National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials

April 2, 2019

NACPRO Seeking Candidates for the Board of Directors

In June, NACPRO will be electing 12 directors. Directors serve a two year term.

Board service is open to official or senior management staff associated with county and regional government, who have natural resource, parks and/or recreation advisory, administrative or policy-making authority.

Participation can vary with your availability. Opportunities exist to participate with various committees, affiliate liaisons, and officer positions. The board meets every other month via conference call and has one face-to-face meeting in conjunction with other association conferences, such as the NACo Annual Conference, NRPA Congress or Special Park District Forum.

If you haven’t already done so please take a moment to look over the NACPRO website and please give some thought toward increasing your involvement in your professional association.

Serving on the board provides a great opportunity to get more involved with NACPRO, participate in discussions impacting the profession, collaborate on committee work, and utilize any skills you have that would be of benefit to the association.

If you have any questions or want to express interest in running for office, please contact John Knight at [email protected] or (785) 251-2600.


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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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Ottawa County Parks & Recreation looking for new director
Courtesy of

MICHIGAN - After more than 30 years, the director of the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Department, John Scholtz, is retiring.

Scholtz has been fondly called the "father of the parks system" in Ottawa County and will be hard to replace, Ottawa County Administrator Al Vanderberg said.

The 65-year-old will be retiring this summer. Under Scholtz's watch, the Ottawa County Parks system has been developed into what has been lauded as "envious" among all the state's counties, according to the Grand Haven Tribune.

Read more:


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Do you have questions about the safety of pesticides?

By James Gray

There is an emerging trend for parklands to be managed organically or pesticide-free. Community members, county commissioners and board members may question the safety of chemical controls. How can you assess the safety and efficacy of traditional pesticides against organic solutions? Here are a few thoughts for you to consider in preparing your response.

First. Remember you are a professional. You have expertise and experience, and perhaps professional certification, that guides your decision-making.

Second. Don’t be drawn into a debate over pesticide toxicology. The US EPA is mandated with assessing all available data when approving these products. The EPA considers every foreseeable risk in their assessment before they allow products to be used. The State Lead Agency for the US EPA (usually the State Department of Agriculture) carries through with professional training and licensure for applicators who use these products. If products do not meet the high standards of safety in the proposed situation, they are not approved by the EPA.

The US EPA requires every product be reviewed and re-registered every fifteen years. Manufacturers are required to fund the research that is evaluated by the EPA risk assessors. This data is developed under high quality Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards.

You are likely not a toxicologist. Consider asking for help from your State Dept of Agriculture Pesticide Division or state extension service. The University Extension Pesticide Safety Specialist and the National Pesticide Information Center at Oregon State University are also good resources. Your obligation is to ensure that these products can achieve your objectives and that they are used according to the label directions.

And consider continuing education. Professional updates are available through your national industry association both in-person as well as online. Another source of continuing education (CE) is the annual licensing requirements for certified pesticide applicators. There are opportunities for agronomic and pest management consultant CE credits. University field days, association and local supplier trade shows provide opportunities to learn and expand your knowledge.

As the parks professional, paint the picture of how the facilities are managed for the safety and benefit of all. You can help your leadership understand the implications of maintaining the facilities using many different techniques. Each come with different demands and costs.


The GP REDLine Survey on Homelessness in Parks Provides New Insight
Courtesy of GP RED

By Chris Cares and Sarah Esralew-Hutson, RRC Associates; and Chris Dropinski, GreenPlay, LLC

The 2018 REDLine survey on Homelessness provided a statistical grounding for discussions that took place at the 2018 GP RED Think Tank. The Think Tank session, led by Chris Dropinski of GreenPlay and Brian Albright, Director of San Diego County Parks and Recreation, resulted in a broad ranging discussion of some of the challenges faced by professionals and elected officials in dealing with homelessness and the associated impacts on public lands. Supported by findings from the GP REDLine survey, the Think Tank conversation drew upon a variety of thoughts and experiences from practitioners.

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Great Lakes states are warming faster than the rest of the country, more flooding is in store
Courtesy of the Journal Sentinel

By Lee Bergquist

The Great Lakes — already feeling the impacts of climate change — face more threats in the coming decades, ranging from increased flooding and higher temperatures to deteriorating water quality and fluctuating lake levels.

Scientists predict the impacts will affect the ecology of the lakes, stress water infrastructure systems and pose problems for recreation. The region is already warming faster than the rest of the country.

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4th Annual Park Rx Day
Courtesy of GP RED

Sunday, April 28th

Various organizations around the country will be conducting events that day. This year's ParkRx Day is focused on engaging and thanking health care providers for bringing their patients outdoors for better health. Many types of healthcare providers are included in these events (e.g., pediatricians, primary care physicians, nurses, physical therapists, art therapists, and wellness coaches).

Dr. Teresa Penbrooke represents GP RED on the Park RX America Board. Organizations that are conducting events are encouraged to register your event online.

For more information:


Nominate Outstanding RTP Projects for CRT Awards
Courtesy of NOHVCC

The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) has issued a call for nominations for outstanding projects that utilized funds from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

Award winners will be selected from projects nominated by public agencies, trail administrators or other project sponsors. Projects must be completed in order to receive an award. Projects completed before 2010 are ineligible. Project award categories will include: construction and design; maintenance and rehabilitation; public-private partnerships and access to public lands; community linkage; education and communication; accessibility enhancement; multiple-use management and “corridor sharing”; use of youth conservation/service corps and community outreach; engaging public-sector partners; and enhancement of federal lands.

For more information:


Nominate a Hot Spot
Courtesy of Leave No Trace

Do you know of a park or protected area that is suffering from the severe impacts of outdoor activities? Leave No Trace is looking for Hot Spot nominations through May 3rd.

Hot Spots are threatened areas that, with the help of Leave No Trace solutions, are put on a path to a healthy and sustainable future. Hot Spots receive a unique blend of education programs, service projects, follow-up programs and more.

If you know of a park that needs help, please take the 5-10 minute nomination survey. Your nomination could help the area get the care it deserves.

For more information:


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Programming Over Serenity Favored in 21st Century Park Design
Courtesy of Planetizen

By James Brasuell

John King writes on the current trends in park design…actually, park programming. King's treatise begins with the example of Klyde Warren Park in Dallas.

"Klyde Warren Park, constructed over a recessed stretch of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, is a source of civic pride, a weekend magnet for residents from throughout the region, and a marketing hook used to lure residents to the glass condominium towers nearby. But in a broader sense, it is emblematic of the kind of public space favored by American cities at the moment—meticulously designed and programmed, city owned but privately funded and maintained, with an ever-changing array of carefully curated experiences. At Klyde Warren, you can play pétanque or croquet, laser tag or chess. You can practice your putting or take a ballroom dance class. No need to bring your own Jenga blocks; they can be checked out from the well-stocked Reading and Games Room. Public spaces such as this—picturesque destinations with plenty to offer and little left to chance—are made for the Instagram age. If they enrich public life in an era when the competition for resources is intense, they’re also oddly suited to an American culture in which the unknown is increasingly feared, and being aimless is the biggest sin of all."

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New Jersey trying to write public waterways access into law
Courtesy of the AP

By Wayne Parry

NEW JERSEY - Governments as far back as the Roman Empire have recognized it, but New Jersey is trying to enshrine in law the public’s right to access waterways and shorelines.

A state Assembly committee advanced bills Monday that would expressly require the state’s Public Trust Doctrine to be applied to coastal development, protection and funding issues.

The doctrine holds that the state’s waterways including the ocean, bays and rivers are common property held in trust by the state for the use of all people.

It has been at the heart of decades of battles between access advocates and government and private property owners in a state where demand for access to the water remains high, but so do physical and legal obstacles.

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Water Filters
Courtesy of NRPA

By Melissa Quillard

ARIZONA - Nestled in the heart of Arizona’s Alameda Meadows is Selleh Park, a 6.3-acre area with a playground, picnic areas and all the amenities needed to make it a neighborhood destination. It is also home to a man-made pond that supports a variety of wildlife, including fish, birds, turtles and ducks. Over the years, that habitat has changed, and the city is using an integrated approach to positively affect the lake’s ecosystem, namely, by installing floating islands.

Floating islands occur naturally in water bodies across the world, and they act as a filter, providing a surface for microbes and good bacteria, which pull pollutants from the water. Mimicking them in park lakes and ponds also provides a habitat for plants and other wildlife, as well as shade and cooler water that will help the pond’s fish thrive.

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Fish in river that famously caught fire now OK'd for dinner
Courtesy of

By Julie Carr Smyth

OHIO - Fish in the Cuyahoga River, which became synonymous with pollution when it caught fire in Cleveland in 1969, are now safe to eat, federal environmental regulators say.

The easing of fish consumption restrictions on the Cuyahoga was lauded Monday by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine as an important step toward ultimately delisting the river altogether as an area of concern. Seven impairments remain to be addressed before that can happen.

"As we approach the 50th anniversary of the most infamous Cuyahoga River fire, we reflect on the progress that has been made," said Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells, CEO of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

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New Mexico gets a new OREC office with a diverse twist
Courtesy of SNEWS

By Elizabeth Miller

NEW MEXICO - The 12th state to create a government office dedicated to promoting the outdoor recreation economy, New Mexico lawmakers voted to establish an Outdoor Recreation Division—and the effort takes a different flavor in the Land of Enchantment.

"It’s not just about tourism. It’s also about creating a new generation of stewards here in the state.”

But the bill also keeps an eye on the state’s diverse demographics, creating a first-of-its-kind Outdoor Equity Grant Program. The grant program will target funds toward low-income youth and partner with private companies for a ripple effect some believe could reshape the state over coming generations.

Read more:


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Celebrate National County Government Month

April is National County Government Month (NCGM)! To celebrate, the National Association of Counties (NACo) is proud to present two of our latest resources.

Our refreshed Counties Matter campaign includes updated data to help you explain the county role in key areas of everyday life, including infrastructure, justice and public safety, health, human services, public lands and other functions like elections, parks and record-keeping.

We've also launched an enhanced version of our online interactive County Explorer tool ( The new version includes hundreds of data points and printable profiles on every county, parish and borough in America. It's also been upgraded to navigate and use on tablets and mobile devices.

For more information:


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2019 National Coastal Conference: Call for Presentations
Courtesy of the ASBPA

October 22-25 - Myrtle Beach, SC

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is the nation’s first organization to promote science-based policies for the preservation of coastal areas. The theme of the 2019 conference, “Where Coasts & Rivers Meet,” continues to broaden our focus across the entire physical coastal and estuarine system.

The National Coastal Conference provides an opportunity for coastal stakeholders and managers to develop collaborative networks to promote best management practices, while learning the latest science, engineering and policy needed to maintain and improve the health of our beachfront and estuarine shorelines and ecosystems.

Presentations may be PowerPoint or poster format. Abstracts are due by May 4.

For more information:


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Assistant Director - Golf and Athletics Division
City of Fort Worth, Texas
Posted March 22, 2019. Closes April 8, 2019.

Director of Recreation & Community Services
City of Santa Clarita, California
Posted March 19, 2019. Closes April 15, 2019.

Ranger- Commissioned
Larimer County Natural Resources, Colorado
Posted March 12, 2019. Open until filled.

Prince George’s County Dept of Parks and Recreation, Maryland
Posted February 26, 2019. Open until filled.

Director of Outdoor Experiences & Education
Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio
Posted December 20, 2018. Open until filled.


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