National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials

February 5, 2019

It's Go Time for LWCF!
Courtesy of NRPA

You've stepped up and voiced your support for reauthorization of the Land and Water Conversation Fund since it expired in September. Well, this week, the Senate is taking action by considering the Natural Resources Management Act (S.47), which contains a permanent reauthorization for LWCF and increased funding for the state assistance program. Now is the time to act and tell the Senate to support this important bill!

NACPRO has collected several resources to help you craft a message to your U.S. Senators. This includes:

1. NACPRO resolution
2. LWCF Support letter from Maricopa County, AZ
3. NASORLO support letters to the U.S. House and Senate
4. NASORLO fact sheet on economic impact

For more information:


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Paul White
Senior Director
Knox County Parks & Recreation, Tennessee

Aisha Panas
Director of Park & Recreation Services
Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, Oregon

Jodie Adams
Retired Director
Springfield-Greene County Park Board, Missouri


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Buy One, Get One Half Off Price Campfire Rings
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

Enter the code BOGOHOP in the RFQ promo code box to buy one get one half off price campfire rings through February 28, 2019. Check out the promotion rules, and then get shopping!

For more information:


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Does your agency do an all-employee meeting each year? If so, what works?

My agency (Three Rivers Park District) has an annual All Employee Meeting that hosts about 380 people. We typically serve breakfast, do a review of some of the major initiatives of the past year, give out Employee Excellence awards, recognize employees who hit milestones in years of service, and cap it with an educational component and then a “State of the Union” speech by the Superintendent.

We have tried various different informational components, ranging from videos produced by each department, to hiring outside speakers, to keeping it really simple. We are wondering if other agencies do these types of meetings, and if so, what they have found that works well.

Does your agency have an annual all-employee meeting? If so, what are the components of the meeting? What do your employees like most about the meeting, and what is your desired outcome of the meeting?

Thanks in advance!

Jonathan Vlaming
Associate Superintendent
Three Rivers Park District, Minnesota
[email protected]


Seeking examples of Organizational Needs Assessments for Park Police

Shawnee County Parks + Recreation (Kansas) through the Shawnee County Security Council is embarking on an “Organizational Needs Assessment” for our Park Police Division. I am curious as to how others may have this function structured. I am sure others have this function but are structured much differently. Our intention is to include more than just police functions and the images this develops. In our system it has become necessary to look deeply into having “certified” law enforcement officers performing those functions that require certification, while having duties that can be performed by others to check doors, issue keys, etc. There is also a quickly growing need for facility design CPTED Standards, employee training, outdoor education, public safety, etc.

I would be interested in policies/procedures/structures of these County-wide agencies or combined City/County departments.

John Knight
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation, Kansas
[email protected]

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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Webinar: Congressional Preview - What to Expect from this Congress for Parks and Recreation

February 14 at 2 p.m. EST

This Valentine's Day, let's not lose heart on what we can accomplish together in working with our elected officials! Join us Thursday, February 14 at 2 p.m. EST for a webinar to learn how your advocacy is needed to support policy decisions being made in D.C. and ways to engage your elected officials back home. This webinar is part of our Premier Webinar Series.

It is free to NRPA Premier Members, and $30 for all other member types.

For more information:


It's Your Time to Shine!

You and your agency do so much for your community, and it's time for you to be recognized. Each year, NRPA honors agencies with the National Gold Medal Awards and Innovation Awards, and individuals with Spotlight Awards, Scholarships and Fellowships. With the great work and innovative ideas that come out of your agency, there's a good chance you could be coming up on stage in Baltimore this September to receive your award!

Applications are due by March 29.

Read more:


$1.5 Million for Increasing Access to Healthy Foods — Apply Today

For the past decade, we have been working with the Walmart Foundation to provide access to healthy food and physical activity in park and recreation settings through our Fighting Hunger and Commit to Health initiatives. I am thrilled to announce that they are once again supporting this vital work with a $1.5 million commitment.

As part of that commitment, we are looking to fund 15 grantees who will build off existing nutrition efforts and implement innovative strategies that improve access to healthy foods and broaden the role of parks and recreation in the hunger and healthy eating sector. We will be offering $30,000 - $35,000 in grant funding in the following innovation strategies:

1. Starting or expanding farmers markets and/or community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.
2. Starting or expanding intergenerational meal programs.
3. Addressing transportation and infrastructure barriers in communities by piloting models to transport kids to sites.

This opportunity is available to local government agencies or affiliated 501c(3)s engaged with parks and recreation.

For more information:


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Scholarships for 2019 NRPA Directors School
Courtesy of the American Academy Foundation Board

The American Academy Foundation Board is pleased to offer two John C. Potts Leadership Development Scholarships (Pottsie Scholarships) to the NRPA Directors School in Chicago in 2019. Scholarship funds cover tuition, lodging, and up to $500 in travel expenses for two (2) first-year students at the NRPA Directors School. This year the Academy is basing the scholarship on financial need as well as a strong resume.

The scholarship is intended to support young professionals who have demonstrated leadership and management potential within their organizations, but do not have the financial resources to apply to the Directors School.

To apply for the John C. Potts scholarship, applicants must email the following no later than April 1, 2019 to [email protected]:

(1) Application form
(2) Letter of nomination from a Directors School graduate or an AAPRA member
(3) Resume (not to exceed three pages)
(4) Essay describing how attending the NRPA Directors School will help you achieve your professional development goals (12 point Arial font, not to exceed 500 words).

For more information:


U.S. Department of Transportation to ease federal drone regulations with proposed rule
Courtesy of NACo

By Jessica Jennings, Zach George

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced a proposed rule easing federal drone regulations.

The proposed rule would allow drone operators to fly their devices at night and above crowds without special waivers, if certain conditions are met.

DOT plans to seek public comments to develop future drone regulations to address public safety, security and privacy concerns.

Counties are responsible for ensuring public safety and privacy in our communities, including addressing these concerns related to the use of drone technology. As the federal government considers new regulations, counties should be empowered to implement local ordinances, including those related to lower levels of altitude, time-and-day of operation restrictions and enforcement capabilities. NACo has been at the forefront of federal unmanned aerial systems (UAS) regulations and stands ready to work with our federal partners to continue advocating for county priorities.

Read more:


Neighborhoods at Risk
Courtesy of Headwaters Economics

A coalition of cities worked with Headwaters Economics to develop Neighborhoods at Risk, a simple and flexible climate risk planning tool.

Neighborhoods at Risk is designed to provide access to up-to-date, practical, neighborhood-level information about at-risk people and their vulnerability to the impacts from climate change. The tool allows you to map neighborhoods using criteria for climate risks and socioeconomic stressors–including age, race, and income–overlaid with factors such as extreme heat, proximity to floodplains, and canopy cover.

Neighborhoods at Risk is currently available for 18 cities, with plans for deployment for all U.S. cities.

For more information:


Organizations Partner to Create User-Friendly Trail App
Courtesy of NOHVCC

By Geoff Chain

I am a huge fan of old-school paper maps, but I also love apps that let me quickly check out an area for nearby OHV trails and riding opportunities. I found it on the app store and downloaded it to my phone. What I found is a well-designed app created by a third party, Natural Atlas, who were contracted by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (CDNR), with data from land management agencies across Colorado.

The COTREX trails website has been active since 2017, but the new app allows users the ability to download trail information to their devices for use offline. A huge benefit, as most trails are in remote areas with minimal to no cell coverage.

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3 New Year’s Goals to Prepare Your Business for Emergencies
Courtesy of NRPA

Unexpected events can happen to businesses just as they can to people, whether it’s a medical emergency for an employee, or a natural disaster that affects your business and others in your community. With so much going on day-to-day, it’s common for emergency preparedness in any organization to be pushed down the priority list, so the start of a new year is a great time to set workplace resolutions, goals, or intentions, just as you would for yourselves!

Here are three goals you can compete by month-end to make sure your business is prepared for any emergency...

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Master Educator Course Scholarships
Courtesy of Leave No Trace

The Center is now accepting applications for 2019 Master Educator Course Scholarships. These scholarships grant partial tuition to individuals that have specific, tangible Leave No Trace education and outreach goals upon their course completion and who demonstrate a need for Leave No Trace in their communities. These funds must be applied to a course taking place in 2019.

Scholarship Application Deadlines:

- March 1, 2019
- May 1, 2019
- July 1, 2019

For more information:


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Jimmy Carter Created an Environmental Legacy
Courtesy of Outside Online

By Doug Woodward

It was the early 1970s. Georgia’s new governor, a young man by the name of Jimmy Carter, was a breath of fresh air in the capitol.

Well traveled as commander of a U.S. nuclear submarine, Carter had come to appreciate the similarities and basic rights of people far beyond our own borders. And just as important, he was learning how the environment makes possible our very existence on this planet. Growing up with a knowledge of sound farming practices and the need for clean water and air led Carter to explore policies—both on a state and national level—that affect our quality of life.

Georgia’s governor had seen Deliverance at its Atlanta premier in 1972, felt the pull of the Chattooga, and through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, made contact with Claude Terry, a microbiologist at Emory University. Terry quickly set up a trip for the future president on an intermediate section of the river, contacting eight friends who were skilled canoeists to serve as guides, each bringing a boat with space for a guest paddler. I was one of the guides.

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The Environmental Issue Republicans Can’t Ignore
Courtesy of the Atlantic

By Cynthia Barnett

FLORIDA - When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared on his inauguration day that water is “part and parcel of Florida’s DNA,” and vowed to fight the pollution and toxic algae that choked the state’s beaches and fresh waters last summer, his critics rolled their eyes to the Tallahassee heavens above. DeSantis had a poor environmental voting record in Congress. He’d helped found the House Freedom Caucus, which urged President Donald Trump to eliminate the Clean Water Rule and dozens of other environmental safeguards.

But two days later, the critics looked to those same heavens in wonder. Florida’s new governor began his tenure with one of the furthest-reaching environmental orders in state history, calling for a record $2.5 billion for Everglades restoration, a harmful-algae task force, a chief science officer, and an office of resilience and coastal protection to fund and coordinate Florida’s response to rising seas. Under the headline “Florida’s Green Governor,” the state’s largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, declared that DeSantis “has done more to protect the environment and tackle climate change in one week than his predecessor did in eight years.”

DeSantis’s actions reflect a broader effort by some red-state governors to confront the unifying issue of water, even though they remain quiet, if not completely silent, on the larger crisis of a warming world.

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Revitalizing and Reconnecting Western New York’s Regional Biking Network
Courtesy of Next City

By Mark Wessel

NEW YORK - In the spirit of Frederick Law Olmsted’s grand vision for the Buffalo region more than a century ago, local governments, local foundations and local schools have all joined GObike Buffalo in knitting the region’s cities, neighborhoods and parks together again in ways that aren’t centered on cars.

The first urban park system of its kind in the United States, the Olmsted Park System in Buffalo was a landmark achievement when it was created in the late 1800s under the renowned landscape architect’s direction. A network of six parks, seven parkways and eight landscaped circles provided locals and visitors with a unique connection to nature in addition to each other.

One of the most popular ways of navigating Buffalo’s park system in its early years was by bike. But sadly, much of the network was disrupted in the mid-20th century with the construction of expressways to accommodate the growing number of cars on the road.

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Who Will Benefit from Miami’s New Rails-to-Trails Park?
Courtesy of Next City

By Adina Solomon

FLORIDA - The Underline plans to connect South Miami, Coral Gables and downtown Miami, follows in the footsteps of projects such as New York City’s High Line and Atlanta’s BeltLine. Meg Daly founded the nonprofit Friends of the Underline in 2015 in order to partner with Miami-Dade County — who owns the land — and secure funds for ongoing operations.

After years of planning and having discussions with the community, the Underline broke ground on Nov. 1, 2018, with the first half-mile segment now under construction.

Design is not the only aspect that the Underline shares with “rails-to-trails” projects around the U.S. The BeltLine and the High Line have both grappled with concerns of lessened affordability and increased gentrification — and the Underline will have to grapple with it as well.

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David Bernhardt's Nomination for Interior Secretary Quickly Criticized
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

By Kurt Repanshek

A flood of criticism greeted the nomination of David Bernhardt as Interior secretary, with concerns voiced that he will kowtow to the oil and gas industries at the expense of national parks and other public lands. Bernhardt has been acting secretary since Ryan Zinke resigned under pressure in December. His nomination was tweeted by President Trump on Monday.

Read more:


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Webinar: Trail Network Signage - Creating a Unified Brand
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

When: Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019; 2:30-3:30 p.m. EST
Cost: Free
Presenters: Anya Saretzky and Liz Sewell, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; Melinda Vonstein, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission; Gery Keck, Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District

Signage is an important feature of any trail, helping inform trail users where they are and where they are going, ensuring their safety, and pointing out amenities and landmarks to make the experience more enjoyable. For trail networks, signage takes on added importance, unifying individual trails under a common brand and elevating their visibility as an integrated system.

Of course, developing and implementing signage standards across jurisdictions can be a challenge, as it requires collaboration with, and investment from, multiple stakeholders. In this webinar, learn from experts from across the country—representing The Circuit Trails (the Greater Philadelphia-Camden area, Pennsylvania/New Jersey), Central Ohio Greenways (Columbus area, Ohio) and The Intertwine (Portland area, Oregon/Washington)—who have developed model trail network signage in their region.

Register here:


2019 National Outdoor Recreation Conference - Registration is Open
Courtesy of SORP

May 6-9, 2019 - Rapid City, South Dakota

The 2019 NORC program focuses on storytelling in outdoor recreation. Storytelling creates connections by providing meaning and context for our individual and shared experiences. As diverse as our stories may be, we are unified in our profession by our love of the outdoors and our passion to protect and maintain quality outdoor opportunities and experiences.

For more information:


Ranger Excellence School
Courtesy of Larimer County Rangers

May 20-24, 2019 - Estes Park, Colorado

The Colorado Open Space Alliance (COSA) Ranger Training Program was established in 2004 when the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas rangers teamed with the Larimer County Department of Natural Resource rangers to implement a routine refresher training protocol for open space rangers. In March 2005, both agencies conducted a joint training to build a working partnership, lower training costs, and complete required annual training.

- Provides rangers with training in swift water rescue, self-defense, medical incidents, law enforcement, wild life and fishing contacts, verbal judo, firearms, Search and Rescue tracking, mountain biking and driving courses.

- Equips rangers with certifications such as wilderness first aid/wilderness first responder recertification, oil capsaicin (OC), and baton.

- Believes in the importance of highly trained and professional rangers who are skilled in a variety of disciplines.

- Understands the importance of serving the public and promotes a high level of customer service.

- Provides a network to facilitate the exchange of information between park law enforcement personnel and other park, open space, and recreation professionals.

- Desires to lessen the burden of "the last minute scramble" to find and provide the necessary training required for today's ranger.

For more information:


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Chief of Planning
Great Parks of Hamilton County, Ohio
Posted January 29, 2019. Closes February 8, 2019.

Parks and Recreation Director
City of Las Vegas, Nevada
Posted January 24, 2019. Closes February 22, 2019.

Assistant Park Manager
Ingham County, Michigan
Posted January 18, 2019. Closes March 3, 2019.

Accountant IV
Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois
Posted January 18, 2019. Closes February 15, 2019.

Division Superintendent
Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois
Posted January 18, 2019. Closes February 15, 2019.

Senior Environmental Resources Specialist
Orange County Parks, California
Posted January 18, 2019. Closes February 15, 2019.

Landscape Architect
Forest Preserve District of Will County, Illinois
Posted January 10, 2019. Closes February 8, 2019.

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


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