National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials

June 12, 2019

NACPRO Summer Meeting - Recap

Fifty-nine people joined us in Castle Rock, Colorado for NACPRO’s summer meeting. We enjoyed pleasant weather, stunning scenery and good fellowship. All awardees were able to attend the banquet and accept their award in person- a first for NACPRO. The next e-newsletter will highlight the 2019 awardees.


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Bret Henninger, Chief of Conservation and Parks
Great Parks of Hamilton County, Ohio


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Got a fire pit? Turn it into a grill!
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

Want to grill over your campfire? Just place our “drop-in” grate across your firering or fire pit. You can even take it with you when you go camping so you don’t have to use the grate left from the previous camper.

For more information:


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Got an issue you need advice on? Or a best practice you want to share? Send us the details and we will publish it in the next NACPRO News.


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New Stark Parks trail focuses on mental health
Courtesy of

By Samantha Ickes

OHIO - While physical health is important, a healthy lifestyle also incorporates mental health and self-care, said Allyson Rey, Stark Mental Health Addiction and Recovery’s director of marketing, communications and community relations.

The Mindfulness Walk in Petros Lake Park aims to do just that.

The trail, created through a partnership between StarkMHAR and Stark Parks, will open to the public Saturday, which is National Trails Day. The mile-long walk features 10 stops with eight giving prompts and asking questions to help the walker practice mindfulness.

Read more:


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Breaking Down Barriers to Disabled Cyclists
Courtesy of Streetsblog

By Joelle Galatan

“Disabled people don’t bike.”

“E-bikes aren’t actually biking.”

Both statements are false, and both fallacies are linked.

As a cycling activist with a disability, I see the conversation surrounding e-bikes as another side of a larger issue. Because disabled people are often left out of the conversation, few abled cyclists seem to consider how non-traditional bikes can add to mobility for disabled people and provide many with a healthy mode of exercise and transportation.

According to a recent study by Wheels for Well-being, a British organization of disabled cyclists, 15 percent of people with disabilities cycle, compared with 18 percent of the general population. Moreover, two-thirds of cyclists with disabilities find cycling easier than walking, the group says.

Clearly, bikes are not just a mode of transit, but function as mobility devices for many disabled people. I find it ableist, or prejudiced against the disabled, when we consider e-bikes and other adaptive-cycling methods as “inferior.” Many of us can ride a traditional two-wheeled bicycle, but others simply can’t.

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Dogs Sniff Out Invasive Mussels at Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Courtesy of the National Parks Traveler

Boaters visiting Chickasaw National Recreation Area’s Lake of the Arbuckles in Oklahoma may meet a new line of defense in the fight against aquatic invasive species with a nose for detecting them – Raine, a golden retriever, and border collies Wisp and Darby. They can inspect an average-sized bass boat in under a minute, far faster than any person can. The dogs are trained to detect several invasive species, including zebra mussels.

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Beyond Location Maps
Courtesy of Parks and Rec Business

By Clement Lau

Every parks department knows where its facilities are, and most have published maps identifying the location of their parks for the benefit of visitors. However, not all parks agencies maintain a geographic information system (GIS) to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present parks and related data. With limited budgets and other resources, GIS may seem like a luxury or a nice-to-have rather than a necessity. But before quickly dismissing it as a tool only for larger or more well-off agencies, one should seriously consider the benefits that GIS offers and how it can advance park planning, development, and management for a city or county.

As Kathline J. King, Chief of Planning at Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) explains, “Our department was a little late to the table in terms of establishing an in-house GIS program. But once it was in place, the possibilities for obtaining shapefiles and data, whether it is demographic, health, environmental, economic, educational, made the system come together quite quickly, resulting in a data-rich resource.”

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Los Angeles County Using Technology to Advance Health and Wellness
Courtesy of NRPA

By Clement Lau, AICP, DPPD

Excessive time spent on electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets has resulted in both adults and children being less active and devoting less time outdoors. However, technology can also be used to advance health and wellness. For example, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has developed an updated trails website and the brand new Trails LA County mobile app, which were both launched just before National Trails Day on June 1, 2019. The refreshed website and new mobile app support the “Parks Make Life Better” motto by promoting the use of trails and informing the public of the value and importance of stewardship, conservation and habitat restoration of our open space.

The website’s enhanced functionalities are intended to be the go-to online resource for the public to find official trail information throughout L.A. County, while the new mobile app provides an on-the-go experience. To meet the needs of the public for trail-related information, both the website and app offer dynamic digital tools, including real-time alerts, maps, weather, trail length, elevation, difficulty level, rest stops, picnic locations and much more.

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Parks & Recreation Agencies and Libraries: A Perfect Match
Courtesy of GreenPlay LLC

By Noah Lenstra

According to the American Public Health Association, the fourth most read public health news story in their newsletter during 2018 was the article “Libraries, public health work together on community health.” There is also increasing evidence that public libraries are partnering with parks and recreation agencies to support healthy play, fitness, and access to nature. One of the hottest trends in public libraries today are StoryWalks, which consist of deconstructed children’s storybooks posted along a walking trail in a park to support reading, exercise, and family bonding in nature.

There are many more ways that parks and recreation agencies and public libraries can work together to support community health. In a survey of 1,157 public libraries in the U.S. and Canada, I found many instances of parks and recreation agencies working with public libraries...

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Planning for Equity Policy Guide
Courtesy of the American Planning Association

The Planning for Equity Policy Guide provides specific, actionable policy guidance through an equity lens on crossing-cutting topics and areas of planning.

For more information:


2020 River Management Symposium - Call for Presenters

The River Management Society (RMS) is proud to present the 2020 River Management Training Symposium: “Mountain Creeks to Metro Canals”, which will take place May 12-15, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. This event will be hosted by RMS in partnership with Virginia Department of Recreation and Conservation and Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Symposium Program Committee is seeking proposals for presentations, panels and posters from river management professionals (e.g., managers, planners, academics, consultants, or students) that show how you, your organization, and/or the profession are protecting or enhancing river values. Help us learn about innovations, creative approaches, successes, and visions for the future of sustainable river management.

For more information:


Request for 2019 NOHVCC Award Nominations

Do you know of an OHV enthusiast, land manager, club, association or other organization that has gone above and beyond in support of fulfilling NOHVCC’s mission of “Creating a Positive Future for OHV Recreation?” Likewise, we also want to know about success stories such as newly opened riding areas, successful mitigation of trail issues, positive outcomes from OHV management, etc.

NOHVCC’s goal remains to showcase those who contribute time, effort and commitment to furthering responsible OHV recreation and we will tailor awards to fit those who deserve them.

Please include the following information for your nomination:

1. Name of individual or organization receiving nomination.
2. Organization(s) with which the nominee is affiliated (if applicable).
3. City, State of residence of nominee.
4. Any affiliation the nominee has with NOHVCC (if applicable).
5. Brief description of actions taken by the nominee in the prior year that warrant an award.

Please submit nominations by July 10 to [email protected]


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House bill calls for mandatory LWCF funding
Courtesy of E&E News

By Kellie Lunney

House lawmakers filed legislation yesterday to provide permanent, full funding for the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), the bill's sponsor, is holding a press conference this morning with House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and outside supporters on the "Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act."

The bill is identical to legislation Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced in April (E&E Daily, April 9).

It would make funding for the LWCF mandatory at its current authorized annual level of $900 million. Offshore oil and gas revenues deposited into the fund could be spent without being subject to the appropriations process under the bill.

In recent years, LWCF's annual appropriation has been about half the authorized level of $900 million. In fiscal 2019, Congress appropriated $435 million for LWCF. The existing unappropriated balance in the fund stands at roughly $22 billion.

Congress earlier this year passed a major public lands package that permanently reauthorized LWCF — a significant victory for the program's bipartisan supporters on and off Capitol Hill. As Manchin put it in February, shortly after the Senate approved that legislation, securing mandatory funding for LWCF was the "next big lift" and supporters need "to make sure that gets done."

While full funding for LWCF has some Republican support in the Senate now — notably from Richard Burr of North Carolina, Steve Daines of Montana and Cory Gardner of Colorado — it will take some doing to get other members of their party on board.

Last week, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told reporters she believes mandatory funding for the program is "still a real challenge" because there is "a pretty big split" over the issue within the Republican caucus. She acknowledged that making funding permanent for the LWCF, or any program, would be problematic for her as an appropriator.

The panel is scheduled to have a hearing June 25 to "review the implementation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund program."


Gender-Segregated Swim Hours Create Hot Water in Some City Pools
Courtesy of City Lab

By K.A. Dilday

Memorial Day marks opening weekend for many public pools across the U.S., and as warm weather draws people to cool waters, a handful of cities are caught in a debate over gender-specific swimming hours.

These swimming times, which are most often women-only, are usually created for Jewish or Muslim communities whose religious beliefs mandate a modesty that includes covering most of their body in front of the opposite sex. Critics find these hours discriminatory and reinforcing of old stereotypes, yet in recent years they have withstood challenges in some cities, while succumbing in others. And as the law moves towards perceiving gender as more fluid, these challenges are likely to get more heated. A recent decision by a federal court appeals court may signal that the end is drawing nigh for gender-segregated swimming.

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CAPRA Accreditation – The Power of Positive Perception
Courtesy of NRPA

By Laura T. Wetherald, MS, CPRP

Accreditation from NRPA’s Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) is a powerful stamp of approval and a great tool to help build a positive brand around the value of your agency. Howard County Recreation and Parks in Maryland achieved CAPRA accreditation in 2002. In the years preparing for our initial accreditation and then maintaining our continual five-year reaccreditation status (most recently in 2017), we developed the positive culture of a CAPRA agency. Every time I speak to the community, county administration or Maryland colleagues, I share with them the importance of accreditation and the benefits it provides to an agency and its community. Stating that our agency is one of the 165 accredited agencies out of 10,000 agencies in the United States gets the listeners’ attention.

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2019 NRPA Agency Performance Review
Courtesy of GreenPlay LLC

The National Recreation and Park Association has released the 2019 NRPA Agency Performance Review. This report is the most comprehensive resource of data and insights for park and recreation agencies in the United States and has 23 figures highlighting critical park and recreation metrics. The data is derived from the NRPA’s Park Metrics program – the organization's benchmarking tool that assists park and recreation professionals in the effective management and planning of their operating resources and capital facilities.

This year’s report shows that the typical park and recreation agency offers one park for every 2,181 residents served, with 10.1 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. But park and recreation agencies are as diverse as the communities that they serve, and what works well for one agency may not be best for your agency. Therefore, you need data to best identify the best practices to optimally serve your community.

You can dig deeper into the agency performance data with these interactive figures presenting detailed crosstabs of the data for every table and chart presented in the 2019 NRPA Agency Performance Review:

- Park Facilities (residents per park, acres of park land, indoor and outdoor facilities)
- Programming (programs offered and programs for children, seniors, people w/ disabilities)
- Responsibilities of Park and Recreation Agencies (spanning from operating parks and facilities to programming types)
- Staffing (FTE counts and key staff responsibilities)
- Budget (operating expenditures including per capita, FTEs, per acre)
- Agency Funding (sources of funding, cost recovery, capital spending)
- Policies (tobacco, alcohol, healthy food options, fees)

Read more:


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Webinar: Promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion in parks and recreation
Courtesy of NRPA

Date: June 13 at 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free to Premier Members and $30 for all other member types

True to the very philosophy of public parks and recreation is the idea that all people -- no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation -- have access to quality programs, facilities, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great. Join us to explore common challenges and strategies that agencies can implement to promote inclusion across the gender spectrum.

This webinar is part of our Premier Webinar Series and worth .01 CEU credits. 

For more information:


Webinar: What Can Public Health Learn from Parks & Recreation Efforts?
Courtesy of GleenPlay LLC

Date: June 18th, 10 am PT / 1 pm ET
Host: Bloomberg American Health Initiative and the American Public Health Association
Cost: Free

Participants will learn of tools agencies can use to promote healthy lifestyles, local case examples, and a collaborative project among public health, medical, and school partnerships that lead to a community preventative health systems plan led by parks and recreation.

Moderated by Nonet Sykes, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Atlanta Beltline and NRPA Board Member - featuring Dr. Teresa Penbrooke, CPRE, GP RED and GreenPlay, LLC; along with Tony Finlay, Executive Director, Hutchinson Recreation Commission, KS.

Email Kate Robb at [email protected] to get participation information.


Webinar: Public Art on Trails
Courtesy of RTC

When: Tuesday, June 18, 2019; 3:00 to 4:15 pm EDT
Host: Rails to Trails Conservancy
Presenters: Geordie Vining, City of Newburyport; Jim Toia, Lafayette College; Darby Trotter, Kansas City River Trails, Inc.; Cheryl Myers and Maria Floren, Charlotte Center City Partners

In addition to highlighting examples of the artwork exhibited, each presenter will discuss the process and players involved in the funding, installation and maintenance of public art along their trail. They will also speak on the impact of the art on the trail and its use.



Webinar: Vehicle Noise Control and Management Basics
Courtesy of NOHVCC

Date: June 25, 2019
Time: 8:00 pm EDT
Cost: Free

Chris Real from DPS Technical, Inc. will present Vehicle Noise Control and Management Basics as vehicle technology is evolving and motorized recreation areas have the constant pressure of managing multiple aspects of environmental protection and multiple uses. Unwanted sound or NOISE is a primary topic whenever vehicles are part of the recreational environment.

The presentation will provide an overview of sound control strategies including field sound testing measurement methodologies, sound measuring instruments and regulatory challenges. We discuss vehicle designs, primarily off-highway vehicles, and for completeness, a brief overview of on-highway vehicles will be reviewed as well as muffler designs and Spark Arresters.

This webinar is the first in a multi-part series that will give the foundation for new field and management staff as well as a refresher for experienced staff.

For more information:


TRAILSNext™ Series Presented by American Trails
Courtesy of American Trails

In the style of TEDx, the TRAILSNext™ Series brings you cutting edge information from leading experts in the trails world on today’s hottest trail topics. These high energy 18-minute presentations were recorded to be made available to folks who were unable to attend this year's International Trails Symposium.

Each month we will be featuring one of these talks in our monthly eNews, and you can purchase the entire series on our website.

Please enjoy the below presentation, "Programming Trail Experiences for All: Our One Shot at Building a Trail Culture" by Amy Camp.

Watch here:


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Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Director
City of Raleigh, North Carolina
Posted June 5, 2019. Open until filled.

Parks and Recreation Director
City of Banning, California
Posted June 5, 2019. Closes July 19, 2019.

Deputy Director
MetroParks of Butler County, Ohio
Posted May 28, 2019. Closes June 21, 2019.

Parks Director
Tulsa County Parks, Oklahoma
Posted May 15, 2019. Open until filled.


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