June 21, 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 July 5, 2022.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by July 4.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

NEW - Parks and Recreation Director
City of Oceanside, California
$137,772 - $192,864 Annually
Closing date: Jul 15, 2022

Leisure Services Manager
Polk County Conservation
Granger, Iowa
$73,459 - $96,614 Annually
Closing date: Jun 22, 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

Executive Director/Secretary
Darke County Park District
Greenville, Ohio
$68,500 Annually or commensurate with experience
Closing date: Aug 31, 2022

Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation
Johnson County Park and Recreation District
Shawnee, Kansas
Salary depends on qualifications
Closing date: Open until filled

Forester (Arborist)
Shawnee County Parks and Recreation
Topeka, Kansas
$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:

2023 Special Park District Forum - Registration is Open

June 19-22, 2023 - Lake County Forest Preserves, Illinois

We are honored to host the first Special Park Districts Forum in four years!

The event theme “Charting the Waters” emphasizes the importance of both reconnecting with people and connecting with the land during these challenging years in a pandemic.

Programming will reflect this unique moment in time, challenges agencies like ours overcame to remain operational, and local community support during a global crisis. We will highlight key projects that focus on water resources.

NACPRO will be conducting the annual meeting in conjunction with the 2023 Forum. The awards banquet will be held the evening of Tuesday, June 20. We hope to see you there.

For more information:


Best Practices Forum

Seeking your experience with cordless electric outdoor power equipment

Are you using battery-powered mowers, chainsaws, trimmers, blowers, ATVs, tractors, etc. at your park district? Have you switched to cleaner and greener technologies like propane or natural gas? We would like know about your experience with green technology.

  • What brands do you find to be more reliable?
  • Has the technology caught up with the performance we have come to expect?
  • What equipment is more conducive to battery power, and conversely what battery- powered equipment needs further refinement for better reliability?
  • In what situations are gas-powered tools more effective?
  • Are you using homeowner or commercial grade products?
  • How much extra battery power do you need to carry for a full day's work?
  • Has it been difficult obtaining batteries due to global supply chain issues?
  • Have you had any safety issues with lithium-ion batteries?

Send your information to [email protected]. We will compile the information and send to all members.


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

‘Title IX Plaza’ in Ann Arbor-area park to tell untold stories of local women in sports
Courtesy of

By Lucas Smolcic Larson

MICHIGAN - As the 50th anniversary of Title IX approaches, a new initiative in an Ann Arbor-area park intends to highlight the accomplishments of local athletes and the history of the landmark federal gender equity legislation that paved the way for greater participation in sports for women.

Planners with the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Huron-Clinton Metroparks and Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative are working together to launch a “Title IX Plaza” along the Border-to-Border Trail in the Dexter-Huron Metropark, located along the Huron River near Dexter, officials said.

Along the way, they’re seeking the “untold stories” of women connected to Washtenaw County or southeast Michigan who “represent the scope and impact” of the 37-word Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, which explicitly prohibited discrimination “on the basis of sex” in any educational program receiving federal funding.

Read more:


More than 700 Pounds of Debris Collected During World Ocean Day
Courtesy of Palm Beach County

FLORIDA - On June 8, Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, in partnership with Visit Palm Beach, The Nature Conservancy’s Blowing Rocks Preserve, Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management, Beach Bucket Foundation, and Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area hosted a cleanup to celebrate and draw attention to World Ocean Day, which is recognized on June 8 every year.

Volunteers walked, kayaked and used their paddleboards to collect trash, harmful debris, and other pollutants from the Coral Cove Park’s Atlantic shore and waterway. All cleanup supplies were provided by the Beach Bucket Foundation.

This event provided an opportunity to educate the community and reflect on the important role the overall marine environment has for the public health and the planet. It is the hope that others can be inspired to take these small steps towards long-term sustainability and protection of the marine ecosystem that supports and connects us all.

Read more:


Research and Resources

First-of-Its-Kind Tool to Advance Community Health & Well-Being
Courtesy of NRPA

On June 15, Kristine Stratton, announced the release of a comprehensive and interactive toolkit that is a how-to guide on building out Community Wellness Hubs in your own community.

The toolkit is based on an evaluation of 15 local park and recreation agencies that planned, developed and created wellness hubs between 2020 and 2022. In addition to practice-based strategies, resources, and case studies, the toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to creating a Community Wellness Hub in alignment with NRPA’s seven dimensions of well-being.

For more information:


Environmental Restoration for Parks and Recreation
Courtesy of NRPA

By Clement Lau, FAICP, DPPD

Recently, there has been much discussion at the federal and state levels of government about achieving “30x30,” the goal of conserving 30 percent of lands and coastal waters by the year 2030 to fight climate change and advance biodiversity and conservation. For example, the California Natural Resources Agency has developed the Pathways to 30x30 Strategy to accelerate the conservation of the state’s lands and coastal waters. While there is certainly a need to conserve additional natural lands, the restoration of degraded lands is also of great importance and a matter of environmental justice in Los Angeles County where numerous underserved communities are plagued with environmental burdens.

In locations where environmental burdens are concentrated and impactful land uses are defunct, multiple benefits can be derived from restoration projects like new parks that address residual pollution and unhealthy conditions, restore natural systems, and provide enhanced recreational opportunities for residents. Parks are increasingly recognized as essential infrastructure which provides a wide range of benefits to communities. Specifically, parks offer a variety of environmental, social, and economic benefits both within and beyond park boundaries, as summarized below:

Read more:


Preserving and Enhancing Natural Elements
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Laurel Raines and Gretchen Wilson

The existing natural (and unnatural) conditions of a park drive everything in its revitalization. At the onset of each project, it’s important to look at major environmental factors, such as microclimate and history of the site, as well as drainage, existing trees and their age, size and quality, wind and sun exposure, shade studies, and root zone extent. Soil and water quality also factor heavily into the equation, as many older parks, especially in urban environments, are built on top of what today are considered brownfields. In these instances, careful attention must be paid to removing or remediating contaminants or ensuring they remain safely sealed below the surface.

In the Western U.S. older parks were often designed with an aesthetic that doesn’t work well in today’s climate. They’re heavy on turf and non-native species, and their maintenance is water-intensive—a luxury most of the West can ill afford.

Read more:


Fake coyotes ward off geese in Madison parks
Wisconsin State Journal

By Will Kubzansky

WISCONSIN - Craig Williams delicately approached the coyote that peered out from Brittingham Park onto Lake Monona on a bright morning last week. With measured steps, he drew nearer and began to look closer at the animal. Upon further examination, he discovered it was a decoy made of plastic and faux fur, tethered discretely to a nearby bench. “He was intently staring out there,” Williams said. “I wasn’t sure if it was real or fake.”

The replica that Williams encountered is one of four decoys the Madison Parks Division employs across the city to scare geese from congregating, said Paul Quinlan, the division’s conservation resource supervisor. Along with the decoy at Brittingham, three other coyotes overlooked various bodies of water at Vilas, Esther Beach and Wingra parks as of Friday. And soon, the division will add two new fake coyotes to the pack, Quinlan said.

Read more:


Matters of the Mind
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By John Engh

These days, there seems to be much talk about mental-health challenges in the world of sports. Watching Simone Biles in the Summer Games struggle with her confidence, and then watching almost the same thing happen to Mikaela Shiffrin in the Winter Games—two of our countries’ most-celebrated athletes at the Olympics—was a real eye opener. Just a little doubt that creeps into one’s mind can ruin years and years of training and hard-earned muscle memory. It’s my hope that the light shining on positive mental health will be just as important as that shone on physical health.

Read more:


Bellingham man forms citizen’s brigade to stop trail break-ins
Courtesy of Yahoo News

By Lauren Donovan

WASHINGTON - Fed up with trailhead break-ins, a Bellingham man started a citizen’s brigade that monitors parking lots. They can’t arrest anyone, but the hope is that their presence will prevent these petty crimes from happening.

Steve Avila founded the Whatcom County-based watchdog group. Avila says that participants donate an hour of their time each week to patrolling vulnerable lots.

“The Parks Department let me know the biggest ones getting hit,” said Avila. “There was a dozen cars getting hit in one day at one of our major trailheads.”

Read more:


Leveraging the Local University to Create New Programming
Courtesy of NRPA

By Jennifer L. VanSickle, Ed.D.

At Garfield Park and Bethel Park in Indianapolis, youth camps are happening during spring and fall breaks without the use of park employees and at no cost to the park. How does this happen? And how can you make this happen at your park?

Service learning and experiential learning have become a prominent educational methodology in colleges and universities. These often include projects conducted with community partners that allow students to develop professional skills and apply course concepts while providing a program or service to a community partner. Partnering with a university can offer student learning opportunities while creating low-cost programming for your local park.

Read more:


Rethinking and More Broadly Defining Access to Green Spaces
Courtesy of NRPA

By Jameelah Muhammad

When thinking about national parks, the first thing that might come to mind is a picturesque mountainscape or endless rows of lush green pine trees. Those images might include people hiking, camping and enjoying nature in what appears to be the most remote locations. These places are treasured and beautiful parts of the public lands system, but right now, millions of people don’t have access to nature, whether it’s a sweeping vista or a local park.

The 30x30 initiative seeks to protect these landscapes to protect the green infrastructure we need to take on climate change, and to ensure future generations have access to nature for recreation and enjoyment. It is true that some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes can be found in many places that have been protected for such purposes, but we should not think that 30x30 is limited to the most iconic public lands. Smaller green spaces also deserve our attention, care and protection. These green spaces offer nearby connections to nature and possess an important history, often memorializing untold stories of the communities and people who did so much to shape and cultivate the land.

Read more:


Resilience of U.S. coastal wetlands to accelerating sea level rise
Courtesy of Climate Central

Coastal wetlands provide a wide array of ecosystem services, valued at trillions of dollars per year globally. Although accelerating sea level rise (SLR) poses the long-term threat of inundation to coastal areas, wetlands may be sustained in two ways: by positive net surface-elevation change (SEC) from sediment and organic matter buildup and by accumulation, or horizontal migration into refugia—low-lying, undeveloped upland areas that become inundated.

Using a simple model together with high-resolution elevation data, we provide, across the contiguous United States, analysis of the local effects of SLR, maximum SEC rates, and coastal development on the long-term resilience of coastal wetlands. We find that protecting current refugia is a critical factor for retaining wetlands under accelerating SLR. 

Read more


In the News

U.S. House passes a major wildlife conservation spending bill
Courtesy of National Public Radio

By Laura Benshoff

A bill to conserve endangered species was passed by the U.S. House in a 231-to-190 vote on Tuesday.

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would create an annual fund of more than $1.3 billion, given to states, territories, and tribal nations for wildlife conservation on the ground. While threatened species have been defined and protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1973, that law does not provide robust funding to proactively maintain their numbers.

Read more:


From parking to a park: can one Richmond surface lot prove the value of depaving?
Courtesy of Greater Greater Washington

By Wyatt Gordon

VIRGINIA - Despite its status as Richmond’s most prominent corridor, Broad Street isn’t one of the city’s most pleasant promenades. After the train tracks that used to run down its center were removed, the street became something of a surface highway with wide lanes, speeding cars, and often unsafe crossings. Its lack of trees and many black asphalt parking lots also make it one of Richmond’s most sweltering areas. By converting a 381 space surface parking lot into a new public park, the Science Museum of Virginia hopes to show folks that the city can rebuild a more comfortable and climate resilient future for its main boulevard if only we’re willing to depave it.

As the former parking lot slowly becomes a verdant park (the project is slated to be complete by next spring), Hoffman plans to measure the changes in surface and air temperatures in the area using a thermal camera mounted atop the museum to show the effectiveness of depaving as an urban heat mitigation strategy. The long-term hope is that other property owners and state institutions in the area with large surface lots may see the value of depaving and similarly shift their parking underground, stack it in a deck, or get rid of it altogether as Broad Street transitions to a more transit-oriented area.

Read more:


Repairing and Reopening Yellowstone National Park Won't Be Easy
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

By Kurt Repanshek

Washed away roads, damaged water and sewer systems, and other unknown infrastructure and trail damage from what might have been a "once-in-a-thousand-year-storm" greatly complicates how soon Yellowstone National Park can reopen, and in what condition, and the odds are long that it will fully return to normal this year, Superintendent Cam Sholly told a national audience of journalists Tuesday during an hour-long Zoom call.

The northern half of the park will remain closed for the rest of summer because of the storm damage, and that it was impossible for "half the park ... to support all the visitation." As a result, Park Service officials are considered the possibility of using a timed-entry reservation system much like that being used at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado this year to control visitation.

Read more:


County officials express frustration, others determination to save The Domes at parks committee meeting
Courtesy of WUWM 89.7 FM

By Susan Bence

WISCONSIN - Like so many Milwaukee County structures, the plant-filled glass beehive-shaped Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, known simply to many as the Domes, have long needed maintenance.

But there was heightened concern after a 2013 incident, when bits of concrete fell from high within the desert dome.

After a long and sometimes heated discussion during the Milwaukee County Parks committee Tuesday, there was no result or clear path forward for the future of The Domes.

Read more:


Flint: A Portrait of Resilience
Courtesy of NRPA

By Vitisia Paynich

MICHIGAN - When it comes to adversity, the people of Flint, Michigan, have experienced more than their fair share. From a devastating economic downturn and crippling unemployment triggered by the Great Recession in 2008, to the city’s ongoing lead water crisis that began in 2014, Flint residents have endured enough setbacks for five lifetimes.

In 2003, the Flint Parks and Recreation Department had a little more than 97 full-time equivalents (FTEs) on staff, but once the recession hit, park and recreation leaders began to see the writing on the wall. By 2013, the entire park and recreation department consisted of only six FTEs: two people handling administration and four tasked with park maintenance and facilities duties. In 2014, the Flint Parks and Recreation Department officially disbanded.

Genesee County Parks established a partnership agreement “to maintain some particular park properties that were associated with the city’s natural resources,” says Edwards. The city’s park system features 70 parks comprising 1,881 acres.

Read more:


Feds get new guidelines for e-bikes in national parks, forests
Courtesy of WyoFile

By Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

Federal officials will operate under new guidelines as they struggle with how to regulate a growing number of fast-moving battery-assisted bicycles in national parks and national forests.

One new guideline emerged from a suit filed against the National Park Service that challenged its sweeping decision allowing e-bikes wherever conventional bicycles roll. Now, a judge ruled, the agency will have to rethink its policy regarding the battery-assisted cycles while weighing environmental and other factors it brushed aside in allowing them to zoom around the federal reserves.

The U.S. Forest Service proposed the second change when it decided to create a new class of vehicle — e-bikes — that will be allowed or disallowed on their own merits. Individual national forests can now designate routes for e-bikes that exclude other motorized vehicles, potentially opening a new range of recreational opportunities.

Read more:


Embracing the Urban Wild
Courtesy of Next City

By Peter Alagona

Cities that seek to become more wildlife-friendly — on purpose instead of just by accident — face daunting challenges. The first is a basic fact of economic geography: over time, land in and around cities usually becomes scarcer, more expensive, and more attractive for development. In the United States, this has produced two countervailing trends. Since the 1970s, cities have spent billions of dollars purchasing, restoring, or redesigning hundreds of thousands of acres of parks and other open spaces, benefiting humans and wildlife alike. Meanwhile, construction has gobbled up vast swaths of additional green space. Most people probably prefer well-tended parks to scruffy hedgerows and empty lots, but it is not clear that wild creatures feel the same way.

Another challenge that wildlife advocates face is the swarm of laws, institutions, and stakeholders that have a say in local planning decisions.

Read more:



Webinar: Playground Inspection and Maintenance
Courtesy of PlayCore

June 29, 2022 at 2:00 pm EDT

For a playground to thrive, good maintenance is essential. Learn how to maximize your agency or school’s playground maintenance efforts by properly identifying and correcting potentially hazardous conditions on the playground. This session will help you define your maintenance plan as a key to protecting your investment, managing risk, improving children’s play experiences, promoting community values, and controlling expenses. This session will allow you to identify procedures for correcting hazardous conditions and to develop inspection protocols and procedures for a sustainable playground maintenance program.

For more information


Upcoming Webinars from American Trails
Courtesy of American Trails

June 30: Fundamentals of the National Recreation Trails Program

July 7: National Water Trails: The Why and How of Designating Your Water Trail

July 14: The Science of Sustainable Trail Design and Management

July 21: Legacy Roads and Trails Grant Opportunity (registration coming soon)

July 28: Understanding Your Trail Users: Enhancing Trail Management Using Location Intelligence

For more information:


2022 NOHVCC Annual Conference

August 18-20 - Knoxville, Tennessee

Registration is now open for the 2022 National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Annual Conference for general attendees.

A mobile field workshop for attendees will be held on Thursday, August 18, with indoor sessions following on Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20. Finally, the NOHVCC conference will conclude with a banquet on Saturday evening.

For more information:

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