIANA - Twenty years ago, LaPorte County boasted 20 bike routes with signs at each turn along scenic, sometimes rolling, rural roads. Some 1,600 signs marked the "LaPorte County Shared Bikeways."

But in recent years, LaPorte County Parks Superintendent Jeremy Sobecki says, staff took an inventory and found hundreds of signs missing.

To modernize the routes, they were programmed into a website/app called "Ride with GPS", which features both maps and cue sheets for turns.

Read more:


Federal funding opportunities available to counties for environmental and resiliency initiatives
Courtesy of NACo

By Aaliyah Nedd, Adam Pugh

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced funding opportunities available to counties for environmental and resiliency initiatives. These funding opportunities are for projects around environmental justice, preparing for climate-related impacts, infrastructure resiliency and flood mitigation, forest-based projects and economic development. Counties are uniquely positioned to serve as stewards for environmental justice and equity through the implementation of best practice policies that not only combat climate change but ensure vulnerable populations are not subject to disproportionate harm. For a comprehensive list, click here and please see below for a few highlighted programs that are currently accepting applications and proposals.

Read more:


In the News

Federal funding transforms city parks, but more investment is needed to solve inequities
Courtesy of The Hill

By Catherine Nagel

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the true value of parks. Parks across the country experienced a huge spike in visitors as people sought places to exercise, meet up safely with friends and family, seek respite, and come together as a community during hard times. Research shows us that, in addition to supporting physical and mental health and enhancing community cohesion, parks also support workforce development, boost local economies, and protect the environment.

It’s clear that parks are a vital component of any city’s infrastructure and more local municipalities are making parks a priority, but budgets are still tight. With the pandemic, many park budgets were cut and staff laid off.

The good news is that federal funding is available to cities. For example, the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP), a National Park Service grant program funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The program was created in 2014 and offers grants specifically to help underserved communities access or re-connect with the outdoors.

Read more:


Interior Department Officials Commemorate Global Partnership on Climate Change and Biodiversity Crisis at COP26
Courtesy of US Dept of Interior

GLASGOW — The Department of the Interior joined land managers from around the globe today to endorse and commemorate a Protected and Conserved Areas Joint Statement (Joint Statement) on Climate Change and Biodiversity Crisis, submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP26 and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15.

Signatories of the Joint Statement include the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service and other global managers of “Protected and Conserved Areas” bodies. The Joint Statement reflects commitments and actions to address the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. It underscores the important role our public lands, national parks and other conserved areas play in addressing the climate crisis, mitigating climate impacts, and educating the public about the issue.

Read more:


Corps of Engineers considers nature-based flood control
Courtesy of AP News

By Travis Loller

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is known for damming rivers and building levees to keep waterways at bay. But a new initiative seeks natural flood control solutions as climate change brings increasingly frequent and severe weather events that test the limits of concrete and steel.

In Missouri, the Corps recently completed a levee setback along the Missouri River after the existing levee was overtopped and breached by flooding in 2019. Rather than simply repairing the levee, the Corps built a new 5-mile (8-kilometer) stretch farther from the river, opening up about 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of floodplain to help reduce future flooding while providing habitat for rare and declining species.

Read more:



GP RED Presents: Trends in Managing Outdoor Recreation
Courtesy of GP RED

Learn from this informative presentation summary from Atilla Bality, outdoor recreation planner (NPS-RTCA), and Dr. Teresa Penbrooke (Director of the Healthy Communities Research Group for GP RED) as they discuss the trends in managing outdoor recreation at a GP RED National Think Tank. They review an Outdoor Industry Association Forecasting Report, discuss how agencies are adapting to new trends around outdoor recreation and how to further utilize tools for managing outdoor land spaces.

Watch here:


Webinar: Creating Conditions of Possibility -  Diverse, equitable, and inclusive recreation spaces for individuals with disabilities
Courtesy of PlayCore

Opens: Monday, Nov. 8 at 8:00 am EST
Closes: Friday, Nov. 12 at 11:59 pm EST

Communities’ recreation spaces, such as parks and playgrounds, are so very important to community members with disabilities as they establish the conditions of possibility for how people live in a community. Diverse, equitable, inclusive recreation spaces support participation in everyday activities and relationships, while unsupportive environments can lead to isolation, exclusion, and marginalization. Careful planning and coordination of a community’s recreation spaces are necessary to ensure individuals with disabilities have just and equitable access to the supports needed for participating in daily activities of community living. This webinar will present practices to promote the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in a community’s public recreation spaces and their participation in daily activities of community living.

For more information:


Webinar: Walking and Biking in Rural Communities - How Planning, Partnerships and Equity Play a Role
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: November 17, 2021
Time: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm ET
Cost: $50 members/$85 non-members
Organization: Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP)

This webinar will consist of three parts:

1. Best practices and lessons learned for implementing bike and ped facilities in rural cities, and the challenges faced when working with small communities (presented by Bolton & Menk)

2. Example of successful implementation through strong partner relationships and proper planning in the City of Le Sueur, a city of 4,000 people located between Mankato and the Twin Cities (presented by City of Le Sueur)

3. The Minnesota Department of Transportation's (MnDOT) efforts to prioritize planning and investment in pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure within an equity and environmental justice context has led to its development of the SPACE (Suitability for Pedestrian And Cycling Environment) tool. We will give an overview of MnDOT's SPACE tool and how it is applied to equitably plan and construct pedestrian and bicycle facilities (presented by MnDOT).

For more information:


Webinar: How GIS Can Save the Places We Love
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: November 18, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: American Trails

Protecting the places we love is a key element in the quest to save our planet. Scientists have identified that we must save 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030 to avoid catastrophic biodiversity loss and climate collapse. One way we can contribute is by supporting the use of Geographic Information Systems to analyze, map, and tell the stories of the places that need to be protected. The tools and data have never been more accessible so you don’t have to know how to be a GIS wizard to have a big impact. Where can a city park provide a park with a playground for kids and trees to help cool surrounding areas down in searing summer heat? How can GIS be used to engage communities to identify and protect important lands for water quality and local food production? How can GIS be used to link critical wildlife corridors that span across the country or identify where wildlife over or underpasses will save animals and people from vehicle collisions? How can we create more equitable opportunities for people to get outdoors to bike, walk or fish? GIS can help us visualize, gain insights into and design approaches to address these issues.

For more information:

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