October 15, 2019

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
Member News
Research and Resources
In the News
News from NRPA
Job Announcements



The National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials is a non-profit professional organization that advances official policies that promote county and regional park and recreation issues while providing members with opportunities to network, exchange ideas and best practices, and enhance professional development.

Learn more about us at:


The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on October 29, 2019.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by October 28.

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


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Job Announcements 

Maintenance and Construction Supervisor
Whatcom County Parks and Recreation
Bellingham, Washington
Salary: $5,039 - $6,593 month
Closing Date: Oct 24, 2019

Chief Financial Officer
Forest Preserve District of Will County
Joliet, Illinois
Salary: $95,480 - $149,187
Closing Date: Oct 25, 2019

LaGrange County Parks and Recreation
Wolcottville, Indiana

Salary: $55,000 - $61,000 
Closing Date: Oct 31, 2019

Deputy Director of Regional Parks & Attractions
Metro Parks Tacoma, Washington
Salary: $91,708 – $137,681 annual
Closing Date: Nov 4, 2019

Deputy Director of Community & Neighborhood Parks and Facilities
Metro Parks Tacoma, Washington
Salary: $101,108 - $151,661
Closing Date: Nov 4, 2019

Executive Director
Calumet Memorial Park District
Calumet City, Illinois
Salary: $60,000 - $75,000 
Closing Date: Nov 15, 2019

For more information:

 Best Practices Forum

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.


Member News

Howard County Becomes First Bee Sanctuary in State of Maryland
Courtesy of

MARYLAND - Howard County has taken the first step in promoting and protecting bees by signing up to be a “Bee City.” Howard County Executive Calvin Ball made the announcement at an event at the Howard County Conservancy on September 6, 2019. The county joins 96 cities and counties across the nation working to limit the use of pesticides creating safe habitats for bees through a partnership with Bee City USA.

The county has pledged to protect bees by limiting the use of pesticides that kill bees, creating pollinator habitats, and developing outreach programs. So far the county has created a 55-acre pollinator-friendly habitat on public parkland and built two butterfly stations complete with nectar plants, milkweeds, and shelter for monarch butterflies. The Department of Parks and Recreation also worked with the Howard County Bird Club to create a special seed mix for pollinators.

Read more:


Former GM site in Saginaw to become a 334-acre public park
Courtesy of mlive

By Rachel Ellis

MICHIGAN - A piece of Saginaw County land that once housed a longtime General Motors factory will be the new home to a public riverfront park.

Saginaw County Parks and Recreation will operate the property as a destination for hiking, fishing, wildlife watching and other light recreation, while also providing equipment, facilities and staffing for the park.

The acquired property includes wetlands, shallow-water ponds and forested river corridors, offering opportunities for wildlife viewing and increased trail connectivity, according to officials with Saginaw County Parks and Recreation.

“This 334-acre acquisition along the confluence of the Tittabwassee and Shiawassee Rivers, forming the Saginaw River, is a critical piece of the Saginaw Bay Watershed. Restoring the site’s natural features and forever protecting it has been a worthwhile process,” said Brian Keenan-Lechel, director of Saginaw County Parks and Recreation Commission. “One planned component of the development phase will be an interpretive timeline of the property, detailing its rich history. Saginaw County Parks is excited to work collaboratively with the MDNR and the community on the development phase and looks forward to welcoming patrons onto this scenic property.”

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Orange County Parks and Recreation Division Introduce Surveillance Cameras on Four Trails
Courtesy of

FLORIDA - Orange County Parks and Recreation Division will install four new surveillance cameras on multi-use pedestrian trails this week. Each will have a camera placed in a strategic location with a goal of preventing after-hours activity.

The Parks Division worked with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to determine suitable locations on the County’s trails, which close after sunset.

The solar-powered FlashCAM system takes still photos, with voice commands informing the person that the photo has been taken and they should leave the area.

Read more:


Research and Resources

Why Greenway Parks Cause Greater Gentrification
Courtesy of City Lab

By Richard Florida

Most urbanists and economists have long thought that gentrification is driven, in large part, by the desire of more affluent and educated people to reduce their commutes and be close to the offices and workplaces of the central business district.

But it is becoming increasingly apparent that more is at work. Gentrification is also driven by a desire to be close to unique urban amenities like restaurants, galleries, museums, or even fitness facilities. In some cities, gentrification is associated less with proximity to the workplaces of the central business district and more with the desire to access the amenities and park spaces of what has been dubbed the central recreational district.

Ultimately, gentrification is tied to the particular location, type, and function of urban green spaces. Linear greenway parks and parks located close to downtown are most closely tied to gentrification; these are also the parks that are most closely tied to the creation of central recreational districts, another key driver of recent gentrification.

Read more:


The Key to Building a Bike Park
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Della Lowe

In November 2018, St. George, Utah opened the Snake Hollow Bike Park. The project, from the initial idea in 2014 to the opening of the park, however, was deliberate and well-researched. According to Jeff Peay, Deputy Director of Park Planning for the city, that approach was the key to success.

“Research is almost more important than the construction. To understand what you’re really going to get, what you’re going to need, and how to keep the park maintained is a huge part of it,” he says. “We’ve got our own designers, and we managed the construction to ensure that whatever we design gets built the way it should be because, a lot of times, you get lost in the middle and you don’t end up with what you design.”

Peay says that since the city’s Leisure Services Department had never built a bike park before, he and Mark Goble—landscape architect and project manager, who worked with him—had to learn a lot about it. They reached out to experts who had the right experience and came up with a master-plan concept that identified certain elements the two wanted for the park. They then put out a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) to professional design consultants. Once that group was shortlisted, the list was narrowed to three or four possibilities.

Read more:


Safety Around Water
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Lauren Newlin

Safety Around Water (SAW), which started out as Save Our Kids, is a joint program between Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks and Henderson Family YMCA in North Carolina. The program is in its seventh year and has allowed more than 3,350 children to participate in swimming lessons and safety-training classes, with continued support from the Triangle North Foundation, which has donated $48,000 in grants to help with the program’s expenses.

The program, which began as basic swimming lessons, has evolved into a water-safety program. Each session begins at the children’s school with lessons that include basic pool rules, how to call 911 and what to say, and backyard pool safety, to name a few. After an in-school safety lesson, participants go to either the Aycock Recreation Center pool or Henderson Family YMCA pool to take five swimming/safety lessons. The main goal is for students to be able to save themselves or help a friend in need if the occasion arises.

Various changes and additions have been made. For instance, originally there was a $10 fee per child; however, that was dropped after the first year, and the program is now free. Bathing suits and towels are still provided if participants are unable to bring them.

Read more:


In the News

Land and Water Conservation Fund Reauthorization
Courtesy of NRPA

By Kyle Simpson

In February, Congress passed the John D. Dingell Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, which permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The Dingell Act also sets aside 40 percent of overall LWCF funding for the state assistance program.

Although we celebrate these important wins, the reality is that our efforts to fortify LWCF are far from over. The fund receives about $900 million in revenue annually (from oil and gas leases), but $900 million does not go toward conservation efforts. Each year, Congress specifies how much of that $900 million can be spent on LWCF projects, and, each year, Congress has significantly shortchanged the program.

Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) have introduced legislation that would ensure full, dedicated funding for LWCF. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act, S. 1081, would require that each year LWCF receive the money going into the fund. This bipartisan legislation currently has 48 cosponsors, nearly half the United States Senate.

In the House of Representatives, Reps. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) have introduced identical legislation, H.R. 3195, that is similarly bipartisan and has 188 cosponsors. The House Committee on Natural Resources — chaired by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who supports the legislation — has already passed the legislation out of its committee. While we are unsure on timing, we expect the full House to consider the legislation during this Congress.

Read more:


Barred from Removing Their Confederate Monuments, Cities Try Adding Context
Courtesy of City Lab

By Emma Coleman

In Franklin, Tennessee, a lifesize statue of a Confederate soldier, referred to by locals as “Chip,” stands atop a 31-foot base in the center of the city’s public square. The statue was dedicated in 1899 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and is meant to commemorate the contributions of soldiers in the Civil War, many of whom fought in the Battle of Franklin, a bloody conflict won by the Union in 1864.

There are just under 100 Confederate monuments like the one in Franklin around Tennessee, and about 1,700 across the country, according to a tally by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Over the past few years, these statues have ignited a national conversation about valorizing the losing side of the Civil War, the history of slavery, and the “Lost Cause” mythology built up around the Confederacy. In many cities, they’ve also spurred local debates about what to do with monuments often given prominent place in the public square.

Much of the debate around Confederate monuments has circled around two options: remove the statues or let them stay. But in some cities, a third option has arisen: contextualize them. By placing plaques and launching educational campaigns, some in local government hope to expand the narrative being told about the Civil War, including the history of slavery and African American involvement in the war. Franklin recently chose this option, after a lobbying effort by community members who said they wanted a “fuller story” presented in the public space. The city council voted to install five markers around the monument in the city square, one of which would explain that the square was used for slave auctions for decades before the Civil War. The city is also commissioning a statue dedicated to black soldiers who fought for the Union.

Read more:


As California rents soar, Monterey County offers free camping, RV parking — with a catch
Courtesy of the Californian

By Joe Szydlowski

After Barry Wilson and his wife of 40 years became empty nesters in the early 2000s, they decided to leave Throckmorton, Texas and crisscross the country in their RV.

But when they came to King City in 2003 and parked at an RV park, the cost for a spot was burning a hole in their wallet. When he went to pay the second month's rent, a worker at the park told them about a program that would help.

In exchange for volunteering, the Monterey County Parks department allows them to live rent-free at a secluded campground in the park with water, power and sewer provided, Wilson said.

“We probably would not be able to operate our parks without those types of volunteers.” Jim Rodems, director of Monterey County Parks.

Read more:


Social Media Enhances Inclusivity Outdoors
Courtesy of NRPA

By Paula Jacoby-Garrett

It took me until I was almost 35 to experience the outdoors because it was a world I knew nothing about, and one that I thought was closed off to people of color,” says Will “Akuna” Robinson, military veteran and outdoor enthusiast. “Growing up, I never heard of black people camping or hiking, never saw people who looked like me in gear commercials or ads.

When media does include diverse groups, the result isn’t always positive. “I remember a post that recently went viral on Facebook of a store using a plus-sized mannequin to model leggings and a sports bra. It was amazing to see that kind of representation from a huge sportswear company, but [there were] hundreds of awful comments. They made me feel so bad about myself,” says Kaila Walton, adventure and landscape photographer, and plus-size woman.

Seeing others like her on social media has allowed Walton to also feel comfortable posting pictures of herself there. “I am slowly trying to post more and more photos of me, because I have found that a lot of my followers like when I am authentic about the issues when it comes to fat people in the outdoors. I would like (them) to see that anyone can be in the outdoors, hiking, camping, backpacking, biking, kayaking or whatever sport they are into, no matter their size. If I can inspire someone who looks like me to get outside and enjoy what the outdoors has to offer, then I have done my job.”

Read more:


More National Parks Opening Access For eBikes
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

Owners of eBikes are gaining more access in the National Park System, as parks are changing their rules under order from Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Here's a look at some of the recent parks that expanded eBike access:

- Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

"The superintendent's compendium now includes authorization to allow class 1 and class 2 eBikes on all routes open to traditional bicycles, including the Towpath Trail and its connector trails. Class 1 and class 2 eBikes provide assistance to the operator only up to 20 miles per hour. Class 3 eBikes which can provide assistance up to 28 miles per hour are not allowed on park trails."

Additionally, the park will maintain its prohibition of eBikes on the East Rim mountain bike trails.

As part of the park’s outreach on this issue, the public was invited to comment on how the new eBike policy may affect current conditions. Of 146 comments received, 102 raised concerns about speed already being too high on the towpath.

“While the park has been educating trail users on towpath etiquette for some time, we were struck by the degree to which this continues to be an issue for users,” Superintendent Craig Kenkel said. “We really can and should do more. We are announcing a 15 mph speed limit for all bicycles on the bicycle trails with a limit of 5 mph in blind curves and while crossing bridges and boardwalks.”

Read more:


Central Virginia is planning a 41-mile trail from Ashland to Petersburg
Courtesy of Greater Greater Washington

By Wyatt Gordon

VIRGINIA - When the Virginia Capital Trail was first proposed back in 1999, critics derided the idea of the 51.7-mile multi-use path as overly-ambitious and too expensive. Today, the east-west trail connecting Virginia’s first capital of Jamestown with the modern seat of government, Richmond, faces concerns about overcrowding, and there’s now a sister trail in the pipeline.

Far from being a waste of taxpayer dollars, the Capital Trail has become one of the state’s highest visited amenities. The only other multimodal path to receive more visitors on an annual basis is Virginia Beach’s oceanfront boardwalk. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is leading an effort to replicate the Capital Trail’s success with a north-south alignment, tentatively called the Ashland to Petersburg (ATP) Trail.

The success of the VCT inspired VDOT staffers and local officials across the region to explore a trail that could become the multimodal backbone of Central Virginia. The proposed ATP Trail would extend roughly 41 miles and pass through seven of Central Virginia’s localities: the City of Ashland in the north, Hanover County, Henrico County, the City of Richmond, Chesterfield County, and the Cities of Colonial Heights and Petersburg in the south.

Read more:


New Hampshire establishes OREC office
Courtesy of

By Amelia Arvesen

New Hampshire followed in the footsteps of 15 other states by creating its own office of outdoor recreation, signed into legislation on Thursday by Gov. Chris Sununu.

“New Hampshire’s low tax environment and booming economy are a beacon for business in the northeast,” Sununu said in a formal announcement. “This office will allow us to better leverage the tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities we have here in the Granite State to not only grow the industry, but attract the workforce of the future.”

The Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development will be housed within the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA). Currently, the state's outdoor industry employs about 79,000 people and generates $8.7 billion in consumer spending annually, according to Outdoor Industry Association (OIA).

Read more:


News from NRPA

Speaking Opportunities at the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference

Do you have a great idea for a session or want to showcase your expertise? Is there an experience that you or your agency has had that could benefit your peers and other communities? Share your unique ideas and experiences by speaking at the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, October 27–29, 2020.

Beginning October 28, 2019, you can submit your education session proposals for the 2020 conference. Speakers are encouraged to present original content that promotes participant interaction. They should also be energetic and engaging to inspire a diverse audience passionate about parks and recreation, conservation, health, landscape architecture, city planning and more.

Submit your proposals by November 29, 2019.

For more information:


What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

The latest episode of Open Space Radio is a special one — our 50th! And, since we've been reflecting on our early days, we explore one of the questions we asked in Baltimore at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference: what piece of advice would you give your younger self? Tune in to hear the sage advice of your park and recreation peers, as well as a bit of our own. We've also officially launched an Instagram just for the podcast, so be sure to follow us, say hi and share your ideas for future episodes!

Listen here:


NRPA Waives CAPRA Application Fee

The benefits of accreditation are far reaching. This mark of excellence allows your agency to stand apart from other nearby, non-accredited agencies and catches the attention of your elected officials by demonstrating the value of your department. On top of that, accreditation creates an environment for regular review of operations, policies and procedures, and promotes continual improvement.

This fall is the best time to start the accreditation process because NRPA is waiving the $100 CAPRA application fee from October 1 to December 13, 2019. Learn how to get accredited and take advantage of this limited time discount.

Read more:



Webinar: Engaging Volunteers as Partners
Courtesy of SORP

Date: October 16, 2019
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET
Cost: Free members/$45 non-members
Organization: Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP)

This webinar will cover the role volunteers play in outdoor and community recreation organizations ranging from large non-profits to your local park district. Nate Trauntvein will discuss issues and challenges of volunteer management for outdoor recreation organizations, and lessons learned from studies conducted with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the National Ski Patrol, the City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and smaller community park organizations. We will highlight the stages of volunteer recruitment, retention, and engagement and highlight best practices in each stage.

For more information:

How to Find Success with Bond Measures and Other Funding Opportunities
Courtesy of NRPA

Time and time again, residents of cities across the country show their support for parks and recreation by supporting bond measures. On the next 10 Minute Walk Network Call, Thursday, October 17, at 2 p.m. EST, we'll be discussing how you can find success with bond measures and other public funding strategies. Join experienced 10 Minute Walk park professionals to discuss strategies being implemented to increase park access and share ideas on how to bolster that work. Bring your strategies, comments and questions for a robust discussion!

For more information:


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