November 29, 2022

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
Welcome New Members
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 December 13, 2022.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by December 12.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

Job Announcements  

NEW – Manager, Recreation Facilities
Anoka County Parks
Andover, Minnesota
$55,016 - $91,686 Annually
Closing date: Open until filled

NEW - Park Design and Development Manager
Whatcom County Parks & Recreation
Bellingham, Washington
$83,244 - $120,864 Annually
Closing date: Dec 11, 2022

Executive Director
Berwyn Park District, Illinois
$125,000 - $155,000 Annually
Closing date: Dec 20, 2022

Recreation Supervisor
Town of Lexington Recreation & Community Programs
Lexington, Massachusetts
$64,566.00 - $73,681.00 Annually
Closing date: Open until filled

Land Manager - Environmental Specialist III
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources
Sarasota, Florida
$50,523.20 - $67,932.80 Annually
Closing date: Open until filled

Parks Planning
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources
Sarasota, Florida
$60,000 - $75,000 Annually
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:

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. 


Welcome New Members

Mr. Andy Wells
Augusta County Parks and Recreation, Virginia

Mr. Matt Latham
Park Planner
MetroParks of Butler County, Ohio

Mr. Glenn Boorman
Division Director Project Administration
Gwinnett County Community Services, Georgia

Mr. Eric Horne
Division Deputy Director Parks & Recreation
Gwinnett County Community Services, Georgia

Mr. Chris Minor
Division Director Parks & Recreation
Gwinnett County Community Services, Georgia

Ms. Sarah Barlow
Division Deputy Director Parks & Recreation
Gwinnett County Community Services, Georgia

Mr. Shannon Sonnier
Superintendent of Recreation
Johnson County Park & Recreation District, Kansas

Mr. Tony Clements
Natural Areas and Trails Manager III
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, Florida


A Word from our Sponsors

Take your park to the next level. Add some color!
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

Pilot Rock provides a wide variety of material and finish options on the many different products that we make.

Thermo-Plastic Coated
The thermo-plastic coating for steel components is PVC free, phthalate free and UV-stabilized. Our dipping application process provides a coating as much as 5x thicker than spray-on coatings. Pick your choice of available colors, including Black, Blue, Brown, Gray, Red, Yellow, Green, Tan, Orange, & Light Green.

Recycled Plastic Colors
A solid color is formed throughout the component and a UV stabilizer is added for ultraviolet protection. Recycled plastic components are available in your choice of colors: Red, Yellow, Black, Blue, Weathered Wood, Cedar, Green, Gray, or Brown.

Powder Coat Colors
Pilot Rock features textured and non-textured powder coat finishes. For textured finishes, color options are Speckled Tan, Blue, Black, Green, or Brown. For untextured finishes, color options are Tan, Blue, Black, Red, Brown, Yellow, Green, Gray or Burgundy.

Read more:


Member News

Great Parks of Hamilton County is rebranding
Courtesy of WVXU

By Tana Weingartner

OHIO - The black and white acorn logo comes with the tag line "Find Your Wild." Todd Palmeter, Great Parks CEO, says this is the first time the park district has had a tag line. It will be used as a basis for future events and campaigns "because 'Find Your Wild' is an individual expression for each of us to find your wild in your own way in our parks and preserves."

The acorn, Palmeter believes, is a strong image that will become a standalone icon. Along with "Find Your Wild," he says people may notice more references to the shorter "Great Parks" rather than "Great Parks of Hamilton County." Perhaps you've noticed a new acorn logo on social media or while visiting a Hamilton County park. Great Parks of Hamilton County is slowly moving away from its blue and green bird logo introduced in 2013.

Read more:


Announcing the Newly Accredited and Reaccredited CAPRA Agencies
Courtesy of NRPA

NRPA and the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) are proud to announce the accreditation of 11 agencies and the reaccreditation of 26 agencies. CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies and is a measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community. This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.

Congratulations to the following NACPRO member agencies!

Newly accredited agency:
Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Georgia

Reaccredited agencies:
Charlotte County Community Services, Florida
Fairfax City Parks and Recreation Department, Virginia
Howard County Recreation and Parks, Maryland
James City County Parks and Recreation, Virginia

Read more:


Research and Resources

Taking Advantage of the American Rescue Plan
Courtesy of NRPA

By R.J. Cardin

For many, it’s hard to remember back to March 2021, when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had just reached the one-year mark. Our facilities, like many throughout the nation, were suffering due to stay-at-home orders and the economic downturn. For me, and the rest of the staff at the Maricopa County (Arizona) Parks and Recreation Department, that month marked a turning point in our pandemic recovery process because that was when the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was passed into law.

The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), a $350 billion fund within the ARP specifically designated to replace lost local revenues, had a broad range of eligible uses. We requested a portion of the county funding to support the construction and deferred maintenance of our park system. Of the $871 million in SLFRF county funds, $19.65 million was allocated to the Maricopa County Parks Department.

Some park professionals have been very successful in emulating our strategy of pursuing these funds, and those who have not taken advantage of this opportunity still can. Park and recreation departments can work with their state, county and local government leaders to secure remaining funding while it is still available. As of August 2022, states still had 21 percent of their funding available, so it’s not too late to apply.

Read more:


The Importance of Sustainable Trails
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Jefferey Spivey

As important as it is for hikers to respect and properly use trails, Jeff Marion believes visitors aren’t solely to blame for trail impacts.

“My personal view is that managers owe it to the visitors to give them a usable trail,” he says. Without that, problems abound.

In his research, Marion has found that design, and not use, is actually the primary contributor to poor trail conditions. To explain this, he uses a simple example. When hikers are on familiar trails, they should pay close attention to the trail’s condition. They’ll likely find that most of the trail they’ve hiked is in good shape, but they’ll probably notice a few spots that aren’t, either mud holes, spots of erosion, or portions that are uncharacteristically wide. Marion says most of the trail is intact because, more or less, hikers use the trail homogenously. It’s the trail’s design that causes the isolated points of degradation.

Read more:


Working With Water
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Clarkson Wischmeier

Humans are innately drawn to water. We seek the connection in simple ways—skipping stones, enjoying overlooks near streams, or strolling around a lake. But many people cannot enjoy these connections as they are simply inaccessible. Urban infrastructure, lack of legal access or transportation, safety or health-related issues, a history of inequitable land-use policies, and myriad other barriers prevent people from experiencing natural waterways. In some contexts, this lack of access is exacerbated by the effects of climate change and increasingly intense urban heat islands. Public parks and open spaces have the unique ability to provide much-needed opportunities to connect with water, both actively and passively, and in both natural and urban environments.

To conserve natural resources, access to the water was purposefully designed to both direct and limit activities along the creek. Access to the water and around the site not only utilizes railings and elevated boardwalks to protect the sensitive wetland and riparian areas, but also serves as safe access during high waters, ADA-access to the water’s edge, and recreational opportunities, like fishing.

Read more:


What To Do if a Volunteer Fails a Background Check
Courtesy of NRPA

Volunteers are vital to many organizations, from hospitals and recreation agencies to animal rescue groups and museums. Good volunteers can be hard to find as the work often comes with a lack of recognition or thanks. But, that doesn’t mean an organization should happily accept whatever help is offered.

Nonprofits have the same obligation to provide safety for their workers and clients as for-profit companies. In addition, nonprofits have a board of directors to answer to, a donor base to protect, and a reputation to uphold. It’s far better to deal with a volunteer’s failed background check than to put an organization that contributes much good in jeopardy.

You will be best able to deal with a volunteer who fails a background check if that volunteer was fully informed of the requirement of a background check at any informational session or orientation.

Read more:


Examining Water-Play Surfacing Compliance
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Rolf Huber

Owners of children’s water features run a full gambit of risks. One of those risks should not have to be contending with apparent mandates to purchase and install surfacing systems that are certified. Owners today are faced with understanding new standards being developed at ISO, revised at ASTM, and terms added to NSF50 in Section 26 (S26). Currently, there are two competing standards—ASTM F2461 and NSF50 Section 26—that are held up for compliance and they are incomplete and under revision. However, that will not stop them from being used when an injury and lawsuit occurs. Designers, specifiers, and owners must be aware of their choices and make intelligent decisions.

Read more:


Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Information Search Tool
Courtesy of FHWA

The FHWA's Safety Office just launched the updated Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Information Search Tool, a page-by-page assessment of more than 100 carefully selected reports, guidebooks, and training materials, cross-referenced by mode, the "Es" (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Evaluation, Encouragement), topics addressed, and other categories.

Reports and guidance documents abound for anyone engaged in planning, designing, or advocating for safe pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The information packed into these resources is valuable, but practitioners must track it down from a wide variety of websites, clearinghouses, and printed documents. Not all documents are readily or freely available, and readers must sometimes assess on their own the quality of what they find.

Access here:


Ice Bumper Cars Make Their Debut at Glenview Community Ice Center
Courtesy of

By Jeff Arnold

ILLINOIS - Holiday fun will take a little bit of a different spin beginning this week at the Glenview Community Ice Center, where local residents can take to the ice in bumper cars that will be available starting on Monday.

Each bumper car is powered by an electric motor that controls and turns the wheels underneath. The wheels feature special, custom-made rubber tires that provide traction but won’t damage the ice surface. The outer ring on the car is made of a PVC air tube that protects the car frame and absorbs the impact of bumping cars. Riders control the vehicle using a pair of joysticks to move forward, backward, turn, or spin.

Read more:


NRPA Young Professionals Network and Leadership Development Network Joint Meeting

Wednesday, December 14 at 2 p.m. EST.

Join the Young Professional Network and Leadership Development Networks for a joint meeting. Explore how mentors and mentees can aid in professionalism and build relationships. Hear from both mentors and mentees from across the profession on their experiences learning from each other and how your relationship can be mutually beneficial.

Read More


Playful Placemaking: Community Engagement Strategies Using Social Science in the Design Process
Courtesy of PlayCore

The difference between space and place is like the difference between ‘house’ and ‘home’. Many tangible and intangible elements combine to create a memorable experience. Good placemaking demands that we consider the end-users by inviting them into the conversation as an important part of the design process. It requires decision-makers to have genuine regard for long-term success and social, cultural, environmental, and economic sustainability. As users and advocates in placemaking efforts, we relish the opportunity to empower communities; engage in meaningful dialogue, facilitate opportunities to listen, and empower communities and design professionals to see possibility all around them.

We're excited to partner with Landscape Architect Joy Kuebler to present Playful Placemaking, highlighting a methodology for shaping public spaces through playful interactions, as an opportunity to break down barriers, obtain valuable community input, and shape a public space that truly speaks to and for the community. Using social science to engage communities, playful placemaking utilizes play to offer a podium that works for every voice.



In the News

Record surge for outdoor recreation economy in 2021 fuels push for legislation, federal office
Courtesy of the Colorado Sun

By Jason Blevins

The fifth annual report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows outdoor recreation regaining lost ground from the pandemic impacts to travel and tourism in 2020. The record surge in 2021 — when adding outdoor recreation job earnings the industry delivered an $862 billion overall impact to the U.S. economy — is pushing industry advocates to call for more federal support of recreation.

“Outdoor recreation is one of the few areas where we are seeing bipartisan support,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, the president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “This is one of the few industry sectors that has the ability to reach across the partisan divide and bring people together to improve our economies and our quality of life.”

The federal government first started measuring the outdoor recreation economy in 2017, following the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act. The annual reports from the Department of Commerce show outdoor recreation users, manufacturers, service providers, retailers and supporting industries like travel and tourism driving an economy larger than the agriculture, energy, pharmaceuticals or electronics industries.

Since 2017, 18 states have created offices of outdoor recreation. Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act in 2020, the largest conservation investment in decades directing billions into recreational access and infrastructure. The recent American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act directed even more into recreation infrastructure.

Read more:


How a park designation could derail the I-45 expansion
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Jay R. Jordan

TEXAS - A Houston City Council member is resurrecting a push to designate White Oak Bayou near downtown as a city park — all in an effort to derail the controversial Interstate 45 expansion project.

An obscure rule in U.S. transportation law says that highways can't be built over parks, preservations or historic sites. If the portion of White Oak Bayou is designated as a park, it will throw a wrench into TxDOT's plans to expand and reroute the highway.

Read more:


As climate change progresses, trees in cities struggle
Courtesy of the Associated Press

By Manuel Valdes

SEATTLE — As the driest summer in Seattle’s record books ended, trees across the city were sounding silent alarms.

It was the latest in a string of Seattle summers in the last decade, including a record-breaking heat dome in 2021, to feature drier conditions and hotter temperatures that have left many trees with premature brown leaves and needles, bald branches and excessive seeding –- all signs of stress.

Researchers from France and Australia analyzed the impact of hotter temperatures and less rain on more than 3,100 tree and shrub species in 164 cities across 78 countries. They found about half the trees already were experiencing climate conditions beyond their limits. They also concluded that by 2050 nearly all tree species planted in Australian cities will not be able to survive in urban areas.

Non-native trees have been brought to cities for a long time. Climate change, however, is prompting many arborists to consider increasing them in their city’s arboreal palette — a practice called “assisted migration.” Arborists are looking for non-native species without “invasive tendencies,” said Scott Altenhoff of Oregon’s Urban and Community Forest Program.

Read more:


Bike Libraries Are Boosting Access to Bikes Across the U.S.
Courtesy of Next City

By Cinnamon Janzer

WISCONSIN - Madison’s public libraries are part of a growing number of bike libraries in cities and towns from coast to coast. A list of U.S. bike lending libraries curated by StreetsblogMASS reporter Grecia White documents 35 such programs, from Vermont to Texas. While they all look a little different and work a little differently, they all do the same thing — increase free access to bikes.

As a 2021 report by People for Bikes notes, there are a number of social, cultural and physical barriers that keep cities across the country from creating inclusive biking communities, from unequal distribution of biking infrastructure to prevailing perceptions of cycling as an activity for white men. A study in Portland, Oregon, found that car traffic, know-how, and space needed to maintain and store a bike are among the biggest barriers to bike use.

Read more:


Green Friday celebrations being held across East Bay parks
Courtesy of Pleasanton Weekly

By Nicole Gonzales

CALIFORNIA - On the heels of Thanksgiving, many East Bay residents will be heading outdoors to take part in an emerging initiative to promote recreational activity and environmental awareness on Friday.

The East Bay Regional Park District will be waiving visitor fees at all sites in celebration of Green Friday. Created in 2015 nationwide with support from outdoor recreation store REI, Green Friday aims to provide an alternative to mass shopping on what is typically known as Black Friday. Consumers are encouraged to head outdoors instead of into commercial department stores and malls.

Read more:


Road in D.C.’s Rock Creek Park to Stay Car-Free
Courtesy of Planetizen

By James Brasuell

The National Park Service (NPS) has decided to close the upper portion of Beach Drive through Rock Creek Park closed year-round, passing on an option to reopen the road to cars after pandemic closures, and striking a blow to the car-centric planning status quo.

“This decision prioritizes park access for recreational use including walkers, runners, cyclists and others seeking respite in natural areas. In selecting the year-round closure over the previously proposed seasonal closure, the NPS recognizes that the closure has allowed outdoor recreation in the park to flourish and has provided enormous mental and physical health benefits to those who have used the upper portion of Beach Drive for recreation since its initial closure in April 2020,” according to the press release.

Read more:


Can Cities Combat ‘Green Gentrification’?
Courtesy of CityLab

By Patrick Sisson

The good news is that cities really are focusing on getting greener. In the face of a spiraling climate crisis, local leaders across the globe have bought into the idea that cities will need to plant trees, build flood-absorbent parks, and expand car-free streets in order to remain livable.

But according to Barcelona-based researcher Isabelle Anguelovski, cities have yet to internalize the consequences of a growing divide: In city after city, she argues, new green infrastructure has brought real estate speculation, rising housing costs and community displacement.

To ward off green gentrification, experts agreed that projects must be paired with policies that focus on equity, discourage speculation, and maintain or add affordable housing. To accomplish this, the environmental nonprofit CDP created a framework called people-powered climate action that encourages cities to identify vulnerable populations, analyze local experiences and engage with them.

Read more:



Webinar: Inclusion Matters: Creating Conditions of Possibility in Outdoor Play Destinations
Courtesy of PlayCore

Date: Wednesday, November 30
Time: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. EDT
Cost: Free
Registration Code: COMMUNITY

Landscape architects have long championed inclusive play destinations. However, the body of research to help make evidence-based design choices has only relatively recently begun to develop. Researchers and practitioners are beginning to ask, and answer, whether inclusively designed outdoor environments really change the possibilities for enhanced play experiences. Can inclusive design impact play behaviors between children of all abilities? Discover evidence-based design practices that thoughtfully break down both physical and social barriers to create a welcoming atmosphere to experience the developmental benefits of inclusive play! Research findings, case examples, and new data offers unique insights to demonstrate the positive impact inclusive design has on the whole child, the whole environment, and the whole community!

For more information:


Universal Design to “Be Kind” - Approaches to Inclusivity for Nonbinary and Transgender Staff, Individuals and Community
Courtesy of NRPA

On demand, prerecorded webinar

Join Autumn Saxton-Ross, NRPA vice president of education and chief equity officer; Laure Kosey, director of Oak Brook Park District; and Jon Marquardt, superintendent of facilities for Skokie Park District, as they discuss their approaches to inclusion in facilities, summer camps and staff policies, and recreation practices and programs in support of nonbinary and transgender inclusion.

For more information:


Workshop: Driving Change Through Leadership and Collaboration
Courtesy of City Parks Alliance

Wednesday, January 11 - 2:00-5:00 pm ET

The last few years have taught all of us, perhaps park leaders more than others, that we must constantly adapt to meet the evolving needs of our communities, partners, and those we serve. Climate crises, public protests in the face of racial injustice, and the pandemic have all deeply touched our parks and the role they play in our lives. Even without such crises, the ever-evolving need for public space to serve so many vital functions in our modern lives has made it critical for park leaders to drive change with vision, innovation, flexibility, and a collaborative spirit.

Change can take the form of new organizational processes, policies, structures, partnerships, priorities, and programs, among other things. Join us for this workshop to learn about different organizational change models, hear from park leaders who have successfully driven transformative change using these models, and talk with your peers about your challenges and successes in driving change in your own organization and community.

We encourage teams of 2-4 people per city to register and offer discounts for city teams! Participants are encouraged to attend with colleagues and other partners so they can explore ways to work together to strengthen their organizations and communities.

Register here:

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