February 18, 2020

In This Issue...

Welcome New Members
Best Practices Forum
Research and Resources
In the News
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 March 3, 2020.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by March 2.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

Associate Division Director - Recreation
Salt Lake County
Salt Lake City, UT
Salary: $89,527 - $134,291 Annually
Closing date: Feb 28, 2020

Chief of Conservation and Parks
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Cincinnati, OH
Salary: $80,783 - $121,173 Annually
Closing date: Feb 26, 2020

Executive Director
Mundelein Park & Recreation District
Springfield, IL
Salary: $130,000 - $160,000 Annually
Closing date: Feb 21, 2020

Parks and Recreation Director
City of Durham, NC
Salary: $100,561 - $160,894 Annually
Closing date: Feb 23, 2020

Asst. Director of Construction
BREC - Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, LA
Salary: $72,342 - $115,752 Annually
Closing date: Feb 29, 2020

Deputy Director
Johnson County Park and Recreation District
Shawnee Mission, KS
Salary: $108,472 - $135,574 Annually
Closing date: Feb 21, 2020

Assistant Director of Urban Trail Planning
BREC - Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, LA
Salary: $68,903 - $110,246 Annually
Closing date: Feb 20, 2020

Director of Marketing & Public Engagement
Five Rivers MetroParks
Dayton, OH
Salary: $72,966 - $91,228 Annually
Closing Date: Open until filled

For more information:

Join NACPRO in Cincinnati this May

NACPRO is conducting its summer meeting in conjunction with the 2020 Special Park District Forum, hosted this year by Great Parks of Hamilton County.

NACPRO's award banquet will take place on Monday, May 18 at 6 pm at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Hotel. A one-day rate is available if you do not plan to attend the full forum.

Registration is now open for the 2020 Special Park District Forum, scheduled for May 17–20, in Cincinnati, Ohio. We are excited to showcase all that Great Parks and our region has to offer.

Your registration includes three days of experiences, networking and learning as you visit parks, preserves and facilities in our three park district regions. Please click the link below for an itinerary overview, registration, hotel reservations and travel arrangements.

For more information:

Welcome New Members

Ms. Amy Bowman-Moore, Executive Director
Erie MetroParks
Huron, Ohio

Mrs. Melissa Price, Deputy Director
Erie MetroParks
Huron, Ohio

Dr. Samose Mays, Recreation Director
North Bryan County Recreation & South Bryan County Recreation
Pembroke, Georgia

Ms. Liz Bellas, Director
Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks
Sacramento, California

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.

Research and Resources

Eating through a Problem
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Mary Beth Bender

When you think of sustainability, are you thinking goats? In preparation for Pinnacle Park in Norcross, Ga., the city invited 42 distinguished members of Get Your Goat Rentals to visit. The goats were welcome to eat everything in sight, including 12 acres of delicious kudzu, privet, poison ivy, poison oak, etc. Norcross is an Atlanta Regional Commission, platinum-rated city in the metro area—only one of two. Sustainable practices are first and foremost for parks, city-owned buildings, and greenspace. The suburb—north of Atlanta—has a quaint historic district, including a railroad that runs through the center of town, and also an educated, thriving metropolitan vibe that welcomes all, including goats.

The goats took the place of heavy equipment that would normally be required, and chemicals that sustainable practices would consider toxic. The goats also eliminated the need for contract labor, albeit temporarily, but that allowed contractors to focus on other areas.

Read more:


The Naloxone Debate
Courtesy of NRPA

By Allison Colman

As the opioid crisis continues to grow, devastating lives and communities and directly impacting our field, park and recreation professionals are continually challenged with how best to respond.

One of the most popular and widespread response strategies to the opioid crisis is focused on expanding access to naloxone (commonly referred to by its brand name, Narcan®). Despite the recommendation from our nation’s top public health officials, the decision for park and recreation professionals to carry naloxone remains debatable and somewhat contentious across the field for a variety of reasons.

There are many different views across the field when it comes to park and recreation professionals carrying naloxone on the job. And there are local and state policies or regulations that may determine your agency’s ability to carry naloxone. The primary concerns that those in the field have expressed over the years include safety and liability, stigma and bias around substance use disorder, and public perception.

Read more:


The Rise of Urban Whitewater
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Scott Shipley

There is a growing wave of interest among civic leaders, developers, and community groups for well-designed, whitewater-centered river parks to convert under-utilized or inaccessible rivers into treasured assets. With their popular recreational and spectator appeal, river parks are connecting communities to their rivers through better and safer public access—especially when located alongside public parks that include trails, greenways, parking, restrooms, and other amenities. Because they are also delivering significant economic and environmental benefits as well, this trend is expected to swell.

Along with recreational and environmental benefits, whitewater parks are also generating a substantial economic impact for their host communities, as users spend money at local restaurants, lodging, and retail establishments. Cities like Golden, Colo., and Reno, Nev., report millions of dollars in economic value per year from tourism and related activities.

Read more:


Great Play Giveaway
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

Win An Amazing Burke Playground

Bring play to your community by entering to win a Burke® playground worth over $31,000! Every park or camp that completes the short survey will be automatically entered for a chance to win.

Deadline to enter: April 17, 2020

For more information:

In the News

Hunting is ‘slowly dying off,’ and that has created a crisis for the nation’s endangered species
Courtesy of the Washington Post

By Frances Stead Sellers

Americans’ interest in hunting is on the decline, cutting into funding for conservation, which stems largely from hunting licenses, permits and taxes on firearms, bows and other equipment.

Even as more people are engaging in outdoor activities, hunting license sales have fallen from a peak of about 17 million in the early ’80s to 15 million last year, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data. The agency’s 2016 survey suggested a steeper decline to 11.5 million Americans who say they hunt, down more than 2 million from five years earlier.

The resulting financial shortfall is hitting many state wildlife agencies.

A national panel has called for a new funding model to keep at-risk species from needing far costlier emergency measures. The crisis stands to worsen with as many as one-third of America's wildlife species “at increased risk of extinction,” according to a 2018 report published by the National Wildlife Federation.

Read more:


The 11-Year Quest to Find the Middle of Nowhere
Courtesy of Outside Online

By Matt Jancer

Ryan and I had been dreaming of this moment for months,” Rebecca Means wrote in a 2010 journal entry as her husband landed their aluminum boat on a beach in Everglades National Park. “It’s the beginning of a grand adventure, the culmination of so much work!” She was about to step onto the most remote spot in their home state of Florida. It was the first stop on what they were calling Project Remote, a quest to visit the most remote spot in each of the 50 states.

Then the couple went ashore. The sand was crisscrossed with tracks from someone dragging a cooler. Motorboats whizzed past on the Gulf of Mexico. People fished. A ship from Princess Cruises went by. It was the first in a string of disappointments in what has become an 11-year project.

Read more:

Check out the most remote spot in your state:


Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Funding for the Recreational Trails Program Introduced in the House
Courtesy of American Trails

A huge step occurred late last year when the Congress instructed the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop a timely estimate of the fuel tax generated through non-highway recreational activities in its FY2020 budget and included RTP reauthorization in key Senate legislation creating the next-gen surface transportation program. Now, action in the House of Representatives is underway and underscores the bipartisan and coast-to-coast support RTP enjoys in the Congress.

US Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT), John Curtis (R-UT), Angie Craig (D-MN), Annie Kuster (D-NH), Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Chris Stewart (R- UT) introduced the Recreational Trails Full Funding Act of 2020 (HR 5797) that will more than double funding for the RTP and make other important changes.

HR 5797 will:

- Require completion of the nonhighway recreational fuel use study at least every five years and reports to Congress on the results;
- Increase RTP funding to $250 million annually – from $84 million currently – or to the new estimated amount from the mandated studies;
- Establish new reporting standards for projects completed with RTP funds to provide increased transparency;
- Simplify and increase funding of administration of RTP by FHWA; and
- Re-establish the original formula for apportionment of RTP funds to the states.

Read more:


Jessica Wahl is helping form a collective voice for the recreation industry in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of the Colorado Sun

By Jason Blevins

As the executive director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable — a diverse coalition of 30 national outdoor trade associations that represent biking, fishing, hiking, park concessionaires and all forms of mechanized recreation — Jessica Wahl is the voice of the growing outdoor recreation industry.

What are some of the political and legislative hallmarks of the outdoor industry’s growth and maturation in the last year, year-and-a-half? I’ve heard many in the industry say this has been the best year ever for recreation at the federal level.

The public lands package is one. I saw the industry come together in a way I have never seen. In the final months of things coming together there were things in there that motorized could have been really upset about. There were things that some non-motorized groups didn’t like. There was some access that was cut off, there were some trails that were moved, but … we all got behind it and I think that was instrumental to getting it passed. When (Wyoming’s U.S. Rep.) Liz Cheney hears ‘Oh wait the OHVers and motorcyclists think that, as a whole, this is good for recreation and so do the surfers and climbers and cyclists’ … that makes a difference.

Read more:


Drones can take flight from public parks, Flint-area judge rules
Courtesy of

By Ron Fonger

MICHIGAN - A Flint-area judge has ordered the Genesee County Parks & Recreation Commission to end its ban on the possession or use of drones in county parks, a ruling that the Michigan Coalition of Drone Operators is describing as precedent-setting and the first of its kind in the state.

MCDO argued that state law makes local ordinances regarding drones illegal. Farah agreed in his ruling, saying the language of the Michigan Legislature was clear when it barred local governments from such actions.

Read more:


Hands Off!
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Becky Rader

Some twenty years ago, I was driving past one of my favorite parks in Dallas, Texas—White Rock Lake Park—when I noticed workers mowing at the height of wildflower bloom season. The chalky slopes were covered with Engelmann’s daisies, Blanket flowers, and more. Why on earth, I wondered, was the parks department mowing at the worst possible time, not allowing those hardy native perennials to produce seed for next year’s spectacular wildflower show that the local residents loved?

About the tenth call, as I was continually passed on to someone else, I finally reached Larry Smith, a staff member with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. Larry knew exactly what I was talking about and shared my concerns, but the call had come in that someone complained about the “weeds,” so the department had to mow. I told him that being reactive is not the way to go in this situation, but a proactive approach using education would be the responsible thing to do. Somehow, I became the lead for that endeavor.

The first step was to do the research and gather a group of experts who would verify the need to preserve and change maintenance practices to restore the prairie remnants.

Read more:


New watershed restoration bills from the House of Representatives
Courtesy of the Ecological Society of America

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act (H.R. 4031), sponsored by Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), reauthorizes the Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for another five years and increases authorized funding for the program from $300 million annually to $475 million annually by fiscal year 2026.

The Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1620), from Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), reauthorizes the EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program and increases the authorized funding level by $500,000 a year through 2024.

The PUGET SOS Act (H.R. 2247), sponsored by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), establishes a Puget Sound Recovery National Program Office within the EPA, codifies the Puget Sound Federal Leadership Task Force and authorizes $50 million in funding to support Puget Sound protection and restoration.

The San Francisco Bay Restoration Act (H.R. 1132), from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), establishes a $25 million grant program to support the restoration of the San Francisco Bay and creates a San Francisco Bay Program Office within the EPA.

The Protect and Restore America's Estuaries Act (H.R. 4044), sponsored by Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), reauthorizes the National Estuary Program and nearly doubles authorized funding for the program.

The final bill (H.R. 4275), from Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), reauthorizes the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program, another EPA regional clean-up program.


How San Francisco is adopting inclusive place management to revive its Civic Center Plaza
Courtesy of

By Philip Winn

CALIFORNIA - Just a couple of years ago, few would have described San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza as a lively or inviting place to be. Associated with socioeconomic woes, at-risk populations, and frequent drug activity, the distressed area came to be seen by many as a manifestation of the city’s larger tensions around affordability, homelessness, and inequality. Its location right in front of City Hall served as a stark reminder that San Francisco’s prosperity is not being shared evenly.

City officials wanted to revive Civic Center Plaza, but knew their efforts wouldn’t work if they masked its challenges, or worse, criminalized or displaced the people who have come to call it home. So, instead of turning to policing or hostile architecture as a solution—which has increasingly been critiqued by nonprofits, advocates, and residents alike—city officials took a different approach. They invited diversity into the space by employing “place managers” with lived experience engaging with vulnerable groups and the ability to connect with the broader community.

Read more:


Webinar: Solutions for Managing Conflict on Shared-Use Trails
Courtesy of American Trails

DATE: Thursday, February 20, 2020
TIME: 1:00 to 2:30 pm Eastern

Motorized, equestrian, biking, and hiking users do not always get along. The truth is, different user types often need different amenities, but we all have far more in common than not. When conflicts inevitably arise, what do we do? This webinar will continue the conversation from our 2019 International Trails Symposium and Training Institute that was held in April 2019 and dive into the issues around multi-use conflicts by first understanding the needs of the different user groups, and then exploring best practices for meeting those needs through innovative planning and design techniques.

For more information:

Webinar: How You Can Impact the Next Federal Transportation Bill
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

DATE: February 26, 2020
TIME: 1:00 to 2:00 pm Eastern
COST: Free

Join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to learn how you can help advance trails and active transportation through the federal transportation debate now underway and ensure the passage of legislation that funds and supports active transportation.

This webinar will review the progress we've made thus far and provide an overview of priority funding bills. Come learn about the Connecting America's Active Transportation System Act, the Transportation Alternatives Enhancements Act, the Recreational Trails Program Full Funding Act of 2020 and the Active Transportation for Public Lands Act; explore why these bills are important for trails and active transportation; and find out how you can help make sure they are included in the reauthorization package.

For more information:


Webinar: Using Fabric Shade in Public, Private, and Commercial Environments
Courtesy of PlayCore

DATE: February 26, 2020
TIME: 2:00 to 3:15 pm Eastern

The Shade Uncovered: Using Fabric Shade in Public, Private, and Commercial Environments presentation gives a comprehensive look at the orientation, style options, and engineering requirements when utilizing pre-engineered structures for locations such as concrete bleacher stands, grandstands school playgrounds, parks, hospitality areas, aquatic facilities, and more. During this session, attendees will learn how to design and plan spaces as a variety of options are discussed. In addition, attendees will learn how to maximize coverage and protection, minimize obstructions in spectator environments, and add the highest aesthetic value to the space.

Register here:


Webinar: Trails Move People
Courtesy of American Trails

DATE: March 19, 2020
TIME: 1:00 to 2:00 pm Eastern
COST: Free

The Trails Move People (TMP) Coalition hopes to highlight these many tangible and less apparent benefits of trails. To do so, TMP brings together a diverse cross section of the organized trails community. It is made up of trail-oriented national non-profit organizations, member organizations and other organized trail advocates. TMP also recognizes the success of trails nationwide is contingent on the input and advice from land managers, industry representatives, state and local clubs and others.

Join Mike Passo and Duane Taylor for a discussion of how we can all work to break down the silos within the trails community, and what we can do to build support for trails in unexpected areas and among unexpected constituencies.

For more information:


Webinar: Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Grants
Courtesy of the City Parks Alliance

Date: March 12, 2020
Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm Eastern
Cost: Free

The National Park Service has announced the opening of the application process for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP), a nationally competitive grant program funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The ORLP offers grants specifically to help create and improve state and local parks and other outdoor recreation areas particularly in under-served communities. A total of $40 million of funding is available. Applications are due from the states July 10; states likely will have earlier deadlines for proposals from local applicants.

For more information:

NACPRO | PO Box 74, Marienville, PA 16239 | (814) 927-8212