March 14, 2023

In this issue...


Send us your news

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

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

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

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 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

For more information: 


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. 


A word from our sponsors

Welcome new sponsor – Vista Recreation

Vista Recreation is a private company who partners with various public agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to operate campgrounds and recreation areas under long-term concession agreements. We operate locations nationwide, and are continually expanding. We bring expertise and private capital to the challenges of refurbishing and expanding aging recreation areas, and add new amenities such as cabins and other outdoor facilities that make these parks relevant to more of the public.

Learn more:


Member News

Durbin Announces $11 Million Earmark For Upper Des Plaines River Ecosystem Restoration
Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserves

ILLINOIS – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined officials from the Army Corps of Engineers’ Chicago District and the Lake County Forest Preserve to announce the $11 million in earmark funding he secured in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Omnibus appropriations bill for ecosystem restoration work on the Upper Des Plaines River in Lake County. This project is the first segment of the Corps’ broader Upper Des Plaines River Project that will address ecosystem restoration and mitigate flooding along 67 miles of the river in both Lake and Cook Counties.  

Read More:

Metroparks Toledo makes progress in the construction of Glass City River Walk
Courtesy of

By Willie Daniely III

OHIO - While the Glass City Metropark is scheduled to open in July, the entire Riverwalk will take longer.

A downtown resident says she’s excited about the development. “I love that Toledo’s downtown area especially is growing and changing, and it’s all really positive. It’s exciting.”

Carpenter says the Riverwalk is a collaboration as many businesses and institutions will share its riverfront.

Read more and watch the video:

Continuing a Legacy of Service to Create a Better World — Episode 131
Courtesy of NRPA

By Cort Jones 

Los Angeles County is doing some big things and the department of parks and recreation is continuing to make an impact when it comes to equity, environmental resilience and the health and well-being of its community members.

I’m thrilled to be joined today by Norma Edith García-Gonzalez, who has worked for Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation for more than a decade and was appointed as director of the department in 2020 — becoming the first woman and first person of color to lead the department. What’s more, Norma now leads the same department that made such an impact on her in her youth.

Listen here:

MetroParks, trails group working on final local piece of coast-to-coast trail
Courtesy of the Dayton Daily News

By Aimee Hancock

OHIO - Five Rivers MetroParks, in collaboration with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, is working to complete a 5-mile gap in the Wolf Creek Trail to complete Montgomery County’s final portion of a cross-country, multi-use path known as the Great American Rail Trail.

“The Miami Valley trail network is the largest connected paved trail network in the country,” Oberg said. “Having this national corridor coming through the middle of that just adds another feather in the cap to showcase what the Miami Valley has done in the last 40 years to facilitate something of this scale.”

Read more:



National Nature Assessment Listening Sessions: State and Local Perspectives on Nature

How are changes in the environment affecting your community? Why is nature important? How would understanding nature help you in your work with and for state and local governments—to understand what’s happening with lands, waters, wildlife, and ecosystems to better serve your community?

We invite you to join this national conversation! Registration in advance is optional but encouraged.

National Nature Assessment Listening Sessions
• March 20, 2023 | 11:30am-1:00pm ET  
• March 20, 2023 | 6:30pm- 8:00pm ET 

For more information:

Parks and Recreation Emerging Professionals Program
Courtesy of GP RED

The next cohort of the Parks and Recreation Emerging Professionals Program (PREPP) will start in September 2023. PREPP is a 15-month accelerated online learning platform designed to help current parks and recreation professionals who may have a degree in another field, or those sharp individuals who have at least three years of experience in parks and recreation, but may not have a Bachelor’s degree, become more familiar with necessary parks and recreation skills, background theory, and leadership concepts to progress to the next level in our field.

The curriculum is designed to address the executive competencies needed for mid to upper levels of administration, and those covered by the CPRP and CPRE national certifications. The program is co-sponsored by GP RED and the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs Institute. 

For more information:

Good or bad? Some 'invasive species' can help native ecosystems thrive
Courtesy of the River Management Society

Whether or not invasive species threaten native biodiversity and ecosystems has been a point of debate amongst researchers for years. Invasive species have caused extinctions of native species and even altered the functioning of ecosystems. But not all species that are introduced to new areas become invasive — meaning they cause negative impacts.

While we should continue to be wary of non-native species, particularly those that have overwhelmingly negative impacts, the reality is that the role of most non-native species in ecological communities is uncertain or complex.

Increasingly, scientists are reporting examples of positive roles that non-native species play such as providing food to native species, creating habitats or playing a role in ecosystem restoration.

Read more:

America the Beautiful Challenge - 2023 Request for Proposals
Courtesy of SORP

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), through anticipated cooperative agreements from the Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Defense (DOD), and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is pleased to announce the America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC) 2023 Request for Proposals (RFP). The ATBC vision is to streamline grant funding opportunities for new voluntary conservation and restoration projects around the United States. This RFP consolidates funding from multiple federal agencies and the private sector to enable applicants to conceive and develop large-scale, locally led projects that address shared funder priorities spanning public and private lands.

For more information:

Transportation Now Part of the Equitable Park Funding Hub 
Courtesy of the City Parks Alliance

Federal transportation funding can be a crucial tool in building new parks and expanding city trail systems. City Parks Alliance recently released a brand-new addition to our Equitable Park Funding Hub designed to promote and educate park planners and advocates about potential transportation funds. Explore the Transportation Hub section now to plan for your city’s next project. 

For more information:

Federal Transportation Funds Transform Local Communities
Courtesy of Next City

By Catherine Nagel 

By now we have heard that the federal government will be investing billions of dollars in U.S. communities in the coming years as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed in 2021. While many people may know that this funding will be put to use to strengthen virtual connections through greater broadband access and repair our roads, bridges and water systems, they may not know that it offers an unprecedented opportunity to leverage transportation infrastructure to boost the physical and human interconnectedness of our cities by: providing more pedestrian and bike-friendly mobility options; delivering air-quality and congestion benefits; creating local economic development opportunities; and offering linkages to green space and recreation.

Read more:



Mount Rainier National Park Going Cashless
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

WASHINGTON - "Entrance fees are an important source of revenue national parks use to improve the visitor experience,” said Mount Rainier Superintendent Greg Dudgeon. “Moving to a cashless system helps the park manage visitor dollars more effectively. Going cashless reduces the amount of time park staff spend handling cash, increases the amount of fee revenue available to support critical projects and visitor services, and improves accountability while also reducing risk.”  

Read more:

The walls of a dismantled black schoolhouse reveal its history
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Anne Radford

MISSOURI - St. Louis County Parks is in the process of moving and reconstructing a significant building to the Historic Village at Faust Park. This year marks the 129th anniversary of Missouri’s oldest-surviving, one-room schoolhouse. African Schoolhouse No. 4 was built for the education of African American children in West St. Louis County. After years of not having a school for black children, area residents successfully sued in 1893 to have community-supported education for those children in the Chesterfield area. The school closed in the 1950s when it merged with the Orrville School.

Read more and watch the video:

Authentic Ways To Build A Culture That Supports Diverse Talent
Courtesy Of Forbes

By Rhett Power

Nothing will position you for success quite like a well-rounded team. Though an all-around good team is usually defined by its skills and experience, it’s time to think of things a bit differently—from the perspective of diversity.

Because people care. Job seekers and consumers alike (particularly the incoming and vocal Gen Zers) want to see their values reflected within the businesses they encounter. And while that is certainly important, demonstrating a commitment to diversity leads to other significant benefits for the inner workings of the company itself.

A diverse team brings so much value to an organization. Different perspectives and backgrounds lead to well-thought-out decision-making and increased innovation. More than that, employees are more engaged as they feel heard, represented, and valued.

Read more:

Mayor Adams Appoints Ya-Ting Liu as NYC's First-Ever Chief Public Realm Officer
Courtesy of

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today appointed Ya-Ting Liu as the city’s first-ever chief public realm officer, delivering on a key promise from his State of the City address. In this newly created role, Liu will coordinate across city government, community organizations, and the private sector to create extraordinary public spaces across the entire city and continue to drive the city’s economic recovery. Mayor Adams today also signed Executive Order 27, codifying the creation of the position and ensuring that New Yorkers continue to have a one-stop shop for all issues related to public space.

Read more:

Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Fully Extend Good Neighbor Authority Eligibility To Counties
Courtesy of NACo

By Owen Hart

On March 8, three lawmakers – Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Reps. Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.) – introduced S.697/H.R.1450 – Treating Tribes and Counties as Good Neighbors Act. First introduced in the 116th Congress, this critical piece of bipartisan legislation would fully extend eligibility for the Good Neighbor Authority to counties and tribes and expand opportunities for cross-boundary treatments on our public lands.

“Good Neighbor Agreements strengthen the partnership with federal land management agencies and state, tribal and county governments. Standardizing the use of GNA resources will help counties support forest management projects and facilitate better land management decisions based on local impacts and needs. We applaud Senator Risch, Congressman Fulcher and Congresswoman Gluesenkamp Perez for introducing the Treating Tribes and Counties as Good Neighbors Act and urge Congress to swiftly pass this legislation,” said Matthew Chase, Executive Director of the National Association of Counties.

Read more:

Born To Perform
Courtesy of Camp Business

By Genevieve Martineau

Many kids dream of running away with the circus, but did you know they actually can? Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2022, Circus Smirkus is a nonprofit, circus-arts organization that inspires kids of all ages to develop artistic, athletic, and life skills through the power of performance.

The mission of the organization is simple in theory and thoughtfully executed in practice: “To promote the skills, culture, and traditions of the traveling circus, and to inspire youth to engage in life-changing adventures in the circus arts.” Three programs—School Residencies, Smirkus Camp, and Big Top Tour—blend the best of circus tradition and contemporary practice to create immersive experiences that challenge kids to perform and live to the best of their abilities.

Read more:



Webinar: Planning and Development in Gateway Communities, Post COVID
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: March 16, 2023
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free 
Organization: Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC)

Gateway communities are the small towns outside of national parks, forests, scenic rivers, and ski resorts. This presentation will highlight the housing, transportation, and development challenges that these communities faced in the aftermath of the COVID 19 pandemic. Our study captured the perspectives of over 200 communities using a questionnaire and case study approach. We present these results and highlight the innovative strategies that these communities are using to address their housing and transportation challenges.

For more information:

Webinar: Using a Digital Platform to Connect Trails to Tourism
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: March 16, 2023
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free 
Organization: American Trails

In this webinar American Trails will outline the important roles that trails can have in attracting visitors, and ways to make sure a trail is incorporated in the tourism vision or plan of a destination. This webinar will provide an overview of the Outdooractive platform, including a digital Trail Manager platform, as tools to link trails to larger audiences, streamline trail management practices, and ultimately connect trails to the broader tourism engine.

For more information:

Webinar: Activating the Trail Community in Conservation Issues
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: March 23, 2023
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free 
Organization: American Trails

Public lands provide the backdrop for trail users of all types to recreate, explore, and challenge themselves in nature, but often trail users can be disconnected from the issues that challenge the future of these very same public lands. How can we better engage the trail community in learning about, stewarding, and taking an active role in the lands these trails need to exist? Join long-distance hiker Renee Patrick in exploring the topic and ways you can start to empower and activate trail users on your local trails. The last 15 minutes of the presentation will include a discussion where you can share your thoughts, tips, and engagement challenges along your trails.

For more information:

NRPA Research Clinic: Get Started on Your Data Journey

Thursday, March 23, at 3 p.m. EDT

Join NRPA’s Research team for this hands-on clinic that will focus on using NRPA data to make optimal decisions on operations, programming and spending, as well as make the case for greater and more sustainable funding.

For more information:

Webinar: Measuring and Managing Social Media for Public Participation
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: March 29, 2023
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm ET
Cost: $20 members/$35 non-members
Organization: International Association for Public Participation 

Is social media improving your public participation efforts? Learn how other engagement practitioners are measuring how social media impacts who’s involved, what input is being shared, and where public participation is happening. You'll also hear about tools to help manage roles and responses when using social media for P2.

For more information:

Webinar: The Trail Safe Passing Plan (TSPP) Stop! Speak and Stand Back
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: March 30, 2023
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free 
Organization: American Trails

It is best to know what to do, BEFORE you encounter other trail users. The TSPP sign, the QR Code, the PowerPoint, and PDF of the Trails Safe Passing Plan (TSPP) Stop! Speak and Stand Back have been produced as educational resources for trail users to navigate our trails safely and efficiently. The webinar provides information about yielding on trails, trail communication, and facts about horses to help all trail users and land management teams understand the importance of having a trails safe passing plan in place at trailheads and kiosks.

For more information:

National Planning Conference
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: April 1-4, 2023
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Organization: American Planning Association (APA)

Planners will continue to create the future where we all thrive and grow in our communities. NPC23 with bring the critical issues facing planners in the coming years — like climate change, housing, health equity, and the future of work with your help.

For more information:

Training: Outdoors For All: Anti-Oppression and Inclusive Program Design 
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: April 4-25, 2023
Location: Online
Organization: Society of Outdoor Recreation Professional (SORP)

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, 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.

For more information:!/

2023 NACo Annual Conference - Registration Is Open 

July 21-24 | Travis County, Texas 

Join county elected and appointed officials from across the country in Travis County, Texas for the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2023 Annual Conference & Exposition. 

NACo's Annual Conference is the premier national opportunity for counties to exchange cutting-edge practices, elect the association's leadership and shape our federal policy agenda for the year ahead. 

For more information:


Job Openings

NEW – Program Manager I
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Los Gatos, California
$112,195 - $136,431 Annually
Application Deadline: Apr 10, 2023

NEW - Parks and Recreation Director
Centre Region Council of Governments
State College, Pennsylvania
$101,062 - $124,390 Annually
Application Deadline: Apr 9, 2023

Park Ranger I
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Los Gatos, California
$70,599 - $85,386 Annually
Application Deadline: Jun 6, 2023

Director of Parks and Recreation
City of West Sacramento
West Sacramento, California
$150,0000 - $190,962 Annually
Application Deadline: Mar 26, 2023

Senior Park Maintenance Worker
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Los Gatos, California
$77,286 - $93,506 Annually
Application Deadline: Mar 28, 2023

Chief of Design and Construction
East Bay Regional Park District
Oakland, California
$143,374 - $182,935 Annually
Application Deadline: Apr 14, 2023

Coordinator of Fund Development and Major Gifts
Ottawa County Parks
West Olive, Michigan
$36.47 - $47.41 Hourly
Application Deadline: Open until closed

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

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