October 3, 2023

In this issue...


How to contribute

The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on October 17, 2023.  

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by October 16. 

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

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



Words matter: Climate messaging needs a reboot
Courtesy of Route 50

By Kaitlyn Levinson
It has been a record-breaking year in the U.S. for climate events. All of this has made tackling climate change more urgent for state and local leaders. But amid political divides, many are struggling to build public support for the necessary mitigation policies. 

One reason climate messages may fail to elicit the intended response is because they are often jargon laden. If a policy or program name and description contains unfamiliar vocabulary or is too complex to be digested easily, then the public and other stakeholders may disregard it, Westrup said. 

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The Drawback to ‘Cool Pavement’
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Diana Ionescu

A popular new tool for cooling urban streets and sidewalks could have some unintended consequences, reports Linda Poon in Bloomberg CityLab. According to Poon’s article, “recent research in Phoenix has resurfaced a glaring tradeoff: The reflective coating can make pedestrians standing on the treated pavement feel even hotter.”

This points to a need to prioritize shade trees, a proven solution to urban heat, before trying more experimental solutions. But cooling pavement treatments have their place. By dramatically reducing surface temperatures, cool pavements can prevent burn injuries.

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A Data-Driven Approach to ‘Playspace Inequity’
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Diana Ionescu

A data-driven tool maps ‘playspace inequity’ in Philadelphia with the goal of highlighting the neighborhoods where young children lack access to playgrounds, writes Amanda Loudin in Next City. “While the numbers are specific to Philadelphia, KABOOM! provides similar data sets to other cities interested in learning about and addressing playspace inequity.”

Like other issues, understanding playspace inequity starts with data. “Needing an accurate method for data gathering on playspace locations, KABOOM! created what it calls the Playspace Inequity Prioritization Index (PIPI), made up of 21 data points for census tracts within the United States.” The index accounts for the condition of playgrounds as well as their locations.

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US Access Board: Notable Changes in Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines Final Rule
Courtesy of PBIC Messenger

The US Access Board recently issued its final rule on accessibility guidelines for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way (PROWAG). These guidelines make notable changes from their previously proposed drafts and guidelines. The US Access Board provides more detail on these and other notable changes with links to their specific sections within the final rule and is offering a series of training videos. A webinar on October 5 will address PROWAG requirements, how government agencies can make their pedestrian facilities accessible, and the minimum technical requirements for various spaces and elements in the public right-of-way. As webinar registration is already full, a live YouTube Stream is available. 

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New E-Scooter Safety Toolbox Provides Evidence-Based Guidelines 
Courtesy of PBIC Messenger

Cities and towns across the country are planning for and adapting to e-scooters as the mobility mode proves to endure as a safe and convenient mode for many. Understanding more about current e-scooter issues and implementation and management can help shape collective safety efforts. A new E-Scooter Safety Toolbox, informed by and developed as part of a Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Project, E-Scooter Safety Issues and Solutions, offers concise, user-friendly, evidence-based recommendations to help state and local agencies deliver e-scooter safety programs. Intended for State Highway Safety Offices and local e-scooter program partners, the Toolbox covers concepts, practices, and data tools and methods via short explainers, checklists, info sheets, and more to encourage collaboration and application.

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How a New Program is Helping Small Cities Transform Their Transportation Systems
Courtesy of PBIC Messenger

Describes the Local Infrastructure Hub that provides communities of less than 150K residents with "grant application boot camps," peer mentorships, and expert design guidance to help them compete for funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the American Rescue Plan Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and other federal opportunities.

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2023 Special Report on Hunting
Courtesy of Outdoor Industry Association

In 2022, hunting participation grew 1 percent compared to 2021. Over the course of the year, 14.7 million Americans hunted at least once with a bow or firearm. The Outdoor Industry Association dug into the numbers to better understand the demographic makeup of hunting participants and their preferences when it comes to things like type of firearm or bow, game, and trip dynamics (e.g., out of state, number of people).

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What’s a food forest? Metro Denver has 19 of them. 
Courtesy of the Colorado Sun

By Michael Booth

COLORADO - A host of volunteers and full-time urban gardeners turn their backs to the Friday lunchtime road noise and dig in to start changing all that. Their goal: growing a “food forest,” with apple trees shading pear trees feeding hazelnuts sheltering plums, with neighbors wandering through to forage for their dinner as birds pluck serviceberries from branches waving in a breeze. 

The food forests are an extension of nonprofit DUG’s community gardens approach, where neglected empty lots are transformed into annual vegetable and flower gardens tended by neighbors and growing food for residents, local schools, food banks and other nonprofits. 

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The threat of wildfires is rising. So are new artificial intelligence solutions to fight them
Courtesy of AP News

By Kelvin Chan

California’s main firefighting agency this summer started testing an AI system that looks for smoke from more than 1,000 mountaintop camera feeds and is now expanding it statewide.

The cameras, part of a network that workers previously had to watch, provide billions of bytes of data for the AI system to digest. While humans still need to confirm any smoke sightings, the system helps reduce fatigue among staffers typically monitoring multiple screens and cameras, alerting them to look only when there’s possible fire or smoke, SeLegue said. 

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Oregon Mountain Bike Trails Adapted for Accessibility
Courtesy of Governing

By Janay Wright
Adaptive mountain bike riding is intended to level the playing field. And with the completion of the assessment of 100 miles of Bend’s mountain bike trails, the playbook for accessible mountain riding is taking shape. As a result, knowledge has increased in the community surrounding what types of trails work best for aMTBers and which do not, Andrews said.

“One of my professional goals is to lift all boats,” Andrews said. “I always tell people — if I have solved a problem (that you are facing), please call me. I will tell you everything I know so that your path can be easier.”

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Chicago Experts Want to Protect Green Spaces and Urban Wildlife
Courtesy of Governing

By Rebecca Johnson

Researchers examined photos from 725 camera-traps in 20 cities in the United States and Canada, from Chicago to Los Angeles to Seattle, creating what Magle called an “unprecedented data set.” During summer months, the cameras captured images of 37 native mammal species, including skunks, squirrels and rabbits. The cities are part of the Urban Wildlife Information Network, a group that’s studying ecology and behavior of urban species.

But city dwelling may no longer be an option for foxes for long, Magle said, as urbanization and climate change threaten their homes.

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New state law limits Austin’s Parkland Dedication Ordinance
Courtesy of Austin Monitor

By Nina Hernandez

TEXAS - The city’s Parks and Recreation Board on Monday learned about the impacts of Texas House Bill 1526 on Austin’s existing Parkland Dedication Ordinance and the future of Austin’s park system.

The Parkland Dedication Ordinance, first established in 1985, orders new developments to provide a certain amount of public parkland in the development or pay a fee-in-lieu. Last year, City Council voted to start the process of including commercial developments within the ordinance.

HB 1526 passed the 88th Texas Legislature in May and was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott. It limits the fees cities can impose on development in order to fund parks and prohibits cities from imposing the fees on commercial development entirely.

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Mountain towns need housing. The U.S. Forest Service has land. Guess what happens next
Courtesy of SORP

By Andrew Kenney

COLORADO - Housing is so hard to find here that it’s creating labor shortages throughout Summit County. Facing the reality of exorbitant rent or beat-up housing in these mountain towns — or maybe exorbitant rent for beat-up housing — job candidates are turning down coveted posts with the Forest Service.

The Forest Service doesn’t have the money to solve its housing problem, Fitzwilliams said. But it’s got something else that could help: land like this. 

The agency is about to sign a lease to allow a developer to transform the hilltop property. The fire engine bay, the offices and the storage areas will all be rebuilt to modern standards. And just downslope will come the biggest change of all — an entire residential neighborhood of more than 150 units.

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Cities are Depaving
Courtesy of PBIC Messenger

Describes the Depave movement that has spread across the US and Canada to remove heat-absorbing, impervious asphalt and replace it with gardens and other green spaces to restore local biodiversity, improve air quality, and reduce temperatures, flood risk, noise, and traffic-related injuries.

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Officials Seek to Connect All 13 Metroparks via Non-Motorized Trails
Courtesy of

By April O'Neil

MICHIGAN - The Huron-Clinton Metroparks is teaming up the community to work towards connecting all 13 Metroparks with non-motorized walking, running, and cycling trails. Most of these routes will use public land or existing rights-of-way, which will reduce the need to obtain new property. But there will still be some challenges to work out with partners and communities.

Read more:



2024 Active Living Conference
Courtesy of GP RED

March 25-28, 2024 - Chattanooga, TN

The Active Living Conference is a venue for both cutting-edge research and for making findings usable by non-scientists. The conference brings together a diverse audience and provides networking and engagement opportunities for active living researchers and practitioners from many fields. Presentations and discussions focus on the importance of creating healthier communities for all people. 

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Executive Development Program
Courtesy of Indiana University

April 14 - 17, 2024 - Bloomington, IN

For 55 years the Indiana University Executive Development Program has helped park and recreation professionals at the local, state and national level who are in front line, management, and leadership positions build and strengthen the fundamental skills needed to manage and lead in a public and non-profit setting. IU EDP is organized around a two-year curriculum focusing on leadership and management skill development. To continually offer cutting edge education opportunities.

The 2024 Program sessions will address the following topics: Social Equity, Leadership, Customer Service, Using Data to make informed decisions, Managing complex issues related to service delivery, Participant Round Tables, Understanding Societal Shifts, Recruitment, Retention and Relevancy and more. The 2024 program looks great, and we feel that our IU EDP instructors will continue to create an active learning environment for the EDP participants.

For more information:

2024 Special Park Districts Forum - Registration is open
Courtesy of Three Rivers Park District

June 10–13, 2024 – Minnetonka, MN

We are excited to be hosting the Special Park Districts Forum in June and have a fantastic four days planned for you to experience the important role that parks play in our community. Like most communities, ours is changing in a variety of ways, and throughout the forum you will experience how Three Rivers is changing along with them.

As park and recreation professionals, we have the potential to positively impact health and wellness, air and water quality, wildlife habitat and the community’s overall connection with nature for generations to come. How we care for the natural resources, parks and trails today builds the legacy for the future. We firmly believe that parks matter, and we can’t wait for you to explore all that Three Rivers has to offer our communities today and see how we are preparing to serve future generations.

For more information:

Harnessing the Potential of
Courtesy of NRPA

Live Event, October 26, at 2 p.m. EDT

Join park and recreation professionals from across the country to discuss how — a data analytics platform that unveils the hidden dynamics of customer behavior — can be utilized in various ways across industries. Participants will learn how can empower users to make smarter decisions, by providing data on how people interact with physical locations — offering a deeper understanding of foot traffic patterns, visit durations and more.

For more information:


Job Openings

NEW - Supervising Park Ranger
City of San Jose, California
$103,326 - $125,886 Annually
Application Deadline: Oct 30, 2023

Head, Marketing and Communications
County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation
Alhambra, California
$110,892 - $149,425 Annually
Application Deadline: Open until filled

Community Services Environmental Specialist
Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners
Port Charlotte, Florida
$24.70 Hourly
Application Deadline: Oct 24, 2023

Director of Parks and Recreation
City of Durango, Colorado
$135,000 - $150,000 Annually
Application Deadline: Oct 23, 2023

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

Executive Director
Winnetka Park District, Illinois
$161,000 - $233,450 Annually
Application Deadline: Oct 6, 2023

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