March 29, 2022

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
Welcome New Members
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 April 12, 2022.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by April 11.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

BeachTech logo

Job Announcements

Deputy Director
Shawnee County Parks and Recreation
Topeka, Kansas
$31.08 - $3432 Hourly
Open until filled

Special Assistant
Los Angeles County Department of Parks & Recreation Alhambra, California
$105,033.84 - $141,544.32 Annually
Closing date: Apr 18, 2022

Membership and Annual Giving Manager
Metroparks Toledo, Ohio
Salary commensurate with experience
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:

Join NACPRO in Valdosta this May

Valdosta, Georgia - May 14-16, 2022

Registration Deadline: May 6, 2022

NACPRO's annual meeting will be hosted by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority

Schedule at a glance
Saturday, May 14: County Parks Tour, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm 
Saturday, May 14: Optional Dinner & Social 6:30 to 9:30 pm 
Sunday, May 15: Board/Membership Meeting, 9:00 to 11:00 am
Sunday, May 15: NACPRO Awards Banquet, 5:00 to 9:00 pm 
Monday, May 16: Classroom Workshop, 8:30 am to Noon 

Learn more: 2022-Valdosta-Program-v1.pdf

Register to attend:


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
[email protected]

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

Ms. Erin A Murphy
Recreation Superintendent
Charlotte County Community Services, Florida

Mr. Ted Lambrecht
Assistant County Administrator
Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, South Carolina

Mr. Colin Young
Parks Maintenance & Development Manager
Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, South Carolina


Member News

Partnership Formed With Chicago Bears to Battle Buckthorn
Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserves

The Lake County Forest Preserves and the Chicago Bears have formed a partnership to battle common buckthorn, a non-native, invasive tree that harms plants and wildlife.

Removing this pesky shrub is a key objective in the Forest Preserves’ 100-year Vision for Lake County. A pilot project to help achieve this goal started in 2015. Its mission is to clear buckthorn from Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve in Lake Forest and the surrounding landscape, encouraging about 700 public and private landowners to do the same. The total area encompasses 2,900 acres, bordered by Interstate 94 and IL Routes 176, 43 and 60.

Halas Hall, the Bears’ headquarters, neighbors Middlefork Savanna. The two organizations have teamed up to remove the invasive species that has come to dominate the region’s tree canopy. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Chicago Bears to help eradicate buckthorn from their property,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. “We hope this inspires other landowners to do the same.”

Read more:


County’s Unique Partnership with Special Olympics Receives National Recognition
Courtesy of Palm Beach County

The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department’s (PBC Parks) unique partnership with Special Olympics Florida-Palm Beach County (SOFL-PBC) was recognized by the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) through the 2022 Outstanding Support Organization Award.

PBC Parks’ Therapeutic Recreation Services Section includes three full-time staff operating from the County’s state-of-the-art Club Managers Association of America Therapeutic Recreation Complex, which originally opened in 2007. SOFL-PBC was instrumental in steering prospective funders to the County, and through their expansive fundraising and community support recruitment strategies, they were instrumental in the development of this one-of-a-kind facility.

Read more:


Research and Resources

Studying the Health Benefits and Economic Impacts of Parks
Courtesy of NRPA

By Kevin Roth

Last year, NRPA launched a partnership with researchers at the Urban Institute to develop resources that help park and recreation professionals and advocates make a health-based case for parks, including the development of a method to attach an economic value to those health benefits. In collaboration with an advisory committee of park and recreation professionals and health and equity experts, the multi-year project will result in the creation of an adaptable and practical tool that will provide an economic value of the health impacts of parks.

The first product from this partnership is a summary of research findings that show a linkage between parks and recreation and better health and well-being outcomes.

Read more:


NACo analyzes Treasury Department’s Final Rule for the American Rescue Plan Act

The updated analysis examines revenue loss allocations, clarifies eligible and ineligible uses and reporting requirements.

Click to read


National Demonstration Site Network: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design
Courtesy of PlayCore

The purpose of PlayCore’s comprehensive inclusive play programs and unique design philosophy is to provide high-quality outdoor play experiences for people of all ages and abilities that develop the whole child, address the whole environment, and ultimately, benefit the whole community.

PlayCore is proud of our national partnership with leading experts at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities and Lekotek, which has led to championing thousands of inclusive play initiatives across the world.

Our evidence-based design and programming considerations innovate outdoor environments where both physical and social inclusion can occur. The design guidebook, Me2: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design®, is a one-of-a-kind resource to help communities move beyond minimum accessibility guidelines to intentionally increase usability-creating destinations that are more usable, by more people, to the greatest extent possible. These principles are the only evidence-based guidelines that are tailored specifically to address childhood experiences in outdoor play environments.

Read more:


In the News

State and Local Government Jobs Still Trailing Great Recession Lows
Courtesy of Route Fifty

By Kery Murakami

Even though state and local governments are spending much of their American Rescue Plan Act dollars on operations, the number of public workers nationwide has dropped by nearly 700,000 during the pandemic to a level lower than during the Great Recession, according to a new Center for American Progress report.

Among the positions that have seen the greatest declines include janitors and administrative assistants, jobs that are disproportionately held by people of color or women.

As a result, the left-leaning think tank urged, in the report released Friday, that governments focus on using their federal relief funds on hiring workers. To restore jobs for women and minorities, the group said, states and municipalities should rethink requirements like college degrees, which exclude some people from government jobs. It also urged states and localities to do more to recruit people from disadvantaged communities.

Read more:


National Outdoor Recreation Conference Postponed
Courtesy of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals

The SORP Board has made the difficult decision to re-schedule this year’s in-person National Outdoor Recreation Conference in Knoxville, TN to later in the fall of 2022. We know that many of you were looking forward to gathering in-person this spring for the first time in two years and understand this may be disappointing news. However, with many organizations and agencies still navigating their way out of COVID travel restrictions, we feel that postponing the conference for a few months will provide an opportunity for more recreation professionals to participate in the conference. We also feel that with a few extra months of planning, SORP will be able to better provide you with the outstanding in-person National Outdoor Recreation Conference that we have all come to enjoy and appreciate.


Michigan parks, more popular than ever, struggle to staff up for summer
Courtesy of Bridge Michigan

By Kelly House

Seasonal work at Michigan’s state and local parks was once a sought-after job for students and teachers on summer break, and retirees looking for a diversion. Parks officials had no problem filling thousands of positions each summer.

In the 90s and early 2000s, “if you did not apply by February, you were not going to get a job,” said Amy McMillan, director of southeast Michigan’s Huron-Clinton Metroparks.

But the pandemic’s disruptions to the U.S. economy have hit Michigan’s parks from multiple directions: Visitation has skyrocketed since the pandemic began, but there are fewer workers to help parks accommodate the growing throngs.

The struggle to staff parks is so universal, it was a key topic at the Michigan Recreation & Park Association’s annual conference in Traverse City earlier this month. Attendees traded recruitment ideas and strategies to build a pipeline of future workers.

Read more:


Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change
Courtesy of NRPA

By Richard J. Dolesh

On any given day in any given park across the United States, climate change may not seem like a big deal. Sure, there may be some parks that are flooded somewhere and there may be some parks on fire elsewhere, but by and large, the vast public trust of our local, state and national parks is in good shape. However, it is also true that virtually every park in every state in every locality is facing an existential threat from a rapidly changing climate.

Maria Nardi, director of Miami-Dade County Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, agrees that a holistic view of their entire park and recreation system is critical. “We have to look at every part of our system and how we connect blueways and greenways and streets and communities. We must understand the impacts of climate change to the entire system, not just to the individual pieces. This also helps us understand how our park system shapes the entire county and region and how it builds the health of individual communities.”

Read more:



Webinar: Utilizing Signage to Secure Sponsorship Funding, and Trail Enhancements
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: April 7, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: American Trail

Do you want to create a corporate national and local program for your trails that creates significant funding and enhancements for your trails? This webinar will provide an update from American Trails May 2021 webinar, discussing a strategic partnership that delivers a full solution of design, operations, installation, technology, and sponsorship sales that generate significant revenue for municipalities while enhancing their trail systems. Since the last webinar, new partnerships have formed (with the help of American Trails), and the presenters are eager to share their success stories from other trails.

For more information:


Exploring the Climate.Park.Change. Toolkit
Courtesy of NRPA

DATE: April 14, 2022
TIME: 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT

Join us as we discuss Climate.Park.Change., a web-based toolkit that compiles data on how climate change affects park and recreation spaces and suggests physical design solutions that address climate impacts, as well as other community challenges.

For more information:


Social Construction of Race in Recreation and Public Spaces
Courtesy of NRPA

DATE: April 28, 2022
TIME: 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT
COST: Free

Join us for a talk with Rasul Mowatt, department head of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University, as he discusses the role of race and whiteness in recreation and public spaces. This talk is best suited for individuals who have more advanced knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion and have previously explored concepts of privilege and white supremacy.

For more information:


Greater & Greener 2022: Philadelphia, PA
Courtesy of the City Parks Alliance

June 18-21, 2022

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 in June of 2022, with weekend tours, mobile workshops, and breakout sessions.

For more information:

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