February 14, 2023

In this issue...


Send us your news

The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on February 28, 2023.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by February 27.

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

Welcome to our community!

Neil Luther, Director
Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation, VA

Beth Powell, Director
Indian River County Recreation, FL


2023 Special Park District Forum

June 19-22 - Lincolnshire, Illinois

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.

The Lake County Forest Preserves in northern Illinois is thrilled to host the 2023 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.

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.

The early bird registration discount ends on February 28th.

For more information:


Member News

Otters spotted at Metroparks Toledo
Courtesy of

OHIO - Otters have been spotted on the banks of the Maumee River. It’s a rare sight, one that’s virtually unheard of since the 1930s, when habitat loss and overhunting decimated otter populations. “We are protecting habitat and managing lands in very good ways. So, I’m very proud of Metroparks and our partners and the State for what we do to help create habitat and bring things back,” said Metroparks Master Interpreter Kim High.

Read more:



Federal Earmarks Process — How to Win Funding for Local Park Initiatives
Courtesy of NRPA

By Kyle Simpson

A successful earmark request can add valuable funds to “shovel-ready” projects that are already underway or are in the late planning stages. While earmarks generally follow the same eligibility requirements for the existing federal programs they move through, in most cases, they are delivered as 100 percent grants, without the burdensome cost-matching requirements typically attached to federal funding. A funding amount per earmark allowed is typically determined by the chair and ranking member of the appropriations committee and will be announced at a later date.

If you have projects in your community that would be a good fit, NRPA recommends contacting your representative and senators as soon as possible to familiarize them with your proposal(s). The best way to do this is...

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Consider ways to help care for youth-sports officials
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By John Engh

Since the inception of organized youth sports, there has been a need for officials to oversee the games on fields and courts. And today, there is a serious problem—nobody wants to do it anymore. Officials have always had a raw deal in sports. Every decision they make upsets half of the fans and some of the coaches. Can you imagine if every decision you made upset half of your workplace? 

The National Trail Parks and Recreation District in Ohio earned the Excellence in Youth Sports Award for redesigning the traditional black-and-white striped referee shirts. 

Read more:


$1.4 Million Available to Support Youth Impacted by Substance Misuse
Courtesy of NRPA
NRPA is excited to further the mentoring movement through the Mentoring for Youth Impacted by Substance Misuse Grant, awarding $70,000 each to up to 20 park and recreation agencies and their community partners to expand youth mentoring services. 
This grant is specifically designed to support youth living in communities with high rates of substance misuse (addiction, substance use disorder, and opioid misuse) and youth who have experienced substance misuse directly (in the home or personally).  
For more information:


Grown-Up Camp
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Andy Pritikin

The email to camp parents read like this: Every year, we get dozens of parents who half-jokingly ask if we can host a day of camp for PARENTS. Well, guess what? We're calling your bluff—the day you have been waiting for has finally arrived! Liberty Lake and Screamin’ Hill Farm Brewery present … GROWN-UP CAMP.

Most of the participants were parents and were thrilled to be able to let their hair down and be goofy without their kids around. Bouncing on the water trampoline, using the pool slides—the adults were so happy. All the while, a rock band played the classics on a small stage in a central location. It was like a giant park where grown-ups could actually do things together. 

Read more:


Key Characteristics of Forest Therapy Trails: A Guided, Integrative Approach
Courtesy of SORP

Forest therapy is an emerging holistic health practice that uses multisensory immersive engagements in forest settings to achieve health and wellbeing outcomes. Many forest therapy engagements take place via slow walks along a trail to optimally experience the array of sensory phenomena afforded along the route, yet surprisingly few forest therapy studies to date have investigated the characteristics of forest sites and trails that give rise to healthful experiences.

Read more:


The Science of Play
Courtesy of PlayCore
A new science of play and its effect on the brain has emerged from the explosion of information emerging from the social, psychological, behavioral, and biological sciences. For children and adults, play strengthens the mind and the body, strengthening the path toward social competency, emotional stability, physical capability, and success. 

Download here:



Welcome Your Members of Congress 
Courtesy of NRPA

The 118th Congress is underway, which means now is a great time to reach out to new and returning members of Congress and offer yourself up as a resource to their staff.  

As a park and recreation professional, as well as their constituent, it is vital that your members of Congress hear from you early and often. It’s important that they know about the critical work that you and your agency do every day to enhance the quality of life for the community members in their district. 

You also can take this opportunity to invite your members of Congress to come visit your agency and see this great work for themselves! Establishing a relationship with your elected officials helps build support for your agency, and a simple welcome message can go a long way.

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A Symbiotic Relationship
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Sara Thompson

To make cities more resilient, park planners and designers need to look beyond the typical stormwater requirements when thinking about public spaces. How can parks solve larger, community-wide stormwater problems while still accommodating recreational needs? 

Located in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, the two-acre Wightman Park takes about 30 acres of runoff from the neighborhood and uses most of the site’s square footage to capture more than 400,000 gallons per storm event. A highly collaborative process led to additional funding and a successful project partnership between the city of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. The result is a park with layers of functions, where green infrastructure is truly integrated within recreation, becoming part of the user’s experience.

Read more:


Life jackets credited for more boaters surviving accidents in Pennsylvania
Courtesy of

By Brian Whipkey

About 40% more boaters are surviving accidents in Pennsylvania since a winter life-jacket requirement was implemented 10 years ago. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's boating accident data reveals that while the number of boating accidents during the cold weather months has remained comparable over the past decade, fatalities have decreased from 58% in 2012 to 17% in 2022.

Read more:


Parks and Rec as Political Legacy for Philadelphia's Mayor
Courtesy of Governing

By Jared Brey

The renovation at 8th and Diamond is one of dozens of projects funded partly through Philadelphia’s Rebuild initiative, a signature effort by Mayor Jim Kenney to overhaul the city’s neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. The initiative was originally billed as a long-overdue investment in neighborhood assets, backed by $300 million in bonds and more than $100 million from local philanthropic foundations. Kenney pegged his legacy to the program from the outset, proposing and eventually passing the nation’s biggest soda tax to raise money for the repairs. It was an idea that put public space at the very heart of city life, and that framed caring for public space as a central task of city government.

City leaders say they’ve made strides in making public investments more equitable. More than 62 percent of Rebuild’s contracts for construction and professional services have gone to minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs). The precedent that Rebuild has set for prioritizing capital projects based on neighborhood needs has become more commonplace in cities around the country, and officials say the program is well positioned to outlast the Kenney administration and be continued, or even expanded, by the next mayor.

Read more:


The “Yes” Garden
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Charlotte Tonsor and Milton Hime

TEXAS - The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center opened in 1995 on a 42-acre site on the southwestern outskirts of Austin, Texas. As the state’s arboretum and botanical garden, its mission is to study, protect, and promote native plants. Thus began the planning for the Luci and Ian Family Garden as a place specifically designed for kids to interact with the natural world and Texas’ native plants.

Read more:


Nature As Art
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Alana Tucker

How do people engage with nature? Are they so far removed from it in their daily lives that it has become impossible? Consider one way that the conversation can begin: nature as art. By merging the natural with the created world, we can allow for more conversation around what constitutes a human life and how to preserve and enhance it. Here are a few examples of creative celebrations of trees from around the United States and the rest of the world...

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Match requirements prevent rural and low-capacity communities from accessing climate resilience funding
Courtesy of Headwaters Economics

More than 60% of federal resilience funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requires a local match, with an additional 13% requiring a match under certain conditions.

Requirements for matching funds have been included in federal funding programs to promote economic efficiency and ensure communities have “skin in the game.” In practice, however, they can impose insurmountable burdens on communities, creating disadvantages for rural and lower-capacity communities that cannot afford the required match.

Previous research has demonstrated how scoring criteria, the benefit-cost analysis, reimbursement models, and other application requirements create inequities in federal funding distributions. Local match requirements compound these inequities.

Read more:


Job Openings

Parks Project Manager Engineer
Oakland County Parks
Waterford, Michigan
$80,893 - $108,380 Annually
Application Deadline: Open until filled

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

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

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

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

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