May 10, 2022

In This Issue...

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 May 24, 2022.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by May 23.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

NEW - Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation
County of Santa Clara
Los Gatos, California
$165,494 - $212,288 Annually
Closing date: May 20, 2022

Operations Branch Manager
(Park Management Specialist II)
Fairfax County Park Authority, Virginia
$79,977 - $133,294 Annually
Closing date: May 20, 2022

Aquatics Manager
Cherokee Recreation and Parks
Canton, Georgia
$50,000 - $55,000 Annually
Closing date: May 21, 2022

Park Ranger
Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services
City of San Jose, California
$69,722 - $84,989 Annually
Closing Date: May 21, 2022

Senior Natural Resource Specialist
Carson City Parks, Recreation and Open Space, Nevada
$55,515 - $83,262 Annually
Closing Date: May 30, 2022

Park Maintenance Worker I
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
San Jose, California
$55,257 - $66,710 Annually
Closing date: May 30, 2022

Senior Design & Development Supervisor
Whatcom County Parks & Recreation
Bellingham, Washington
$6,447 - $8,683 Monthly
Closing date: May 31, 2022

Site Superintendent
Champaign County Forest Preserve District
Homer, Illinois
$62,500 Annually
Closing Date: Jun 30, 2022

Park Ranger I
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Los Gatos, California
$68,544 - $82,900 Annually
Closing date: Jul 6, 2022

Forester (Arborist)
Shawnee County Parks and Recreation
Topeka, Kansas
Salary: $17.37 - $19.16 Hourly
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:

Proposal to amend NACPRO Bylaws

The Board of Directors has a draft amendment to the NACPRO bylaws. This amendment adds a new membership type “Associate” for parks and recreation professionals not associated with county, regional or special park districts.

Article II, Section 1 of the NACPRO Bylaws specifies that “Membership in the Association shall be open to any official or management staff associated with county and regional government.” NACPRO does not want to limit who can join the association. The new membership type opens memberships for other entities, but does not grant full privileges to Associate Members. NACPRO has received memberships from related professionals and we felt it was important to clarify the benefits and formalize this practice.

Proposed Amendment

Article II - Section 4: Associate Membership

Any individual, official or management staff associated with a municipal park district, municipal park or recreation department, not-for-profit entity, or other entity desiring to join the Association and subscribing to its purposes. Associate members will be extended benefits as established by the Board of Directors including access to membership electronic, digital and print media, but will not have the privilege of voting, serving on the Board of Directors, or submitting award nominations.

Download a full version of the draft bylaws:

Please email your comments and feedback to [email protected] by May 11, 2022.


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

2022 - National Gold Medal Award Finalists
Courtesy of NRPA

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2022 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Musco Lighting, LLC continues its 20+ years as the proud sponsor of the National Gold Medal Awards program.

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the United States that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class, awarded on odd numbered years, for state park systems.

Congratulations to NACPRO member agencies!

  • Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation, Tampa, FL
  • Johnson County Park & Recreation District, Shawnee Mission, KS
  • Recreation & Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC), Baton Rouge, LA

Read more:


Advancing Park Equity in Los Angeles County
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Clement Lau

How should the value of a park plan be determined? Should a plan be judged by the degree to which it is implemented? What good is a plan if it offers a vision that is unfulfilled? These are the types of questions that many planners have wrestled with during their careers.

Planning is a key function of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), where I work as a park planner. My colleagues and I plan with equity and implementation in mind, ensuring that plans prioritize the neediest communities and do not end up sitting on bookshelves. Examples of such planning documents include the Los Angeles Countywide Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment and the Community Parks and Recreation Plans for various park-poor unincorporated communities.

Read more:


Attract National Events
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Jefferey Spivey

Nationally recognized events can be a boon to cities large and small. Socially, they bring people together from far-flung locales and all walks of life. However, the most significant impacts are often financial; these happenings attract tourists who jumpstart a local economy by spending on hotels, food and beverage, parking, entry fees, and much more.

But if your community isn’t an obvious choice for a big festival or convention, or if your department has yet to succeed in attracting this type of event, where do you begin?

“It just takes some open-minded people from many different backgrounds to make things like this happen,” says Kami Rankin, Deputy Director for central Iowa’s Polk County Conservation Board. She played a key role in ensuring the success of Dew Tour, a major skateboarding event the city of Des Moines hosted in May 2021.

Read more:


Research and Resources

Who Started, Stopped, and Continued Participating in Outdoor Recreation during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US? Results from a National Panel Study
Courtesy of MDPI

By B. Derrick Taff, William L. Rice, Ben Lawhon, and Peter Newman

The COVID-19 pandemic has been proposed as a catalyst for many U.S. residents to re-engage in outdoor recreation or engage in outdoor recreation for the first time. This manuscript describes the results of a representative U.S. national panel study aimed at better understanding the socio-demographic profile (gender, ethnicity, community type, income, and age) of those participants new to outdoor recreation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, we address how these new outdoor recreationists differ from (1) those who frequently participated in outdoor recreation prior to the pandemic and continue to participate in outdoor recreation, (2) those who did not frequently participate in outdoor recreation prior to the pandemic and remain un-engaged, and (3) those who frequently participated in outdoor recreation prior to the pandemic but stopped their frequent participation following the onset of the pandemic.

Read more:


Inclusive Healthy Places Companion Guide for Park and Recreation Professionals
Courtesy of NRPA

NRPA has developed this guide from Gehl’s Inclusive Healthy Places Framework to help park and recreation professionals create spaces where all people feel welcomed, respected, accommodated and safe. The Inclusive Healthy Places Companion Guide for Park and Recreation Professionals provides methods for addressing systemic barriers in order to advance health equity in public spaces. It provides approaches to use drivers, indicators and metrics that inform the planning, design, development and evaluation of public spaces. Together the framework and this companion guide will help launch a movement of Inclusive Healthy Places that becomes an inherent practice throughout park and recreation systems across the nation.

Read more:


New Research: 2022 NRPA Agency Performance Review

The 2022 NRPA Agency Performance Review, with its accompanying interactive online tools from NRPA Park Metrics, is the most comprehensive resource of park and recreation data and insights in the United States and provides the information you need to gain more funding support, improve operations and better serve your community. Read the report, view the interactive tables and begin using this data to help you and your agency excel.

Read more:


Engaging Your Community In a Cause: 3 Suggestions
Courtesy of NRPA

Park and recreation agencies have the ability to transform their communities for the better. Whether you’re planning a formal workshop or just looking to spread awareness about a concern in your community, park and recreation professionals can engage both long-time supporters and casual visitors to make a positive difference in their community.

To help your park and recreation agency promote your cause, this guide will explore three suggestions for how to connect with and engage your community members.

Read more:


Recognizing Water Safety Month
Courtesy of NRPA

By Tara Eggleston Stewart, CPRE, M.S.

May is National Water Safety Month! But before we take that first monumental splash in the pool, it is important that we take a moment to reflect on the critical need for water safety — especially within communities serving higher numbers of diverse and/or economically-disadvantaged residents and individuals with disabilities.

Fatal and non-fatal drowning in our communities is a national public health crisis, disproportionately impacting minorities and individuals with disabilities. These critical incidents can be prevented, and water safety education and drowning prevention strategies must be prioritized by the park and recreation field. What better industry than ours to provide public access to safely operated swimming pools, to train and develop aquatics professionals, and to offer water safety education and learn-to-swim programs for the community?

Read more:


The Role of Parks in Disaster Planning, Recovery and Response
Courtesy of NRPA

By Taj Schottland

Turn on the news, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear about a natural disaster striking a community somewhere in the United States. That’s because natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more severe as the climate crisis accelerates, and also because communities continue to develop areas vulnerable to climate-driven hazards. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration paint a stark picture. Billon-dollar disasters are increasing, and in 2021 alone, we experienced 20 such weather-related disasters, causing $145 billion in damages.

Parks can have a positive impact before, during and after a disaster strikes. Here are a few ways parks help reduce community vulnerability and improve resilience.

Read more:


In the News

Washington DC Named Best Big City Park System in USA
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

Washington, DC, was rated the best big city park system in the country for the second consecutive year. The city scored well on all ParkScore rating factors. Twenty-four percent of land in the District of Columbia is reserved for parks, among the highest in the United States. The District also outperformed on ParkScore’s park access and park equity metrics. Washington, DC, neighborhoods where a majority of residents identify as Black, Latino, Indigenous, and Native American, or Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are equally likely to live within a 10-minute walk of a park as neighborhoods where a majority of residents are white. Park space per capita is also distributed nearly equally in Washington, DC.

By contrast, among all ParkScore cities, neighborhoods, where most residents identify as people of color, have access to an average of 43 percent less park space than predominately white neighborhoods. Residents in low-income neighborhoods have access to 42 percent less park space than residents in high-income neighborhoods.

Read more:


The View From A Rooftop Park
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Ashley Langworthy

San Francisco is known for its beautiful parks and landscapes. A few that come to mind for both residents and visitors are the Presidio, Crissy Field, Golden Gate Park, Dolores Park, and McLaren Park. But until recent years, there have been fewer celebrated parks in the most urban and downtown districts of the city, namely the Financial District and the South of Market Area.

Salesforce Park changes that, providing a sizable, well-maintained, highly programmed, and gardenesque park in the heart of the most urban district of the city.

Perched above the transit center 70 feet in the air, the park affords unusual views of the surrounding buildings and neighborhood. While strolling along the paths, one can enjoy views of the street corridors below and see directly into the inner workings of adjacent buildings, a vantage point not seen from street level or higher up in one of the surrounding towers.

Read more:


Car Noise Is Killing Us
Courtesy of Planetizen

By James Brasuell

A recent study of New Jersey residents that finds car noise contributes to heart attacks, cardiovascular damage and higher rates of heart disease.

An article by Eve Kessler for Streetsblog USA shares news of the study, by researchers at Rutgers’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

“The study used state data to look at almost 16,000 Garden State residents hospitalized for a heart attack in 2018. It found that the heart-attack rate was 72 percent higher in areas with a lot of transportation noise (cars, but also air traffic; Attention: Stop the Chop NYNJ), with fully 5 percent of hospitalizations for heart attacks traceable to elevated transportation noise,” writes Kessler.

“The ground-breaking study — which is among the first such efforts in the United States — aligns with several European studies and likely could be replicated in similarly dense, noisy urban areas.”

Read more:


Heinrich-Backed Legislation To Boost Outdoor Recreation Signed Into Law
Courtesy of

By Carol A. Clark

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is celebrating that bipartisan legislation he cosponsored to digitize public land mapping records to increase outdoor recreation and improve hunting and fishing access for sportsmen and women has been signed into law by President Joe Biden.

The Modernizing Access to our Public Land (MAPLand) Act will enhance access to the nation’s outdoor recreational opportunities by digitizing and standardizing mapping information like access points and permissible uses on federal public lands.

Read more:


The Left’s Climate Playbook Is Already Outdated
Courtesy of the Atlantic Magazine

By Robinson Meyer

In the United States, the philosophy behind many of the most important progressive climate proposals of the past few years—such as the Green New Deal and Joe Biden’s climate plan—was premised on three ideas. Each was rooted in a diagnosis of the 2010s economy—and each, unfortunately, is looking more and more out of date.

First, each plan almost universally assumed that the American economy remained bruised from the Great Recession. Climate policy could succeed by providing stimulus to the economy and creating jobs, just as the New Deal had done in the 1930s. Climate advocates, among the most forceful supporters of this philosophy, assumed that the economy’s real constraints—the cost of buying raw materials or hiring workers for any large project (public or otherwise)—were relatively low.

Read more:


How Chicago Is Helping Residents Coexist With Urban Wildlife
Courtesy of Next City

By Cinnamon Janzer

From raccoons rummaging through garbage bins to coyotes roaming the streets and opossums snacking on garden vegetables to feed their young, urban wildlife can be, well, annoying. It might be tempting to call animal control to deal with an unwanted animal situation, but what if the best option was to learn to coexist with our furry wildlife neighbors instead?

The coexistence plan was designed to promote exactly this education-first approach. Ilanah Taves, a PhD student who was working with the city on a coyote management plan, was the one who put the pieces together: What if they paired the city’s Animal Care and Control department’s understanding of resident animal issues with the scientific expertise of the Urban Wildlife Institute at the Lincoln Park Zoo?

Read more:


Counties rebrand to attract tourists
Courtesy of NACo

By Stephenie Overman

The county wanted to attract more tourists. But how could Washington County, Utah, set itself apart from the nearly 30 other U.S. counties with that name?

The solution was to rebrand itself, according to Kevin Lewis, director of what is now the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office.

The new name draws attention to the fact that one of the most popular national parks is in the county’s backyard. Visitation at Zion National Park has risen to more than 5 million last year from about 2.6 million in 2010.

Read more:



The 2022 SHIFT Summit is Now Accepting Proposals for Sessions
Courtesy of GP RED

Would you like to share your work at the 2022 SHIFT Summit? Research and practice presentation proposals related to issues at the intersection of outdoor recreation, conservation, environmental economics, social justice, and public health are invited for submission. In addition to research, we encourage proposals highlighting successful programs, policies, and partnerships from those in practice, especially related to equity for racially and ethnically diverse populations, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and those living in lower-income urban and rural communities who are disproportionately impacted by health disparities or environmental challenges.

Submit a presentation proposal by June 15, 2022 for the chance to contribute your innovative thoughts and ideas while sharing your experiences, evidence, and ideas for enhancing the reciprocal relationship between humans and nature.

For more information:


Register for the 2022 NRPA Annual Conference

Registration is now open for the 2022 NRPA Annual Conference, taking place this September 20-22, in Phoenix, Arizona. This year’s conference will feature thought-provoking keynote speakers, dynamic education sessions, an exploration-worthy exhibit hall and plenty of unique ways to network and connect with peers from across the country. This is the largest gathering of park and recreation professionals in the world, and if you are passionate about parks and recreation, you should not miss this event.

For more information:


Webinar: Engaging Kids on Trails

Date: June 2, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: American Trails

Get ready for National Trails Day by joining Children's Guidebook author Wendy Gorton in an interactive fireside chat. Wendy will share top tips and strategies that families, caregivers, and park education teams can do to engage children on the trail, from scavenger hunts, nature art projects, writing projects using trail rating websites, citizen science, and infusing technology by teaching kids to use math with trail apps, plant identification, recording bird calls, Geocaching, creativity-infused projects like creating nature-based TikTok videos about what they see, or even a BioBlitz.

For more information:


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