March 1, 2022

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
Welcome New Members
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 March 15, 2022.

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

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

BeachTech logo

Job Announcements

NEW - Park Superintendent
San Bernardino County
San Bernardino, California
$28.65 - $39.38 Hourly
Closing Date: Mar 11, 2022

Program Manager II - Interagency Projects
Santa Clara County
Los Gatos, California
$120,690 - $146,711 Annually
Closing Date: Mar 17, 2022

Park Heavy Equipment Operator
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Los Gatos, California
$77,457 - $93,604 Annually
Closing Date: Mar 16, 2022

Assistant Park and Recreation Director
City of Fort Worth, Texas
$105,378 - $139,625 Annually
Closing Date: Mar 14, 2022

Director of Landscape Maintenance
Forest Preserves of Cook County
River Forest, Illinois
$120,016 Annually
Closing Date: March 3, 2022

Superintendent of Fleet & Facilities
Lake County Forest Preserves
Lindenhurst, Illinois
$83,191 - $124,784 Annually
Closing Date: Open until filled

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

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

Outdoor recreation use in the COVID era

What trends in park visitation are you seeing in your districts during the COVID era? Many parks and trails received record visitation in 2020 and 2021. Have these trends continued? How have they changed over time?

This data could be especially helpful in justifying the need for additional funding. Help us help you by sharing your information - even if your visitation tracking is unconventional.

Would you send us your attendance numbers for 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, the percent change for each year, and the total percent change from 2019 to 2021 that can be attributed to people participating in outdoor activities.

NACPRO will be compiling the data and sharing it with the membership in April. Send your data and questions to:

Brenda Adams-Weyant
NACPRO Executive Director
(814) 927-8212

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. Jamie Lee
Assistant Director
City of Biloxi, Mississippi

Mrs. Cheryl Bell
City of Biloxi, Mississippi

Ms. Alison Hughes
Program Coordinator
Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation, Florida


A Word from Our Sponsors

Disinfecting Misting System is now available
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

The DMS-TNT350 Disinfectant Misting System is a complete, ready-to-use machine to apply disinfectant to most surfaces. Components of the mister are designed to atomize the water-based disinfecting mixture to a fine mist. This mist thoroughly coats the surface, won’t run off the surface, and doesn’t require scrubbing or wiping. Just let it dry. There is no residue. Each mister comes with one gallon of Quat-San Sanitizer/Disinfectant. The DMS-TNT350 can be used inside or outside.

For more information:


Member News

Sarasota County celebrates centennial with historical geocaching program
Courtesy of

By Blake Fussell

Sarasota County celebrated its 100th year in 2021, and to help people learn more about the region's century of history, the county has created a geocaching program, Sarasota County Quest.

Sarasota County Quest, much like a scavenger hunt, provides GPS coordinates of a historical landmark for players to find. Upon arrival at the location, players search for a hidden box where a logbook and area-specific postcards are placed.

Read more:


Leadership Skills from a Former Follower: A Blueprint for Success
Courtesy of Dr. Mays

In his first book, Dr. Samose Mays talks about his road to success and the many roadblocks he encountered along the way. He travels all across the country telling his story to thousands, and he finally took the time to put his story, and the advice he has for other future leaders in this book.

For more information:



National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award Nominations Now Open

The 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.” Of interest to NACPRO members is the Parks and Recreation Achievement award category, described as “Revitalize and reimagine existing or create new public spaces that benefit residents and visitors”

Who is Eligible to Submit Applications?
Only county governments and state associations of counties are eligible to submit applications. There is no limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by a single entity. Regional partners are welcome to submit applications for a collective project; however, submitters must identify a single county or state association to submit the application on the group’s behalf.

Nominations are due by March 31, 2022. The fee for each application submitted before March 4, 2022 is $75. The fee for each application will increase to $100 from March 5 to March 31, 2022.

All qualified programs and the “Best of Category” program are recognized at the Annual NACo Conference, held in Aurora Colorado this year from July 21 through 24.

For more information:


The Legends of Parks and Recreation
Courtesy of AAPRA

In 1981, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration began the Legends of Parks and Recreation Program. The Program creates and shares one-on-one video interviews of distinguished administrators, educators, citizen advocates, and policymakers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of Parks and Recreation.

We are seeking nominations to honor individuals for the 2022 Legends Program.

To nominate an individual, please consider the following criteria:

  1. Experience (professional and/or volunteer related to the field of Parks and Recreation).
  2. Explanation as to why this person is being nominated as a Legend (provide one or more of the following chief accomplishments):
    • Major project(s) completed.
    • Instituted concept, idea, or support for same.
    • Made advancements in outdoor recreation in their field.
    • Significant positive changes for the betterment of parks and recreation through their leadership.
    • Applied research to the field of parks and recreation.
    • Any other significant contributions.

Membership in the Academy is not required as a nominator or nominee.

Return completed nomination forms to Dan West or Leon Younger. Nominations are due June 4, 2022.

Contact for more information or nomination forms:
Legends Chair, Dan West at [email protected]
or Leon Younger, Legends Vice Chair at [email protected] 

For more information:


Research and Resources

Creating Budget-Friendly Sustainability Plans
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Jefferey Spivey

Sustainability has become an urgent issue in the nation’s parks departments, as officials manage wildfire-altered landscapes, rising sea levels, and threatened species, among several other issues.

Increasingly, parks leaders around the country are releasing detailed sustainability-action plans to the public, suggesting that every department should be doing the same. But the creation of these plans requires resources—internal talent, external consultants, community activists, appropriate funding, and time allocation. For smaller departments that don’t have the bandwidth, it’s difficult to prioritize sustainability planning while struggling with day-to-day responsibilities.

Read more:


Lessons Learned From Settlement Regarding Accessible Playground Surfacing
Courtesy of NRPA

By Antonio Malkusak, PLA, CPSI

What is the best surfacing for playgrounds? This is one of the commonly asked questions that I and my fellow Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) training instructors get. Unfortunately, there is no one best answer. Many factors contribute to making the best selection for each situation, including cost (initial vs. long term), height of the equipment, installation, maintenance, and accessibility. The more we know, the better decision we can make.

In June 2020, the Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a settlement agreement with the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD). The issue centered around a complaint that claimed the surfacing system installed and maintained by the ICCSD did not meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A DOJ investigation revealed every ICCSD school did not satisfy the ADA requirements for their surface systems.

Read more:


‘Green Girls’ Take on Climate Change
Courtesy of Next City

By Emily Nonko

Maysa Maryam, a high school junior who lives in the Bronx, hadn’t had much experience with the Bronx River, the only freshwater river in New York City that winds through her borough. That changed last summer when she was an intern with a program known as CityParks Green Girls Empowered by ING. Maryam donned waders, ventured into the water, and participated in a cleanup, while also learning how this waterway has a long history of environmental racism.

Green Girls is a 20-year-long afterschool and summer program that supports middle-school girls in New York City with STEM learning (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through outdoor adventures in parks and along waterways. More recently the program turned its focus to the climate crisis, amending its curriculum to teach girls about climate change, provide space to process the emotional toll, and offer avenues to engage in environmental advocacy.

Read more:


Youth Sports Administration 101: Risk Management
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Jason Schaitz

Risk management is never fun, but it is essential in preventing a catastrophic incident that may cause serious harm and shut a league down for good. Risk management does not only include a hazard or physical accident, but can include financial losses or the loss of important records. Here are several tips to help mitigate risk...

Read more:


Getting Girls and Women Into the Game for a Lifetime of Success
Courtesy of NRPA

By Kim Turner

Title IX has opened athletics doors to millions of girls and women over the past five decades. Similarly, park and recreation agencies can work on and celebrate engaging girls and women in sports and physical activity during these events and each day of the year.

Girls playing sports attain higher levels of education, are healthier mentally and physically, and even earn higher wages as adults, compared to non-athlete peers. Girls and women of color, in particular, experience big lifelong dividends from sports play, and yet too often have the least opportunity and equity in programming. Thus, focusing on engaging girls and women of color, especially in low-income areas, is key to ensuring everyone can get into and enjoy sports and physical activity for a lifetime.

Here are nine ways your agency can instill gender equity in youth athletics during this Title IX anniversary...

Read more:


Implementing Safe Zone Training to Create More Inclusive LGBTQ+ Spaces
Courtesy of NRPA

By Hillary Roembersberger, CPRP, AFO

As professionals, we commit to offering welcoming and safe environments for our program participants. Yet, agencies sometimes struggle to communicate that mission to the LGBTQ+ community. There are several steps an agency can take that have the potential to provide a large and lasting impact, ranging from more inclusive messaging on promotional materials and social media posts to facility improvements, such as gender-neutral and/or unisex restrooms. However, before taking any of these steps, professionals need to understand what it truly means to be a safe space.

Read more:


Electronic Health Record Referral Pathways: A Guide to Development, Relationship Building and Implementation
Courtesy of NRPA

This guide provides resources for developing and maintaining healthcare partnerships as well as tools to identify and refer individuals with any type of disease to a variety of community-based programs and services.

For more information:


Rural Capacity Map Supports Climate Resilience
Courtesy of Headwaters Economics

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the largest investment in climate resilience in U.S. history. The $1.2 trillion in funding will create transformative opportunities for local governments that own and maintain most of the nation’s infrastructure, but first state and federal agencies must ensure the resources get to the places that need it the most. To help identify communities that need support but may lack staff and expertise to compete for federal funding, we have created a first-of-its-kind Rural Capacity Map.

Communities will need capacity—the staffing, resources, and expertise—to apply for funding, fulfill onerous reporting requirements, and design, build, and maintain infrastructure projects over the long term. Many communities simply lack the staff—and the tax base to support staff—needed to apply for federal programs. Even communities that can put together applications are often outcompeted by higher-capacity, coastal cities. The places that lack capacity are often the places that most need infrastructure investments: places with a legacy of disinvestment including rural communities and communities of color.

Places that receive the most external funding – whether from state and federal programs or philanthropy – often have larger staff, more expertise, and deeper political influence, not necessarily greater merit.

Read more:


Three Challenges We Often Hear When Encouraging Inclusion
Courtesy of NRPA

By Shalini Mirpuri

We know park and recreation professionals are hungry for resources to build more inclusive environments. As a membership organization, it is NRPA’s responsibility to provide professionals with the tools they need to be champions of innovative and long-term solutions that ensure access for everyone. To identify what work was being done and what support agencies needed in order to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), NRPA sought feedback from the field through surveys and focus groups. The results of these surveys produced clear themes in response to how professionals understood their role in promoting DEI. While many professionals and agencies see the importance of formal DEI programs and policies, there is still some resistance to the role that DEI plays in the park and recreation industry.

We’ve outlined the three most common challenges we received in response to our push for inclusivity, along with our perspectives on each...

Read more:


View Updated Sea Level Rise Projections from NOAA in Climate Central Risk Maps
Courtesy of Climate Central

You can now use Climate Central’s Coastal Risk Screening Tool to map sea level rise and coastal flood projections along U.S. coasts based on findings in this month's Technical Report from NOAA and other federal agencies. Click below to visualize updated projections from the interagency report for any U.S. coastal location to 2150.

Other sea level projection sources, including the IPCC 2021 leading consensus projections, remain selectable in the Coastal Risk Screening Tool for all locations. Click “Change Other Settings” (or the gear/settings symbol on mobile devices) to switch sources, and to see more information about any of the settings or sources available in the tool, including technical details and limitations.

For more information:


How racialized trauma functions as a barrier to enjoying nature
Courtesy of Ohio State News

By Emily Caldwell

The case of the fence and closed gate surfaced during public meetings researchers held at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge during the early 2010s to understand barriers that affected residents’ access to national wildlife refuges in urban settings nationwide. During focus groups discussing such issues as transportation and signage, a deeper theme emerged: The history of systemic racism in the United States casts a pall over marginalized people’s attempts to enjoy nature-based leisure activities.

A new analysis of the data from the focus groups, led by Ohio State University researchers, shows that historical trauma – and the transgressions people engaged in to overcome barriers to outdoor recreation – shape many Black and Indigenous Americans’ views about using public lands for leisure, as well as their proposed solutions to address inequalities experienced in those nature-based spaces.

“People are not just visitors to these lands that are protected by management agencies – people are deeply invested in the outcomes of these federal lands that we all share,” said Alia Dietsch, assistant professor of parks, protected areas and natural resources management at The Ohio State University and lead author of the new study.

Read more:


Active Transportation Funding and Finance Toolkit
Courtesy of FHWA

Across the country, interest in and demand for better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure has increased the interest of state and local agencies in using innovative funding and financing strategies to deliver active transportation projects. Many traditional funding programs reserve limited sums for active transportation projects or require competition for funding with other project types that may fare better when applying established prioritization criteria. The need to leverage funds for matching, or the need for financing to bring projects online more rapidly, can compound this issue. While bicycle and pedestrian projects tend to be lower cost than most road projects, transportation agencies throughout the country face unique challenges in securing timely, adequate funding for them. Strategies that agencies have not typically used for active transportation projects, such as value capture and bond financing, are increasingly gaining attention as effective methods for the delivery of bicycle and pedestrian projects.

As interest in active transportation has increased among the general public and public officials alike, tools for accelerating the delivery of bike and pedestrian projects are more important than ever (Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, 2020a). In particular, there is interest in projects that can significantly expand networks by filling gaps between existing networks. This toolkit highlights notable, innovative practices for paying for such projects.

For more information


In the News

‘Green Cabinet’ to advise Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens on parks and greenspace
Courtesy of Saporta Report

By Maria Saporta

GEORGIA - Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced Wednesday that he will have a Greenspace Advisory Council to help guide city policy when it comes to its parks and natural areas.

The Council, which Dickens referred to as his “green cabinet,” includes 13 environmentally-focused nonprofits that serve the city and the Atlanta region.

“Our intention is to use them as a resource for the city,” said Dickens, who added that he “expects the members of this council to help us stay on track and help us to remain accountable” in implementing the city’s five-year strategic plan for parks, green space, and recreation.

Read more:


Bill proposes to charge for hiker rescues on illegal trails
Courtesy of

By Max Rodriguez

HAWAII - Enter at your own risk. That is what lawmakers are warning under a new proposal looking to charge people for their rescues if they are injured at an illegal hiking trail.

Anyone entering a prohibited trial and then needs help may have to reimburse at least half of the cost of their rescue under proposed House Bill 1572.

State Representative Scot Matayoshi said the cost of rescue is just one part of the bill. The second is to create a Hike Safe Card program, the idea is for hikers to pay a yearly fee between $24-to-$35 and create a special fund for rescues. The card could also exempt people from a rescue charge.

Read more:


This New 600-mile Trail Will Connect 15 Mountain Towns for an Epic Adventure
Courtesy of

By Stacey Leasca

Think you've climbed every mountain? Searched high and low? Followed every byway and every path you know? Well, The Connected Communities Project is hoping to remedy that problem by bringing the hiking community a new 600-mile path to enjoy.

The Connected Communities Project, a partnership between the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS), the U.S. Forest Service, and other community partners, is on a mission to create a 600-mile network of multiuse trails that will one day connect 15 northern California mountain towns to Reno, Nevada. And it will be known as the Lost Sierra Route.

Read more:


NOVA Parks Unveils Jim Crow History Sign on W&OD
Courtesy of

VIRGINIA - NOVA Parks on Saturday unveiled a sign near the intersection of the W&OD Trail and Leesburg’s King Street telling some of the intertwined story of Jim Crow laws and the railroad that once followed that path.

Jim Crow laws mandated separating people based on race in public spaces. On the railroad, that included requiring Black and white passengers to wait for the train in different rooms and ride in different rail cars. When there was only one passenger car, Black riders were required to sit in the back, sometimes separated by a curtain, or face arrest and fines. The new sign tells some of that story.

Read more:


Peaks to Plains: A Colorado Trail Experience
Courtesy of NRPA

By Chris Barker

COLORADO - During the summer of 2016, Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS), through a partnership with Clear Creek County (Colorado) Open Space, opened the first segment of the Peaks to Plains (P2P) Trail in Clear Creek Canyon Park to visitors. This three-mile segment of trail — two miles in Jefferson County and one mile in Clear Creek County — is a 10-foot-wide, Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible, stained-concrete surface, with 500 feet in elevation gain, six new or improved creek access points, an expanded trailhead, and three bridges across Clear Creek. Each bridge is equipped with overlooks so that visitors can enjoy the view out over the water. The trail is multi-use and welcomes a variety of recreational activities, from cycling and walking to fishing and gold panning.

Project complexities included steep canyon walls, narrow trail corridors, sensitive riparian areas, historic structures, access, impacts to visitors, and the Ute Ladies’ Tresses Orchid — a federally threatened species. Recognizing these significant design and construction challenges, the project received many awards in 2017, including the prestigious Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies as one of the top 36 engineering projects in the country.

Read more:



Registration is now live for Greater & Greener
Courtesy of City Parks Alliance

June 18-21, 2022 - Philadelphia, PA

The Greater & Greener biennial conference explores how urban parks can be designed, developed, programmed, funded, and sustained to meet the challenges facing 21st-century cities. The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated a national dialogue on the essential role of parks 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. Join us for our in-person conference in Philadelphia with weekend tours, mobile workshops, and breakout sessions.

For more information:


Webinar: Accessibility on Rail-Trails and Other Shared Use Paths

Date: Friday, March 4
Time: 1:00 pm EST
Host: Rails to Trails Conservancy

Accessibility is an important part of trail development, as it ensures that a trail is available to all users, including persons with disabilities. Interested in learning what actions you can take to provide an accessible and inclusive experience on your trails? This webinar will provide an overview of the proposed accessibility guidelines for public rights-of-way and shared-use paths (Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines, or PROWAG) and insights from experts who have implemented these guidelines on trails in their community. Presenters include Juliet Shoultz (U.S. Access Board), Christopher Douwes (FHWA), and Matt Ludwig (NV5, Philadelphia).

For more information:


Hiring Operations Staff During the Great Resignation

Date: March 8, 2022
Time: 2:00 to 3:15 pm (EST)
Host: NRPA
Cost: Fee

NRPA’s Sandbox events invite park and recreation professionals to "talk shop," swap strategies, explore challenges and develop new approaches to their work together. Participate in this operations and maintenance Sandbox to discuss recruiting, hiring and onboarding during the "Great Resignation," which has been a period of prolonged staffing shortfalls spurred, in part, by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Participants will be invited to name some of the specific challenges and successes around this topic and then asked to self-organize into small groups to explore themes together more deeply.

This Sandbox event will not be recorded or available on-demand after the live event has concluded.

For more information:


Finding and Fueling Innovation in Parks and Recreation

Date: March 9, 2022
Time: 2:00 to 3:00 pm (EST)
Host: NRPA
Cost: Free

Innovation grows from practices that value experimentation and collaboration between the agencies and organizations working in parks and recreation. Yet many efforts to understand innovation emphasize products at the expense of processes. This talk reviews some core principles for fostering innovations in park and recreation management and introduces pragmatic research methods for revealing the connections that make innovation possible.

For more information:


Webinar: Exploring Data Fusion Techniques to Derive Bicycle Volumes on a Network
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: March 10, 2022
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC)

Planners and decision-makers have increasingly voiced a need for network-wide estimates of bicycling activity. Such volume estimates have for decades informed motorized planning and analysis but have only recently become feasible for non-motorized travel modes.

Recently, new sources of bicycling activity data have emerged—including mobile apps like Strava, Ride Report, Map My Ride, and GPS-enabled bike share systems. These emerging data sources have potential advantages as a complement to traditional count data, and have even been proposed as replacements for such data, since they are collected continuously and for larger portions of local bicycle networks. However, the representativeness of these new data sources has been questioned, and their suitability for producing bicycle volume estimates has yet to be rigorously explored. This project develops a method for evaluating and integrating emerging sources of bicycle activity data with conventional demand data and methods, and applies the results to several locations to predict network-wide bicycle volumes.

For more information:


Webinar: Recreation Impact Monitoring System (RIMS) Mobile Application

Date: Friday, March 24
Time: 1:00 PM to 2:00 pm EST
Host: American Trails
Cost: Free

Gather data on trails, signage, camping, visitor use, and more using the RIMS mobile app ( This innovative tool empowers recreation users, volunteers, and staff to collect detailed field reports with geolocated assessments, photos, and objective metrics. The data is optimized for land managers, stewardship groups, and outdoor recreation professionals. Customized dashboards and ArcGIS integration help user groups and agencies process data, identify priority issues, and efficiently deploy resources.

The RIMS app was developed by the Colorado Mountain Club to support trail maintenance reporting and has expanded to include visitor use monitoring, conflict reporting, and more, not just in Colorado but across the country. This webinar will show how the free mobile app works and how new groups can get involved in the program.

For more information:


Creating Community for Women in Parks and Recreation

Date: March 31, 2022
Time: 2:00 to 3:00 pm (EST)
Host: NRPA
Cost: Free

Parks and recreation, like many professions, was once a male-dominated industry. While representation and diversity are increasing in the field, many women found themselves needing a space of their own—to collaborate, support, and learn from other women in parks, recreation, and leisure. To help us round out Women’s History Month, join us in conversation with Lakita Watson, NRPA Board Member and CEO of Women in Parks and Recreation, as she discusses the unique challenges and amazing triumphs of women in the field.

For more information:

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