January 31, 2023

In this issue...


Send us your news

The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on February 14, 2023.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by February 13.

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

Welcome to our community!

Greg Johnson, Director
Buena Vista County Conservation Board
Peterson, Iowa

Richard Pictor, Executive Director
Versailles-Woodford County Parks & Recreation
Versailles, Kentucky      

Aaron Reidmiller, Director
Hanover County Parks and Recreation Department
Hanover, Virginia  


Eric Van Becelaere, Administration Superintendent
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation        
Topeka, Kansas

Jess Rakestraw, Deputy Director
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation
Topeka, Kansas

Josh Maike, Recreation Superintendent
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation
Topeka, Kansas


Ask the membership

Got an issue you need advice on? 

Tap into  our collective experience.  Send your question and some background to the editor and we will include it in the next NACPRO News. 


NACPRO is meeting in conjunction with the 2023 Special Park District Forum.
Join us in Lake County Illinois for great learning opportunities, the NACPRO awards banquet and great fellowship.  

2023 Special Park District Forum

June 19-22 - Lincolnshire, Illinois

The Lake County Forest Preserves in northern Illinois is thrilled to host the next Special Park Districts Forum. As principal guardian of Lake County’s open space and natural areas since 1958, we protect more than 31,000 acres of natural land and are the second-largest forest preserve district in Illinois.

Located north of Chicago and along Lake Michigan, Lake County contains "170 lakes and rivers, 400 miles of streams and thousands of acres of wetlands."

Our event theme for 2023 is "Charting the Waters", which reflects this unique moment in time, including the challenges agencies like yours and ours overcame to remain operational, as well as local community support during a global crisis. It will also highlight key conservation and recreation projects that focus on water resources.

Register today

Learn more:


A word from our sponsors

Do you have what you need for Spring?
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

Order early to make sure you have time to install your new equipment before people (and their pets!) really start filling up your parks or campgrounds . 

Now that you're back in the swing of things, sit down with a cup of coffee and take a little time to figure out what you need to order -- and then get it ordered or request a quote!

Here's a quick checklist to help you get started:

  • Picnic Tables
  • Benches
  • Charcoal Grills
  • Campfire Rings
  • Bike Racks

For more information:


Member News

30 Under 30 for 2023
Courtesy of NRPA

The 30 Under 30 recognition program is a joint effort by the NRPA Young Professional Network and Parks & Recreation magazine, honoring 30 of the top young park and recreation professionals who serve as everyday champions in their communities. More than 100 nominations representing 15 different states comprise the class of 2023. The scoring committee evaluated the nominations on one or more of the following criteria:

  • Impact on the agency’s community and service population. 
  • Contributions to the professional development of the field of parks and recreation. 
  • Innovative ideas, programs or research in the field of parks and recreation. 

Congratulations to the winners from our member districts!

  • Savannah Hottel of Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation, Florida
  • Rachel Smith of James City County Parks and Recreation, Virginia
  • Luca Twohie of Fairfax County Park Authority, Virginia

Read more:



NACo High Performance Leadership Academy

The NACo High Performance Leadership Academy is an innovative, completely online 12-week program created to equip frontline county government professionals with practical leadership skills to deliver results. HPLA uses an innovative, interactive online learning platform that combines real-time webinars, recorded sessions and small group discussions to deliver effective training without traveling away from the county – saving money and maximizing time.

With a robust curriculum developed by the Professional Development Academy in partnership with Fortune 1000 executives, public sector leaders, world-renowned academics and thought leaders, including General Colin Powell and Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, HPLA was designed specifically for the unique challenges and opportunities of serving in county government.

Learn more:


Mental health co-responders now roll with Denver Park Rangers
Courtesy of Denverite

By Kevin Beaty

COLORADO - In 2020, as protests against police brutality overtook Denver’s streets, the city launched a long-planned program to remove officers from situations that would be better served by social workers.

And so Support Team Assisted Response, widely known as STAR, began with a single van and a limited pilot to see how things would go. Their most common mission: to help people living outside or dealing with addiction instead of handing out a citation.

The program has grown since those early days, and now it has a cousin dedicated specifically to Denver’s green spaces.

Read more:


Congress Passes Spending Package with Robust Urban Park Funding 
Courtesy of the City Parks Alliance

Congress funded the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) at $125 million for FY23, which matches the highest congressional amount for the program. The ORLP provides funds to cities for park projects in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods that lack adequate parks and recreational opportunities. To date, funds from ORLP will leverage more than $910 million for parks in communities nationwide.

Read more:


How ‘sponge cities’ are redesigning themselves for extreme rain
Courtesy of Fast Company

By Adele Peters

When a heavy storm dumped 5 1/2 inches of rain on San Francisco on New Year’s Eve—more than the city usually gets in the entire month of December—streets started to flood.  

At the same time that California is in the middle of the worst drought in centuries, climate change is making extreme rainfall more likely. “Atmospheric rivers,” long jets of air that can carry 15 times as much water as the Mississippi River, aren’t new on the West Coast. But as global warming continues, the number of intense storms from atmospheric rivers may nearly double by 2100.

The current parade of storms is dumping trillions of gallons of water on the state. Most of it isn’t being captured for later use, despite the drought. It’s also causing floods, a problem compounded in some areas by sea level rise and sinking land. But better urban design could help. Globally, there are cities that are pioneering solutions.

Read more:


Talking, Self-Cleaning, All-Season Bathroom Coming to Grand Rapids Park
Courtesy of

MICHIGAN - A new, high-tech, public restroom is coming to a Grand Rapids City Park. According to M-Live, in addition to detecting humans and cleaning itself, the bathroom talks too! Once a person enters the restroom ad locks the door, a voice message will notify the person that they have 15 minutes to use the restroom, after that, the door unlocks.

Read more:


The Sustainability in Parks and Recreation Report
Courtesy of NRPA

By Kevin Roth

NRPA recently released a report based on a survey of nearly 200 park and recreation leaders that explores how they are working to make their agencies and communities more sustainable. The Sustainability in Parks and Recreation report views agencies’ goals, the level of financial and political support for these efforts, and the challenges and barriers hampering greater success. 

Read more:


This E-Bike Snowplow Is So Canadian
Courtesy of Bicycling

By Molly Hurford

One Victoria, B.C.-based cyclist has devised the most brilliant snow-clearing solution we’ve ever seen: A snowplow mounted on an e-bike. Canada’s public broadcast station, the CBC, shared a video earlier this week of the bike clearing sidewalks after a light snow in Victoria.

Read more:



Workforce Development Trends and Opportunities in Parks and Recreation
Courtesy of NRPA

By Tim Herd, CPRE

In collages across the nation, Recreation and Park major has lost both enrollments and visibility as it becomes absorbed into less-obvious departments. Should we really expect our higher education system to embrace a poor return on their educational investments? As they painfully adapt to changing fiscal, social and academic expectations and restrictions, colleges and universities can’t afford to offer what students aren’t demanding.

There is a widespread lack of awareness among high school youth, parents and guidance counselors of parks and recreation as a viable career choice. The open secret among faculty at many universities is that parks and recreation is often a “discovered” major, as upper-class students seek a change in their original majors.

Local park and recreation agencies can use their social media platforms to demonstrate what it’s like to work in the field. They should ensure their social media activities direct users to appropriate outlets to continue their exploration of a related career. 

Read more:


Atlanta’s BeltLine: How an Urban Park Can Drive Green Gentrification
Courtesy of Governing

By Dan Immergluck

GEORGIA - Is Atlanta a good place to live? In September 2022, Money magazine rated Atlanta the best place to live in the U.S., based on its strong labor market and job growth. The National Association of Realtors calls it the top housing market to watch in 2023, noting that Atlanta’s housing prices are lower than those in comparable cities and that it has a rapidly growing population.

But this is only part of the story. My new book, “Red Hot City: Housing, Race, and Exclusion in Twenty-First Century Atlanta,” takes a deep dive into the last three decades of housing, race and development in metropolitan Atlanta. 

One key driver of this division is the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile (35-kilometer) loop of multiuse trails with nearby apartments, restaurants and retail stores, built on a former railway corridor around Atlanta’s core. Although the BeltLine was designed to connect Atlantans and improve their quality of life, it has driven up housing costs on nearby land and pushed low-income households out to suburbs with fewer services than downtown neighborhoods.

Read more:


How do people use public parks? Researchers study cellphone data.
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Alexa Battler

Managing public parks can be a balancing act – the more people enjoy them, the more wildlife is naturally damaged. But researchers at the University of Toronto say anonymous cellphone data could help urban planners strike a better balance between the needs of people and wildlife.

Their study, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, is among the first to use anonymous GPS data from smartphones to track how people interact with green spaces, potentially impacting biodiversity.

Read more:


Downpours Yield 33 Billion Gallons of Captured Stormwater in L.A. County
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Diana Ionescu 

Los Angeles County captured 33 billion gallons of stormwater from the recent rains that drenched California, an amount that “could supply 816,000 people with water for a year,” reports Carlos Granda for ABC7. As Granda explains, “The county Public Works Department operates 14 major dams and 620 miles of rivers and flood control channels.”

Read more:


Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Diana Ionescu

Dave Snyder, senior director for infrastructure at PeopleForBikes and the former executive director of the California Bicycle Coalition, was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the sharrow, a lane marking designed to make drivers aware that they are sharing space with bikes and encourage people on bikes to claim the lane rather than riding in the dangerous ‘door zone.’ 

According to Snyder, “I thought the sharrow would educate bicyclists to stay out of the ‘door zone’ and usher in a new era of safer streets, one where motorists would patiently wait behind bicyclists ‘taking the lane’ because this painted symbol made it clear they had the right to do so.” But Snyder admits the markings are clearly not enough to change behavior. “Sharrow or no sharrow, most people on bikes dangerously hug the edge of the roadway, squeezing themselves into the door zone to avoid blocking car traffic.” Now, after two decades of data and lived experience, Snyder believes that sharrows “are great for navigation and, perhaps, concentrating riders on certain streets — that’s about it.” 

Read more:


‘Bootcamps’ to Help Smaller Cities Compete for Infrastructure Grants 
Courtesy of Route Fifty

The National League of Cities (NLC) is offering a series of free grant application “bootcamps” for cities with fewer than 150,000 residents to help them apply for the billions of dollars awarded through 30 different federal programs. Each bootcamp is tied to a specific grant program in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act such as the $5 billion in street safety planning and implementation grants. NLC expects to begin recruiting in April for the next round of bootcamps in May.

Read more:



Webinar: Best Practices Trail Auditing Using Digital Platforms
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: February 9, 2023
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free 
Organization: American Trails

This presentation summarizes how the Trail Vision platform digitizes trail management— utilizing technology to collect, analyze, and visualize critical trail information, to make better, more informed decisions.

For more information:


Innovation’s Role in Moving Toward Autonomous Maintenance Activities
Courtesy of NRPA

Thursday, February 16 at 2 p.m. EST

Autonomy will be an innovation incorporated into most maintenance programs. Join this session to gain a better understanding of why properly comprehending customer problems is key to good innovation; what challenges exist with the acceptance of new product categories such as electrification and data-driven maintenance; and how autonomous equipment and data-driven management can fit into your maintenance activities. 

For more information:


Anti-Oppression and Inclusive Program Design for Outdoor Recreation
Courtesy of SORP

Registration is now open for a 4-part cohort series virtual workshop: Outdoors for All: Anti-Oppression and Inclusive Program Design four Outdoor Recreation
Outdoor Recreation has both the opportunity and a responsibility to be more inclusive of all communities and to question dominant and privileged cultural perspectives. During this 4-part cohort series workshop hosted by Parker McMullen-Bushman form EcoInclusive, attendees will be introduced to the concept of unconscious bias, including in the development of projects and programs. Through a series of interactive virtual sessions, participants will examine privilege and bias as it pertains to planning and programming. Participants will reflect on individual and organizational practices and develop strategies for creating engaging and meaningful programming for diverse audiences. 
April 4 -    Session 1: Examining Unconscious Bias / Tuesday, April 4, 2023 
April 11 - Session 2: 4 I’s of Oppression / Tuesday, April 11, 2023
April 19 - Session 3: Inclusivity Review Lens / Tuesday, April 18, 2023
April 25 - Session 4: Group Project Share / Tuesday, April 25, 2023 

Register here:


Job Openings

NEW - PROS Park Planner 2
Miami Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces
Miami, Florida
$56,580 - $99,603 Annually
Application Deadline: Feb 18, 2023

NEW – Coordinator of Fund Development and Major Gifts
Ottawa County Parks
West Olive, Michigan
$36.47 - $47.41 Hourly
Application Deadline: March 3, 2023

NEW - Parks and Recreation Director
Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina
$126,000 - $145,000 Annually
Application Deadline: Feb 19, 2023

NEW - Chief, Departmental Operations-Parks & Recreation Resource Management
County of San Diego Parks and Recreation, California
$125,0000 - $136,000 Annually
Application Deadline: Feb 18, 2023

NEW - Chief, Departmental Operations-Parks & Recreation Development
County of San Diego Parks and Recreation, California
$125,000 - $136,000 Annually
Application Deadline: Feb 18, 2023

NEW – Director of Visitor Services
Forest Preserve District of Will County
Joliet, Illinois
$84,927 - $127,444 Annually
Application Deadline: Feb 13, 2023

Chief Executive Officer
Five Rivers MetroParks
Dayton, Ohio
$139,000+ DOQ
Application Deadline: Feb 28, 2023

Seasonal Park Manager
County of Alpena, Michigan
Permanent seasonal position
$20,000 Season
Application Deadline: Open until filled

Executive Director 
Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, Illinois
$145,000 - $190,000 Annually
Application Deadline: Feb 17, 2023

For more information:

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.

National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials

PO Box 74, Marienville PA 16239

(814) 927-8212