July 19, 2022

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
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 August 2, 2022.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by August 1.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo


Job Announcements

NEW - Community Engagement & Partnership Coordinator /TNFWC Executive Director
Forest Preserve District of Will County
Joliet, Illinois
$67,792 - $101,729 Annually
Closing date: Jul 29, 2022

Park Planning & Development - Business Professional II
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources, Florida
$50,500 - $67,900 Annually
Closing date: Sep 30, 2022

Parks Planning
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources, Florida
$60,000 - $75,000 Annually
Closing date: Sep 30, 2022

Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources Management Team - Accreditation & Grants Focus
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources, Florida
$54,912 - $74,630 Annually
Closing date: Sep 30, 2022

Park Planning and Development Manager
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources, Florida
$80,000 - $92,000 Annually
Closing date: Sep 30, 2022

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

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:

2026 Special Park District Forum

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Illinois was scheduled at host the Special Park District Forum in 2026. They are currently involved in a big master plan driven, improvement focus for many of their preserves which will be continue for a few years, so it is not the ideal time to “show off” their preserves and facilities.

If you have an interest in hosting the 2026 SPDF, please contact:

Jay Johnson
Community Engagement Services
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
[email protected]

Please note: NACPRO does not manage the Special Park District Forum, we are simply spreading the word.


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 feedback 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

Central Iowa park aims to be America’s most accessible park
Courtesy of Radio Iowa

IOWA - An $8-million upgrade is planned for a lakeside park in Des Moines with the goal of creating the most accessible park in the country.

Kami Rankin, deputy director of Polk County Conservation, says the renovation designers on the Easter Lake Park project took ideas from other parks across the U.S., aiming to make outdoor recreation universally accessible to people with disabilities.

Rankin says, “We have found that there are little pockets of accessible types of opportunities for people, which are great, but there’s nothing of this scale.”

Read more:


Los Angeles County Allocates $9 Million for Parks in High Need Areas
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Daily News

By City News Service

CALIFORNIA - The Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District announced on Thursday, July 14, that it will allocate more than $9 million to support the development of park projects in communities in most need of open space.

The grant funding is from Measure A, the LA County Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Measure — a parcel tax approved by voters in 2016.

Norma Edith Garcia-Gonzalez, the district’s director, said in a statement the funds will be critical in creating parks in communities with considerably less park acreage than the county average.

“This is a bold park equity investment in communities and in building a greener Los Angeles County for all,” Garcia-Gonzalez said.

Read more:


6,000 Acres of Prime Open Space in Los Angeles County Now Protected
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Clement Lau

CALIFORNIA - With the acquisition of 6,000 acres of open space, California is a step closer in its effort to conserve 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030, also referred to as the 30×30 initiative. The largest undeveloped private property in Los Angeles County is now part of a protected ecological area that will preserve habitat and expand wildlife corridors between the San Gabriel, Sierra Madre, and Santa Susanna mountains.

The property sits within a Los Angeles County-designated “Significant Ecological Area.” It helps create critical east to west linkage between the San Gabriel and Sierra Madre mountains as well as a north to south linkage between the Sierra Madre and Santa Susanna mountains, both highlighted in the South Coast Missing Linkages Project, which is a comprehensive plan for a regional network that would maintain and restore critical habitat linkages between existing reserves. These linkages form the backbone of a conservation strategy for Southern California.

Read more:


A Word from our Sponsors

A Reservations System So Easy To Use...
We Had To Copyright The Code!

MYSites Reservations System, a division of SEPI Marketing has officially copywritten their source code. This gives MYSites three exclusive rights under the Copyright Act. They have the rights to reproduce, prepare derivative works and full code distribution rights.

Business Development Director Brian McGuinn states that it was an important first step because the nature of the program is easy to learn yet extremely comprehensive.

“MYSites Reservations System often promotes the ease with which users can adjust reservations, create, and separate group reservations, ease of access to the system in general and reporting that can easily balance the books. The system provides free custom-made interactive maps designed by Southeast Publications, another SEPI Marketing company, at no cost to their partnering campgrounds and RV Resorts.

Read more:


Research and Resources

The 2022 TD Ready Challenge
Courtesy of City Parks Alliance

The TD Ready Challenge is our annual North American initiative, which has ten (10) $1 million grants available to organizations developing innovative, impactful and measurable solutions for a changing world. This signature program created by TD is a key component to delivering on the bank’s corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment.

In its fifth year, eligible non-profits and community organizations can apply for grants of $1 million for US-based organizations.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 TD Ready Challenge. Applications must be submitted through our online portal and are due by 4 pm E.D.T. on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

For more information:


The Outdoors Drives Jobs: Career Paths in the Outdoor Recreation Economy
Courtesy of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) released a new report on career opportunities in the $689 billion outdoor recreation sector, to help industry leaders, policymakers and prospective workers understand how these jobs provide outstanding quality of life, support conservation goals, strengthen local economies, and connect Americans to the great outdoors.

Read more:


Touring One of the U.S.’s Best Biking Cities: Minneapolis
Courtesy of Planetizen

Minneapolis has been expanding bike infrastructure around the city for decades, establishing a long-standing reputation as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. With a Bicycle Master Plan in place since 2011, the city’s latest works include the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan and roadway design guidance that ensures all new protected bike lanes in the city will be built with flexible bollards and concrete separators.

The proof is in the pudding: no one has been killed while biking in Minneapolis in the last two years, says Ashwat Narayana, executive director of Our Streets Minneapolis, as quoted in the film.

Watch here:


Do You Live in America's Fittest City? Experts Rank Best to Worst
Courtesy of Health Day

Want to get fit and stay fit? Arlington, Va., may be the city for you: For the fifth year in a row, it has been named the fittest city in America.

Meanwhile, the title of the least fit city goes to Oklahoma City, according to the annual fitness rankings of America's 100 largest cities from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)/Elevance Health Foundation's American Fitness Index.

This year, the Index included 34 indicators of personal and community health (think exercise, sleep, chronic disease, parks, playgrounds, bike paths, safe streets and more), with an emphasis on how physical activity affects mental health due to widespread reports that the ongoing pandemic took a toll on mental health.

Read more:


Five ways that golf superintendents can help drive for net zero
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Jamie Graham

There are approximately 39,000 golfing landscapes globally. Because the sport is played outdoors, we all have a duty to be responsible custodians of the land. Golf-course superintendents can help deliver a better future for golf, people, and the planet by driving for net zero. No sport can turn a blind eye to the issues around climate action. Many courses have been negatively affected by coastal erosion, floods, and droughts.

Sustainable golf practices can help deliver business benefits, such as time and cost savings. These can free up resources for other projects. Here are five ways to help to drive for net zero.

Read more:


Improving Accessibility on Public Lands
Courtesy of American Trails

By Mike Passo

Through collaboration, education, and communication, American Trails raises awareness of the value these trail systems offer. The member organizations of the new Trails Move People Coalition represent millions of Americans who spend their time, money and energy to get out on trails for transportation, health, fun, and to volunteer. The Coalition strives to elevate the prioritization of trails by developing funding and research resources so that everyone, irrespective of geography, mode of recreation, socio-economic status, or experience, will have access to more and better trail opportunities and in turn more fulfilling personal experiences outside.

The demand for outdoor recreation on public lands has increased dramatically over the last 30-years, and it is expected to continue to rise. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought this into dramatic focus, as trails and public land use across the country are seeing 200-400% increases by Americans seeking the respite and well-being that outdoor recreation can provide. Yet, for a multitude of complex reasons, the majority of Americans—including persons with disabilities—still do not participate in outdoor recreation.

What are the obstacles to accessibility on public lands...

Read more:


Advocacy Tools: Educational Video & Report on Parks as Infrastructure
Courtesy of the City Parks Alliance

Check out City Parks Alliance's new "Parks are Essential Infrastructure" video! The short two-minute video highlights city parks' health, economic, and environmental benefits. Planners, elected officials, and community advocates are now using parks to help address critical urban infrastructure and public health issues. We hope that you'll be able to use this video to advocate for increased funds for your local park system.

The below link also provides access to City Parks – A Smart Investment for America’s Health, Economy & Environment | Case Studies

For more information:


Break Body-Image Barriers: Help young athletes embrace who they are
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By John Engh

Lately, I have been lucky enough to view some of the interviews the National Alliance for Youth Sports is collecting from top experts for a free, new training that will be offered to coaches, parents, and youth leaders, which deals with understanding good mental-health habits. One of the areas of discussion is how boys deal with body image in sports, and the staggering figures on how many are encountering difficulties, just as many girls have for so long.

While watching a friend coach 8- and 9-year-olds at a baseball game the other day, I noticed the catcher was easily the most overweight child on the team. Immediately, I thought of my playing days some 40 years ago and remembered that the heaviest kid on a team was always the catcher.

I was upset to see that this is still happening all these years later. These are 8- and 9-year-olds who have not even come close to reaching puberty. There is simply no reason to assume that late-developing kids cannot develop into some of the best athletes, but because of a negative self-image early on, we will never know about many of these kids. Sadly, many will end up quitting, and it’s often because the majority of coaches start a season with a certain mentality: “How can I win the most games?” as opposed to “How can I best develop all of my players?”

Read more:


Introducing the Climate Shift Index
Courtesy of Climate Central

Today, Climate Central launches the Climate Shift Index—a new tool that shows the local influence of climate change, every day.

Climate Shift Index (CSI) levels indicate how much climate change has altered the frequency of daily temperatures at a particular location.

Starting today, Climate Central will be updating the Climate Shift Index daily with interactive maps and 3-day CSI forecasts available for locations across the continental U.S.

Climate Shift Index levels, maps, and forecasts can now be used in real-time to help the public understand that climate change is not just about long-term trends—it’s already part of our daily lives.

Read more:


In the News

Secretary Haaland Issues Order to Phase Out Single-Use Plastics
Courtesy of US-DOI

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued Secretary’s Order 3407, which aims to reduce the procurement, sale and distribution of single-use plastic products and packaging with a goal of phasing out single-use plastic products on Department-managed lands by 2032. The Order is part of the implementation of President Biden’s Executive Order 14057, which calls for federal agencies to minimize waste and support markets for recycled products.

The Order also directs the Department to identify nonhazardous, environmentally preferable alternatives to single-use plastic products, such as compostable or biodegradable materials, or 100 percent recycled materials. Single-use plastic products include plastic and polystyrene food and beverage containers, bottles, straws, cups, cutlery and disposable plastic bags that are designed for or intended to be used once and discarded.

Read more:


How the Cuyahoga River Got Its Otters Back
Courtesy of Next City

By Brittany Moseley

OHIO - As a kid, Mike Johnson was warned not to go into the Cuyahoga River. In 1969, people outside of Northeast Ohio became aware of the Cuyahoga River when it infamously caught fire. What people might not know is it wasn’t the first time the river caught fire – nor was it the worst. Between 1868 and 1969, the river caught fire 13 times.

Johnson is now the chief of conservation for Summit Metro Parks, a park system in Summit County, Ohio. He oversees a group tasked with protecting the area’s natural and cultural resources – including the Cuyahoga River, which runs through much of the park system – while still making them available for public use.

Today, through the work of conservationists like himself, the Cuyahoga is a completely different river – a fact Johnson was reminded of in April when an otter was spotted along the water in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. It led to several local news stories about river otters and a very popular Facebook video of the slippery critter.

Read more:


Restoring the Great Lakes: After 50 years of US-Canada joint efforts, some success and lots of unfinished business
Courtesy of the River Management Society

2022 marks 50 years since the U.S. and Canada signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to restore and protect the waters of the Great Lakes. While the two countries have worked together to clean up toxic hotspots, reduce nutrient loading, and restore shorelines over the past five decades, unfinished business remains. However, recent $1 billion funding commitments towards legacy pollution clean-up hold promise for continued progress towards Great Lakes restoration.

Read more:


The shockingly fun amenity on the roof of Capital One’s headquarters
Courtesy of Fast Company

By Nate Berg

Eleven stories up, on a rooftop at the corporate campus of one of America’s biggest banks, grown adults are playing miniature golf. They may have a tiki drink or two. And they’re probably putting over par.

The course is part of the Perch at Capital One Center in Tysons, Virginia, which includes the bank’s headquarters, a 300-room hotel, and a corporate events venue and performance hall. The Perch covers 2.5 acres of open space on the roof of the performance hall. Developed as a public-private partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority, 1.2 acres of the rooftop space is a public park, in compliance with the county’s open space requirements.

Read more:


Effort to improve stormwater ponds aims to clean up Sarasota Bay through grant program
Courtesy of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

By Jesse Mendoza

FLORIDA - The Healthy Pond Collaborative initiative is expanding into Manatee County to strengthen water quality improvement efforts for Sarasota Bay and address red tide.

Tallevast-based nonprofit Solutions to Avoid Red Tide is partnering with the Manatee County Department of Parks and Natural Resources to help neighborhoods improve stormwater retention ponds through a cost-sharing program and by providing educational material.

"We've learned that most of the excess nitrogen in Sarasota Bay is really coming from stormwater, about 65%," START CEO Sandy Gilbert said. "A lot of stormwater flows through community stormwater ponds, so if we can clean some of those up to help take out the nutrients before they flow downstream into the bay, this will clean the bay."

Read more


Pools begin receiving grant money to help hire more lifeguards
Courtesy of

By Jennifer Meckles

DENVER — This scorching hot weekend would be a perfect time to secure a spot by the pool but finding one that's open, with a full staff of lifeguards, is harder to do this summer.

Pools report nationwide lifeguard shortages. This week, the state of Colorado started giving out grant money to help with hiring and retention efforts.

Last month, Democratic Governor Jared Polis announced “Pools Special Initiative 2022” to address staffing shortages.

Read more:



Webinar: Addressing Disparities in Active Play and Recreation in Rural America: What Works and Learning from Louisiana

Date: Thursday, July 21, 2022
Time: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. EDT
Cost: Free
Host: PlayCore

Please join us for a dynamic webinar focused on how communities address disparities in active play and recreation in rural America. Dr. Christiaan Abildso will begin our time with an overview of the reasons why we need to focus on rural communities, highlighting original research from rural Texas and the importance of coalitions and community groups.

The webinar will conclude with a discussion of what’s on the horizon in active play and recreation in rural communities and a discussion about how participants can turn the webinar content into action in their own rural communities.

The second session of the webinar series - Using Data to Address Park Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access - takes place on August 17.

Registration Code: COMMUNITY

For more information:


Webinar: Restoring Nature to the Urban Landscape

Date: Thursday, July 21
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET
Cost: Free & open to the public
Credits Available: AICP and LA CES
Host: City Parks Alliance

In an increasingly urbanized world, finding innovative ways to protect or create wildlife habitat will be critical to both environmental and human health. There are many ways to think creatively about how to increase the ecological value of even small green spaces in urban areas - from changing maintenance practices in meadows to foster biodiversity, to implementing horticulture strategies in the planning and management of designed landscapes so they provide habitat and have a positive environmental impact. Join us to hear from park leaders in Vancouver and San Francisco, who will share the innovative work they’ve done in this area, and learn strategies for creating diverse landscapes that benefit both people and the environment.

For more information:


Webinar: Trails for Us - How Trails Benefit Local Communities

Date: July 21, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free
Host: American Trails

When we hear about economic benefits of trails, the focus is usually on the impact that visitor spending brings. But trails are first and foremost local resources, often constructed and maintained with no small amount of local commitment and effort. So how can we talk about the value of trails in a way that focuses on local community benefits? In this webinar, Michele Archie, principal of The Harbinger Consultancy, reviews what studies show about how trails benefit communities and outlines some simple, practical ways you can demonstrate this for your own trails.

For more information:


Webinar: Understanding Your Trail Users - Enhancing Trail Management Using Location Intelligence

Date: July 28, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: Free
Host: American Trails

How well do you know your trail users? Common methodologies for calculating visits and general trail usage require manual surveys and the physical placement of sensors. This presentation shares how new movement and location intelligence technologies can provide trail agencies, builders, and planners with better information about where people access trails, when they’re most likely to visit, how many times they return, and general characteristics (like income, race, ethnicity, social vulnerability, distance from home, etc.) of visitors.

The presenters will share information about some new technology intended to improve trail analysis. Join this webinar to dive into use cases and learn what innovative methods have been used by organizations and agencies seeking to improve public trails.

For more information:


How an Equity Lens Can Enhance Playground Safety

Date: Thursday, August 11, 2022
Time: 2:00- 3:00 PM (EDT)
Host: NRPA

What do you think about when you hear: playground safety? While we typically think about physical infrastructure when examining playground safety, there is another layer we can’t overlook. During this learning event, we will discuss the history of the Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) Certification while exploring the mental, social and emotional benefits of play. NRPA staff and playground experts will discuss the concepts of equity and inclusion as they relate to playground safety and discuss how park and recreation professionals can provide a safe space for the children in their communities to play and grow together. As children, we make so many memories on playgrounds that help shape us. And as park and recreation professionals, Certified Playground Safety Inspectors, playground manufacturers, nonprofit organizations and more, we play a critical role in creating a safe space for children to play and learn.

For more information:


SHIFT Summit

Date: October 17-20, 2022
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Host: GP RED

Registration is now open.

The SHIFT Summit is a national gathering of land managers, researchers, funders, educators, retailers, and conservationists, along with outdoor recreation, health, military, and nature therapy professionals who share experiences, evidence, and ideas for better linking of both humans and nature. The Summit is based on sound science combined with experiential, health, stewardship, and land management aspects to balance equitable reciprocity and access to the places, flora, and fauna that we all need to exist and thrive.

For more information:

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