September 19, 2023

In this issue...


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The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on October 3, 2023. 

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by October 2. 

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

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Member News

E-bikes now allowed on East Bay park trails
Courtesy of Oaklandside

By Jose Fermoso

CALIFORNIA - Recently the East Bay Park District’s Board unanimously approved allowing Class I e-bikes on 850 out of 1,330 miles of the system’s trails. The board also approved the use of Class II e-bikes on paved trails. 

East Bay Parks police captain Terrence Cotcher said that he wasn’t worried about e-bike riders creating more situations that needed to be enforced. He said that in the last year, only 33 of 238 citations handed out by his officers to bike riders involved people riding e-bikes. 

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Premier Sports Complexes
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Mike McLaughlin

KANSAS - “When you build a leading-edge, multi-use facility, sustainability is the number-one concern,” says Darren Tolin, Shawnee County Parks + Recreation (SCP+R) sports supervisor in Kansas. “It’s a double-edged sword. You need to fill the complex daily to generate revenue, but higher use leads to higher maintenance costs.”

The Bettis Family Sports Complex and other locations hosted 37 tournaments in 2022. These tournaments generated $6.7 million in economic activity, based on a formula supplied by Visit Topeka.

The ability to attract tournaments resulted from recently upgrading Envista Softball Complex to turf infields to match the fields at the Bettis complex. The ball fields are designed with multiple pins for bases so different age ranges can use the fields for either baseball or softball. Portable pitcher’s mounds are used and/or removed to accommodate different ages and uses.

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Heat: How Much Can the Human Body Stand?
Courtesy of UC San Diego Health

Record-breaking heat waves are pummeling the United States and the world, causing many to wonder how much of this a body can take and still survive. 

The limit is somewhere between 104 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re sitting perfectly still, according to a small study conducted in the United Kingdom. Researchers say they are starting to hone in on the high temperatures that begin to overwhelm the human body’s defenses against heat, or what they call the upper critical temperature. 

While this study is a good start, experts said more needs to be done to understand the body’s response to high temperatures. For example, this experiment was conducted with people who were lying still, Weintraub said. Studies need to be done in people who are working or exercising in high temperatures.

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Building cool parks to beat the urban, heat-island effect
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Rupsa Roy, Julie Eaton Ernst, and Indrani Ghosh 

Parks and open space function as critical infrastructure for public health as well as for mitigating and adapting to climate change. This is especially evident where there is limited vegetation, paved surfaces, and dense development. These compounding factors result in higher temperatures when compared to those in rural surroundings—a phenomenon known as the “urban heat-island” (UHI) effect—along with increased stormwater-runoff volumes, velocities, and pollutants that exacerbate urban flood events. 

UHI modeling can identify areas within parks that are most susceptible to high temperatures and develop strategies to mitigate those effects. Modeling can identify areas with high heat absorption, where increasing the amount of shade, through planting trees or installing shade structures, may reduce temperatures. The effectiveness of different materials proposed for paths, seating areas, and other park features in reducing heat absorption and retention can also be assessed. 

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New ways to measure trail use could transform how outdoor recreation is developed and managed
Courtesy of Headwaters Economics

Headwaters Economics has developed a new approach to measure recreational trail use more accurately by applying advanced statistical methods to data from infrared trail counters and cloud-based sources. The new method can dramatically increase the number of trails with use estimates compared to traditional approaches and can better account for variations in use over time or due to changes in weather and air quality.  

For this new analysis, we applied more sophisticated statistical methods to our original approach. These new models allow us to predict trail use across complex networks. Our most recent refinements use an innovative statistical approach to combine data from multiple sources:

  • User counts from on-the-ground trail counters,
  • User counts from the fitness tracking app Strava,
  • Hits to a trail’s website on AllTrails, and
  • Geographic and physical factors that are known to affect trail use, such as distance from town, weather, and air quality.

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When Green Spaces Displace Residents, Our Cities’ Health Suffers
Courtesy of Next City

By Viniece Jennings, Alessandro Rigolon, Na’taki Osborne Jelks

Hoping to combat green gentrification, many cities are exploring “parks-related anti-displacement strategies.” Other strategies involve inclusionary zoning near large parks, which require new developments to allot a percentage of units (for example, 20%) to become deed-restricted affordable units. However, some critics argue that a higher percentage of units should be dedicated to affordable housing. 

Another approach involves competitive grants to fund green space projects that incentivize cities to implement anti-displacement strategies and in-depth community engagement to identify potential displacement risks beforehand. In Los Angeles County, cities applying for grants to fund parks and green infrastructure are encouraged to adopt such strategies, but it is too early to determine whether these incentives have been successful.

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How Civic Infrastructure Creates Shared Prosperity
Courtesy of

While many of us know that public spaces are good for local economies, what most policymakers and public space practitioners do not understand is how strategic investments in public space can perform much better than conventional economic and community development practices often focused on targeting tax incentives toward large businesses and employers.

Communities should “lean in” to their comparative advantages — amenities like a natural environment, recreational opportunities or a specialty product to keep and attract people. Weinstein contrasted these findings with the traditional view of most economic development professionals, which holds that companies (usually large ones) must be wooed with tax incentives and other economic enticements, that in the end do not do much for local economic growth and on average, do more harm than good for the economy.

For too long, most communities have relied on this approach, with leaders expecting “Superman,” (the big company wooed by lower taxes) to save them. “I tell leaders all the time that there is no Superman coming to save us,” said Weinstein. “We have to be the super heroes.”

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Celebrating and Protecting Biodiversity
Courtesy of NRPA

By Clement Lau

Created in 1944, the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) meets the park and recreational needs of residents and visitors through programming, facilities, land acquisition and stewardship, and other activities. DPR has a dual role of being the municipal parks agency for the one million residents living in unincorporated areas and the regional parks agency for the more than ten million residents countywide. As such, DPR operates and maintains a wide variety of facilities, ranging from local parks to regional parks to multi-use trails to natural areas and wildlife sanctuaries. Described below are a few ways that park agencies celebrate and protect biodiversity, with specific examples of how DPR carries them out.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Parks and Recreation Report
Courtesy of NRPA
In early 2023, the NRPA Research team surveyed park and recreation leaders to gain a better understanding of their agencies’ efforts surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices. The survey, a follow-up from a similar 2021 study, took inventory of park and recreation agency DEI activities, the professional development opportunities provided to staff, and the challenges organizations face in their efforts to promote DEI practices. The survey’s responses from park and recreation leaders across the United States are the basis of this report.

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A building-design framework that promises minimal energy use
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Timothy Lock

As early adopters of the German “Passive House” building-design framework, we have always paid close attention to how designs respond to local climate. Unlike LEED, the Passive House design prioritizes only one thing—the use of as little energy as possible to have a simple, comfortable building that is easy to operate, mitigates the relationship between our bodies and the elements, and allows the building systems to shrink to the background. It’s not easy, but the benefits to the occupant and owner are enormous. First, and sometimes foremost, the reality of spending 90 percent less on fuel or electricity for a building can be a total game-changer.

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As Colorado River shrinks, California farmers urge ‘one-dam solution’
Courtesy of the LA Times

By Ian James

For years, environmentalists have argued that the Colorado River should be allowed to flow freely across the Utah-Arizona border, saying that letting water pass around Glen Canyon Dam — and draining the giant Lake Powell reservoir — would improve the shrinking river’s health.

Now, as climate change increases the strains on the river, this controversial proposal is receiving support from some surprising new allies: influential farmers in California’s Imperial Valley.

“I think they see the writing on the wall. Farmers understand the future probably better than many others right now, all across the West. And they know that issues of scarcity are only going to become more incendiary,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, one of the environmental groups calling for the draining of Lake Powell. “I think they know that we’re not going to have the water to fill two giant storage pools anymore,” Roerink said.

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Bureau of Land Management's Blueprint for 21st Century Outdoor Recreation

BLM is establishing a new Blueprint for 21st Century Outdoor Recreation intended to guide investments, partnerships, outreach and program development to respond to current demand and chart a course to meet future needs. Through the Blueprint, BLM is establishing a new vision to proactively manage for exceptional and unique recreational experiences that invite all to share in the enjoyment and stewardship of their public lands.

The BLM is currently accepting comments on the blueprint until September 30th. Comments can be sent to [email protected]

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Call for Proposals - National Outdoor Recreation Conference

The 2024 NORC Call for Proposals is now open. The conference will take place May 6-9, 2024 in South Lake Tahoe/Stateline, NV. Please review the detailed Call for Proposals prior to submitting your proposal. Concurrent session proposals can be 20-minute research-oriented presentations, 45-minute case study or topic presentations, or 90-minute panel or roundtable discussions. We are also accepting poster session proposals. 

Proposals should speak to the conference theme of Stewarding People, Place, and Play and should address one or more of the conference tracks:

  • Designing Destination Management
  • Climate Response and Resilience
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Action
  • Stewarding the Outdoor Recreation Professional

Proposals are due by October 20, 2023 and must be submitted via Google Form. If you have any questions or experience any problems when submitting a proposal, please contact Candace Gallagher, NORC Conference Coordinator, [email protected]

For more information:



Making Playground Safety and Management a Top Priority Series: Implementing Inspection and Maintenance
Courtesy of PlayCore

September 26, 2023
2:00 to 3:15 pm Eastern
Registration Code: Community

Routine maintenance and visual inspections are essential to providing a safer environment for active, fun play! Learn to properly identify and correct potentially hazardous conditions on the playground, develop inspection protocols, and ensure that timely and effective corrective action is taken. This session will help your school or organization develop and define a sustainable maintenance plan to protect your investment, manage risk, control expenses, and improve children’s play experiences. 

For more information:


NRPA Directors School 2024 registration is now open 
The NRPA Directors School is an exclusive two-year professional development opportunity that prepares new and potential park and recreation directors to be effective leaders. Directors School is taking place March 3-7, 2024, in Denver. Students who complete the program will leave with the knowledge and confidence to navigate emerging challenges, improve operations, and maximize positive impact on their communities. Registration is open now and several scholarship opportunities are available. 

For more information:


Upcoming Webinars from American Trails

October 5:  Assessment and Repair of a Trail After Catastrophic Damage: The Elroy-Sparta State Trail

October 19:  The Trail Research Hub

October 26:  Measuring Our Success in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

November 2:  Approvals, Permits, and Compliance: Navigating the Regulatory Waters from Trail Plan Through Construction 

November 9:  Indigenous Placemaking Along Canadian Trails

November 16:  Water Management on Legacy Trails: The SET (Sustainable, Effective, Traversable) Standard 

November 30:  Digital Transformation of Trail Management and Monitoring 

For more information:


Job Openings

NEW - Marketing and Communications Division Director (Park Division Director)
Fairfax County Government
Fairfax, Virginia
$106,480 - $181,016 Annually
Application Deadline: Oct 13, 2023

Park Heavy Equipment Operator
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Los Gatos, California
$79,780 - $96,412 Annually
Application Deadline: Oct 6, 2023

Executive Director
Winnetka Park District, Illinois
$161,000.00 - $233,450.00 Annually
Application Deadline: Oct 6, 2023

Associate Environmental Health and Safety Analyst
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Los Gatos, California
$85,860 - $104,416 Annually
Application Deadline: Sep 28, 2023

Executive Director
Oswegoland Park District, Oswego, Illinois
$150,000 - $200,000 Annually
Application Deadline: Sep 25, 2023

Deputy Director
Monmouth County Park System
Lincroft, New Jersey
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Application Deadline: Sep 15, 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.