August 2, 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 August 16, 2022.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by August 15.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

Job Announcements

NEW - Deputy Director of Parks Capital Improvements Program
County of San Diego - Parks & Recreation, California
$150,000 - $160,000 Annually
Closing date: Sep 2, 2022

Program Branch Manager (Park Management Specialist II)
Fairfax County Park Authority
Fairfax, Virginia
$83,184 - $138,639 Annually
Closing date: Aug 5, 2022

Manager, Recreation Facilities
Anoka County Parks
Andover, Minnesota
$55,016 - $56,659 Annually
Closing date: Aug 5, 2022

Communications Specialist IV
Fairfax County Park Authority
Fairfax, Virginia
$79,330 - $132,217 Annually
Closing date: Aug 19, 2022

Superintendent of Recreation
Johnson County Park & Recreation District
Merriam, Kansas
$96,389 - $132,534 Annually
Closing date: Aug 28, 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:

2022 NACPRO Award Recipients

This year NACPRO met in Valdosta, Georgia for our annual meeting. George Page from Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Rec Authority rolled out the red carpet for us and we all enjoyed some great southern hospitality. After two years of conducting our awards ceremony virtually, it was great reconnecting with friends and colleagues.

We received 82 award nominations and presented 30 to a very deserving group of individuals, organizations, programs and projects. Thanks to all of you who submitted nominations. As our awards committee members have stated many times, all the award nominations provide inspiration and great ideas that may be a solution to a challenge you have been facing. Contact information is included if you want to learn more.

Watch the award presentation on YouTube:

Download a list of awardees with contact information:

NACPRO will be holding its 2023 annual meeting in conjunction with the Special Park District Forum in Lake County, Illinois, June 19-22. The NACPRO awards banquet will be held the evening of June 20th. Lake County Forest Preserves has developed a great program and registration is now open -


 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

2022 NRPA Annual Conference Spotlight

Check out these NRPA sessions conducted by NACPRO member agency Maricopa County Parks

Off-Site Institute: Maricopa County Parks - Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Monday, September 19, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. MST

Explore Arizona's most unique managed recreation area, Maricopa County's Lake Pleasant Regional Park. 10,000 acres of the park land, managed by Maricopa County Parks and Recreation and owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, is comprised of the Colorado River reservoir. Learn about the challenges of natural resource management and what is needed to operate the resources effectively, enhance visitors' experiences and build lasting partnerships.

For more information:

Parks Vision 2030 – Maricopa County Regional Park Planning for the Phoenix Metro Area

Thursday, September 22, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. MST

Maricopa County (Arizona) Parks and Recreation Department serves the fourth largest county in the nation, including the greater Phoenix area. Learn about recent planning efforts to protect and expand regional parks, trails and open space across one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world, the Sonoran Desert. Established in 1953, the park system grew rapidly with assistance from the Bureau of Land Management utilizing the Recreation and Public Purposes Act. Twelve parks across 120,000 acres provide abundant natural resources, outdoor recreation opportunities and educational programs. Maricopa County partners with the Tonto National Forest and Bureau of Land Management, which provides thousands of acres of recreational opportunities to county residents, as well as with the Bureau of Reclamation, which provides a 10,000-acre lake. The Parks Vision 2030 plan focuses on protecting open space and wildlife connectivity as well as ensuring that future generations have access to exceptional regional parks, trails and nature-based experiences.

For more information:


NRPA Recognizes Excellence in Parks and Recreation with the Innovation and Spotlight Awards

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s NRPA Innovation Awards, Spotlight Awards and Scholarships and Fellowships. The awards will be presented during the 2022 NRPA Annual Conference, in Phoenix, AZ in September 2022 when NRPA will announce the winner of its Best in Innovation Award, which recognizes the best of the best in park and recreation innovation.

The NRPA Innovation Awards recognize park and recreation agencies nationwide that have improved and strengthened their communities through innovative practices in park design, health and wellness, conservation and social equity. 


Innovation in Conservation Award: Palos Preserves Urban Night Sky Place, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Cook County, Illinois

Innovation in Social Equity Award: Hillsborough County Wheelchair Football, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation, Tampa, Florida

Read more:


Research and Resources

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $1 Billion in Community Wildfire Defense Grants from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Courtesy of NRPA

This new, five-year, competitive program funded by President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is designed to assist at-risk communities, including Tribal communities, nonprofit organizations, state forestry agencies and Alaska Native corporations with planning for and mitigating wildfire risks.

For more information:


Homelessness: How Can I Help?
Courtesy of NRPA

By Austin Barrett and Allison Colman

As front-line service providers in communities across the United States, park and recreation agencies and professionals often are already providing community members experiencing homelessness with basic needs (food, hygiene facilities) and connection to other networks of assistance. However, homeless assistance isn’t within the primary mission scope for most park and recreation departments. Considering this, many park and recreation professionals may be asking themselves: What can and should we be doing to assist persons experiencing homelessness? Additionally, as front-line service providers attending to all members of the community, professionals also may be wondering what the general public expects their agency to do to be part of the solution.

New data shines a light on the public’s views on parks and recreation’s role in addressing homelessness and which specific strategies they believe agencies should pursue. In 2021, Drs. Lauren Mullenbach (University of Oklahoma), Nick Pitas (University of Illinois), and Ben Hickerson (University of North Carolina – Greensboro) conducted a nationwide survey reaching a representative cross-section of the U.S. public.

Read more:


We Rise Up by Telling Our Stories
Courtesy of NRPA

By Clement Lau, FAICP, DPPD

With July being Park and Recreation Month and this year’s theme being “We Rise Up for Parks and Recreation,” I would like to discuss one way for park and recreation professionals to rise up: telling our stories. Specifically, I encourage all of us to share our stories, both personal and professional, to communicate the importance of parks and recreation to communities across the country. Since 2010, I have written numerous articles from my perspective as a park user and as a park planner with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). I have done this not because my job requires it, but because of my passion and love for parks and recreation. For all of us who care deeply about our work and the communities we serve, there are very good reasons to tell our stories.

Read more:


In the News

Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR) Revived
Courtesy of the River Management Society

As part of the President’s America the Beautiful Initiative, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the interagency FICOR that will work to create more safe, affordable, and equitable opportunities for Americans to get outdoors. The FICOR – which includes leaders from the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Defense – will focus on improving access to nature, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities, and providing the public with improved and more affordable experiences on America’s public lands and waters.

Read more:


Allegheny County Council overrides Fitzgerald’s veto, bans new fracking in parks
Courtesy of

By Ryan Deto

PENNSYLVANIA - Allegheny County Council on Tuesday voted to override a veto on a bill that bans new fracking leases on county parkland.

The override marked the first time in Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s three terms that council overturned one of his vetoes.

The bill bans new industrial leases at the nine county-owned parks in Allegheny County. It’s now law and takes effect immediately.

Read more:


How Gilded Age Bicyclists Paved the Way for the Modern Highway System
Courtesy of

By Emma Newcombe

While American streets today might need a patched pothole or a repaving, their quality far exceeds that of 19th-century roads. Throughout the 1800s, most roads in America – particularly in rural America – were composed of gravel or dirt. They turned to mud in spring and were lined with potholes in summer. The result was slow travel at best and impassable conditions at worst. Most roads were privately owned and maintained, lacking any funding from federal, state or local government.

Beginning in the 1870s, a grass-roots movement known as the Good Roads Movement began to advocate for improved rural roadways. These activists were not drivers of horse-drawn carriages or stagecoaches. They were bicyclists.

Read more:


Presidio Tunnel Tops Links San Francisco Parks Above Seven Lanes of Traffic
Courtesy of Planetizen

CALIFORNIA - Construction of the Presidio Tunnel Tops is a complicated effort that began in 2018. The $98-million project is funded primarily through philanthropic donations raised by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s capital campaign. The park was designed by James Corner Field Operations, which is best known for New York’s High Line.

With an area of about 14 acres, the project spans over Presidio Parkway, a major highway, and includes miles of underground utilities and infrastructure. It offers a two-acre children’s play area, trails, several overlooks, and gathering spaces from picnic areas to a campfire circle. The project also involves a seismic upgrade to a historic building to serve as the home for Crissy Field Center, two new learning labs, and a public Field Station for youth and their families. Mountains of soil were imported to grow beautiful new gardens planted with nearly 200,000 native and drought-tolerant plants.

Read more:


An urban Mexican American finds a sense of belonging in nature
Courtesy of the El Paso Times

By Mónica Ortiz Uribe

TEXAS - Nicole Roque, 32, is an interpretive guide at Hueco Tanks, a world-renowned destination for rock climbing and prehistoric pictographs 36 miles outside El Paso. Her journey to the job required a series of adaptations that now inform how she welcomes guests to the park — particularly those who are the least likely to visit.

“I empathize with people who are intimidated by the outdoors,” she said. “A lot of times there’s this image of what outdoors people look like, you know, the dudes with the gear and the hats and the glasses. That’s not what it needs to be. I hope that people see me and think, ‘Oh, she’s just a girl from El Paso. I can do that too.’”

Roque likes to emphasis that enjoying nature doesn’t require fancy gear, remote destinations or extreme sports.

Read more:


Austin will require all future Parks and Recreation projects to achieve SITES certification
Courtesy of

By Hannah Su

TEXAS - Amid the sweltering, climate change–fueled heatwave sweeping across the U.S., the city of Austin is doing its part in sustainability and environmental health. The capital city announced on Monday that it has adopted a SITES certification requirement for its Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) projects—becoming the first city worldwide to do so.

SITES is administered by Green Building Certification Inc. (GBCI), a leading global health and sustainability certification entity; the program grants certifications to commercial, residential, and institutional, streetscaping, and landscaping projects of at least 2,000 square feet. It primarily examines a project’s landscaping, ensuring its terrain is working to reduce water and energy consumption and improve air quality and human health. The certification criteria is shaped by a set of guiding principles that place human and environmental health at the forefront and encourage continued ethical collaboration and research.

Read more:



GP RED Think Tank 2022

November 16 – 18, 2022 -  Raleigh, North Carolina

Since 2008, GP RED’s Think Tanks have provided an opportunity to engage with Thought Leaders in the fields of Parks, Recreation, Conservation, Land Management, Public Health, Tourism, Alternative Transportation, Academia, Allied Disciplines and the related associations and educators that support and serve them. The purpose of the Think Tank is to improve multi-sector communication and information sharing.

The Think Tank is an invitational interactive event to identify, address, dissect, dive deep to explore creative solutions to challenges and issues that face the disciplines mentioned above and the communities they serve. Topics are progressive therefore, attendance at the entire Think Tank and full participation is expected of all Thought Leaders.

Invitations and more details will be available as we get closer to the event.

Please contact Donna Kuethe at [email protected] for more information.


Upcoming Webinars from American Trails

August 4: How to Create and Cultivate a Trail Alliance for Success
1:00 to 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

August 18: Traits, Tips, and Techniques for Being a Better Trail Crew Leader
1:00 to 2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

August 25: Collective Impact: Building a Trail Collective
1:00 to 2:30 p.m. (Eastern)

For more information:


Webinar: Using Data to Address Park Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access
Courtesy of PlayCore

Wednesday, August 17, 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. (Eastern)
Registration Code: COMMUNITY

Socio-economic inequitable access to nature, parks, and recreation has been long standing across the globe with direct and indirectly disproportionate impacts on various people - the culturally and linguistically diverse; indigenous, black, and brown communities; low socio-economic communities; the aged and women; casual workforce status communities; and LGBTQ+. COVID-19 not only highlighted but also accelerated these inequities, resulting in heightened demands for equitable access to quality public parks and recreation. International speakers in this session will focus on how you can use data to understand the inequities in your park and recreation system and explore strategies for addressing equitable access to quality parks and the equitable provision of recreation programs and facilities.

For more information:

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