August 16, 2022

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
A Word from our Sponsors
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 30, 2022.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by August 29.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

Job Announcements

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

Landscape Architect
Forest Preserve District of Will County
Joliet, Illinois
$64,701 - $97,092 Annually
Closing date: Aug 26, 2022

Superintendent of Recreation
Johnson County Park & Recreation District
Merriam, Kansas
$96,389 - $132,534 Annually
Closing date: Aug 28, 2022

Director of Facilities & Fleet
Forest Preserves of Cook County
River Forest, Illinois
$118,560 - $124,821 Annually
Closing date: Aug 31, 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 Capital Improvements Program
County of San Diego - Parks & Recreation, California
$150,000 - $160,000 Annually
Closing date: Sep 2, 2022

Director of Public Safety
Lake County Forest Preserves
Lake Villa, Illinois
$125,469 - $188,091 Annually
Closing date: Sep 2, 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:

NACO Adopts NACPRO Policy Resolutions supporting parks and trails

NACPRO is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties (NACo). NACo is one of the “Big Seven” government officials’ organizations in Washington, D.C and has direct access to federal elected officials and federal departments and staff. Adoption of policy resolutions and platform additions become part of the NACo American County Platform, which guides NACo’s federal lobbying efforts.

The past spring the NACPRO Legislative Committee and Board of Directors developed, approved and submitted five policy resolutions and one platform addition for consideration by NACo. NACo adopted the resolutions and the platform addition at their Annual Meeting in July.

The platform addition is:

NACo encourages Congress to develop and fund additional programs specifically focused on development of trail networks at the county and regional level.

The five Policy Resolutions as adopted by NACo are:

  1. NACo strongly encourages the Federal Government to further develop and fund partnership opportunities for county park agencies, special park districts, forest preserves and other regional park authorities to achieve the conservation, economic and healthy communities intent behind the American the Beautiful initiative.
  2. NACo supports full funding of the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program (ATIIP) and encourages Congress to develop and fund additional programs specifically focused on development of trail networks at the County and regional level.
  3. NACo urges the Federal Government to support and advocate for Rails-with-Trails. Furthermore, it encourages the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Highway Administration, in partnership with the railroads and with trail providers, to develop national standards for Rails-with-Trails that would ensure the safety of railroad workers and the public, which could be used to mitigate any potential increase in liability for shared use, and which would address potential impacts to future rail operations.
  4. NACo supports passage and full funding of Recovering America's Wildlife Act of 2021 (H.2773) or similar bill, with an annual funding target of $1.3 billion for state and wildlife agencies in partnership with state-based conservation entities such as county park agencies, special park districts, forest preserves and other regional park authorities.
  5. NACo supports passage and funding of the Restore Employment in Natural and Environmental Work (RENEW) Conservation Corps Act (S.1370) or similar bill.

NACPRO continues to work on raising NACo awareness and understanding of the importance of county park agencies, special park districts, forest preserves and other regional park authorities. To that end, NACPRO had an information table with materials available for the 3,000 county commissioners who attended the meeting and participated in an education session on how parks are addressing the impacts of the pandemic.

This process repeats every year. If you have federal level issues you would like to see addressed, please contact [email protected].


Best Practices Forum

Seeking your experience with cordless electric outdoor power equipment - Last Call

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.

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. 


A Word from our Sponsors

Accessible Picnic Tables for Everyone
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

WXT Series Picnic Tables are ADA Compliant and accessible to wheelchairs at both ends. These tables are designed and constructed specifically for heavy use areas where unusually difficult service may be required. Now, EVERY picnic table in your facility can be fully accessible!

Check out these great features:

- ADA Compliant on BOTH Ends of the Table by Design!
- Patented Innovative Frame Design is Extremely Stable
- Choose Color and Build Materials to Suit Your Needs
- Portable Design Allows for Flexibility in Placement
- WXTH Provides Added Height for Accessibility

Learn more about accessible picnic tables:


Member News

Want to get outdoors? New program offers free gear rentals and training to explore county parks
Courtesy of the San Diego Union Tribune

By Deborah Sullivan Brennan

CALIFORNIA - If you’re curious to try mountain biking or need tips on pitching a tent, San Diego County will help you get started and provide the gear you need to explore the county‘s parks.

On Wednesday, county officials launched Experience the Outdoors, a program that offers free outdoor activities, training, equipment loans and even transportation to help San Diegans get to know natural spaces in their community.

Read more:


Los Angeles County Launches New Power of Play Initiative
Courtesy of Planetizen

CALIFORNIA - The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a board letter announcing the partnership between The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation and The Los Angeles County Parks Foundation.

Power of Play is a joint initiative that builds awareness, support and a safety net to provide vulnerable youth and families access to high-quality programming.

Through this collaboration, LA County Parks and LACPF are dedicated to providing equitable access for all County youth, by eliminating cost barriers to programming to ensure inclusion for all, regardless of socio-economic status. Emphasizing heavily on equitable play and learning programs for youth, the Power of Play initiative provides youth in vulnerable communities with equal access to high quality out-of-school recreation experiences including a variety of Sports, ESTEAM (Engineering, Science, Technology, Environment, Art and Mathematics) Summer Camps and after-school programs.

Read more:


Research and Resources

Urban Park Grant Opportunity – ORLP Application Open
Courtesy of City Parks Alliance

The National Park Service (NPS) has announced the opening of the sixth Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) application round. Established in 2014, the ORLP is a nationally competitive grant program, funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) that focuses on communities with little to no access to outdoor recreation opportunities in urban areas. In this round, NPS has $192 million available for park projects that create new outdoor recreation spaces, reinvigorate existing parks, or form connections between people and the outdoors in economically underserved communities.

The Department of Interior has made a few changes to the program for this application round. They include:

- Decreasing the city size cap from 50,000 to 30,000 residents;
- Removing the requirement for cities to be in a Census-designated Urban Area boundary;
- Increasing the maximum grant amount from $5 million to $10 million; and
- Removing the pre-application that states were required to submit.

Project sponsors must match the grant award 1:1 with non-federal dollars.
Applications are being accepted in through May 31, 2023, with an early submission deadline of January 31, 2023 for those that have application requirements completed.

For more information:


2022 NRPA Park and Recreation Salary Survey
Courtesy of NRPA

The 2022 NRPA Park and Recreation Salary Survey report features detailed base salary and bonus data for 10 typical park and recreation agency positions. Comprehensive compensation data provide park and recreation agency leaders with guidance on how to attract the best candidates for their staff. Such data also can provide park and recreation professionals with insights into salary and benefits offered by potential employers.

For more information:


Inflation Reduction Act-Good news for your work
Courtesy of NRPA

By Kyle Simpson

On Friday the House voted to approve the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The Senate passed the bill last weekend and the President is expected to sign it into law shortly. This bill is a significantly scaled back version of the President's "Build Back Better Plan" that has been under consideration for many months.

The legislation largely deals with issues of health care, taxes, paying down the national debt and the changing climate. In the climate provisions there are a few big wins that we believe NRPA members will be able to utilize. The programs are outlined below, but it's worth nothing that there is still much we don't know about these programs. After the bill is signed into law, federal agencies will quickly get to work on establishing the framework, policy and rules that will be followed in spending the money. NRPA will track and help shape these policies in the coming months and keep you informed throughout the process.

• Section 60201. Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants
• Section 60501. Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program

Read more:


5 Ways to Integrate Social and Emotional Learning into Your Out-of-School Time Programs
Courtesy of NRPA

By Allison Colman

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), defines social and emotional learning (SEL) as an “integral part of education and human development.”

CASEL has identified five core competencies that are critical to social and emotional growth: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

Social and emotional learning — and the development of these five competencies — can take place almost anywhere. Schools, families and communities all contribute to building a safe, healthy and thriving environment where youth can learn, develop and grow. Park and recreation out-of-school time and youth development programs provide an opportunity within the broader community to support and advance social and emotional learning. These programs not only help to ensure that youth receive needed services including mentoring, healthy meals and snacks, cultural enrichment, outdoor and nature-based activities, youth sports and unstructured play. They also provide opportunities for youth to build trusting relationships with adults and peers, achieve personal goals, make responsible decisions, manage emotions and develop healthy identities.

Read more:


Handbook for Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design
Courtesy of Planetizen

With women occupying just 10 percent of the highest-ranking jobs at the world’s leading architecture firms, cities have historically been planned and designed to reflect traditional gender roles and gendered division of labor. As a result, cities work better for men than they do for women.

Men, women, gender minorities and people of different abilities tend to use the public space in different ways: people all have different needs and routines when it comes to our access to the city. However, the city is built for the “neutral” male user, neglecting the needs, interests and routines of women and girls in the city.

There are six issue areas in the built environment that combine with gender inequity to constrain, inconvenience, and even endanger women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities of all ages and abilities: access, mobility, safety and freedom from violence, health and hygiene, and climate resilience.

Read more:


Grass-court volleyball could be your park’s new best friend
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Mary Helen Sprecher

Grass-court volleyball is one of the latest trends. The sport has long been a fixture at the club level on college campuses and at picnics nationwide, but it’s also big on the pro level; in fact, there is also an AVP Grass Tour (tagline: “Grass meets grit”).

And it might just be your next big thing, particularly if you have a goal of starting some leagues that will run on evenings and weekends. Grass volleyball has the edgy vibe of beach volleyball, but without the need to build a special court and truck in sand. Those interested in playing will find it easy to make up a team since some formats use only two or three players per side—and a smaller court can mean less running and more action.

Read more:


Research: Contemporary Issues, Opportunities, and Resources for the U.S. Outdoor Recreation Profession
Courtesy of American Trails

The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education and the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals members shared their perspectives during focus groups in Spring 2021. Results highlight the overall development in the field of outdoor recreation and can inform future advocacy and planning by professional organizations.

Read more:


In the News

The ‘Gatlinburginazation’ of Red River Gorge would ruin this fragile gem forever
Courtesy of the Lexington Herald Leader

By David Musser

KENTUCKY - A lot of commotion has erupted down here in Red River country. A few years ago, a group of politically well-connected businessmen from primarily outside our area leveraged a million dollars of taxpayer money to fund a study proposing the creation of a Gatlinburg-type model for the Red River Gorge area. The centerpiece was a high-end upscale resort complex at Slade.

The study was funded under the guise of “economic development.” Economic development for whom?

A well-researched editorial published in this paper showed that the Gatlinburganization of any area causes negative environmental outcomes, accompanied by low-paying seasonal jobs that do little good for the local citizens. National corporate restaurants and motels suck money from the area and into the pockets of outside investors.

The high-end resort/Gatlinburg model is just the latest form of exploitation-by-extraction by wealthy outside investors that has plagued our region for well over a century. Coal. Oil. Natural gas. Timber. These industries do create local jobs until the exploitation of our natural resources is complete. Then, the corporate investors take their profits and leave us the mess. And, of course, another round of poverty because they also took the temporary jobs.

Read more:


How to Grow a Greenway
Courtesy of Landscape Architecture Magazine

By Jane Margolies

On a recent morning in New Orleans, church parishioners, employees on loan from local businesses, and sailors in town for Navy Week were among the 130 volunteers who showed up to plant 100 cypress trees in a bioswale on the Lafitte Greenway.

The greenway got its start as a grassroots drive to create a recreation space from a brownfield site—a mostly fallow no-man’s-land that had been a cypress swamp, then a canal way, and finally a rail corridor. Parts of the site, along with the neighborhoods bordering it—Tremé, Lafitte, Tulane-Gravier, Mid-City, and Lakeview—flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

To some extent Friends of Lafitte Greenway has stepped into the conservancy role. The official manager of the park is the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, a city agency known as NORD. But Friends of Lafitte Greenway is party to a public–private partnership with the city whereby it serves as an adviser, helps shape projects, and provides programming for movie nights, outdoor exercise classes, and an annual festival with live music, art installations, and craft and food vendors.

Read more:


Nobody really understands or likes this street symbol, so how’d it get made?
Courtesy of Denverite

Sharrows are those icons painted on the streets with a rider-less bike underneath two arrows. They give city officials a cheap way to say they’re doing something for cyclists’ safety — even if it’s undermining it.

In Denver, they’re painted by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure on streets that have no bike lanes but are supposedly welcoming to both bikes and cars.

In theory, when followed, sharrows encourage a biker to take the entire lane of traffic and caution drivers to chill out, slow down, and get in line.

Many Denver bike commuters will tell you: Sharrows don’t make them feel safe — and some research backs that. According to a 2016 University of Colorado, Denver study of bike infrastructure conducted over ten years and on 2,000 blocks in Chicago, sharrows might actually be more dangerous than no infrastructure at all.

Read more:


Building Nature
Courtesy of NRPA

By Carter L. Marshall III

COLORADO - Running by neat rows of neighborly homes in City of Lafayette, Colorado, a municipal drainage line called Drainage #4 had become a well-trodden route for trespass. Locals headed across town on foot, particularly kids headed to and from school, scrambled on uneven terrain along social paths made by necessity to save a few minutes on the way to their destination.

The Inspire Trail and Nature Kids Discovery Zone opened to the public in September 2019. Fully designed and built natural resource lands, constructed along the city’s Drainage #4, these unified projects created opportunity for lower-income residents to engage with the natural world in a densely urbanized area. Barbed wire fencing and “keep out” signs were removed to make way for new natural areas built for exploration and play. With a mile of new soft surface trails, meandering streams, community gathering areas, and hand-picked logs and boulders, this invented wilderness created a brand-new, integrated ecology and an ever-changing natural space for people to enjoy daily.

Read more:


South Bibb Rec Center hosts back-to-school bash
Courtesy of

GEORGIA - The Macon-Bibb Parks and Recreation Department in Georgia recently held a back-to-school event with the local Fire Department and Sheriff's Office that provided children with school supplies and free haircuts, and Asheville, N.C., is holding a similar event for teenagers on Aug. 18 with a DJ and dance performances. In Des Moines, Iowa, the parks and recreation department teamed with the Des Moines Street Collective, local police and Blank Children's Hospital to give bicycles and helmets to 100 children.

Read more:



River Management Society Symposium - Call for Presentations

San Antonio, Texas - February 28 to March 2, 2023

We welcome session presentations, panels, and posters that share innovations, creative approaches, successes, and visions for the future of river access from river management professionals (e.g., managers, planners, academics, consultants, and students).

Proposals are due September 30, 2022

For more information:


Webinar: Using Technology to Advance Equity
Courtesy of NRPA

Tuesday, September 6 - 2:00 pm EDT (pre-recorded)

Learn how frontline staff at Seattle Parks and Recreation utilizes the data and technology at their fingertips to achieve equitable outcomes through the development of a geographic information system (GIS) mobile app. Join Jordan Ng and Jason Vining-Nakamura as they talk about the development and integration of their mobile app in addressing disparities in park maintenance.

For more information:


Webinar: Building an Effective Citywide Park Nonprofit
Courtesy of City Parks Alliance

Tuesday, August 30 - 2:00-5:00 pm ET

Citywide park nonprofits are playing an increasingly critical role in the park ecosystems of cities – advocating for equitable park investments, building the capacity of citizens to engage in their parks, raising funds for capital projects and programs, and promoting a shared vision about the importance of parks and the need for increased public investment.

Whether your city has an established citywide park nonprofit or is looking to start one, join us to learn about the core functions of these important organizations, hear from citywide park nonprofits from around the country, and talk with your peers about how to start or strengthen your citywide park nonprofit.

For more information:


Upcoming Webinars from American Trails

August 25:
Collective Impact: Building a Trail Collective

August 30:
Legacy Roads and Trails Grant Opportunity (registration coming soon)

September 1:
How to Develop a Trail Crew Leader Program

September 8:
Trail Planning Technology: A Digital Toolbox

September 15:
Enhancing Trail Stewardship through Leave No Trace

September 22:
Study, Action, and Reflection: Increasing the Diversity of Trail Users and Supporters

For more information:


International Trails Summit
Courtesy of American Trails

April 17-21, 2023 - Reno Nevada

American Trails and the Professional TrailBuilders Association will join forces to co-host the International Trails Summit in Reno, Nevada during the week of April 17, 2023. The joint conference will also feature the World Trails Network – Hub for the Americas Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities are available now and general registration will open in mid-September.

For more information:

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