March 17, 2020

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
A Word from Our Sponsors
Member News
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 31, 2020.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by March 30.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

oncell logo

Job Announcements

Conservation Ecologist - Land
Polk County Conservation Board
Granger, IA
Salary: $60,191 - $79,090 Annually
Closing Date: Apr 8, 2020

Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine
City of Long Beach
Long Beach, CA
Salary: $200,000 - $223,000 Annually
Closing Date: Mar 30, 2020

Director, Parks and Recreation
City of Overland Park
Overland Park, KS
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Closing Date: Mar 23, 2020

For more information:

NACPRO has a new logo

And we've made a few changes to the website...including new  slideshow images on the homepage. 

The following member agencies are represented:

  • Lake County Parks and Recreation, Indiana
  • Travis County Parks, Texas
  • Anoka County Parks, Minnesota 
  • Monmouth County Parks, New Jersey

We welcome great photos from our member agencies to include on the NACPRO website. Photos should be horizontal in layout, sharp focus and moderate resolution. Please choose photos that have a wide diversity of people enjoying your parks.

Check it out:

Best Practices Forum

History in Our Parks

The American Association for State and Local History has convened the History in Our Parks task force to identify the unique needs and challenges of parks and recreation agencies that care for historic and cultural resources while operating within a system that is not geared towards heritage preservation. In doing this, the task force seeks to gather data on the number of parks and recreation agencies (municipal, county, and others) that care for historic and cultural resources (historic sites, collections, archaeological sites, cemeteries, landscapes, etc.), initiate an assessment of their needs and challenges, and explore how AASLH can help through networking, training, and collaborative efforts with other organizations, including the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

If your park agency cares for historic or cultural resources, please contact Kelby Rose ([email protected]) with a brief description of the types of assets under your stewardship. This initial inventory will help guide the direction of the History in Our Parks task force over the coming months.

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.

A Word from Our Sponsors

Sponsor Spotlight - OnCell

See the poetic side of what we do. Tour apps built with the OnCell platform reach thousands of visitors each day. Curators, educators, historians, rangers, and interpreters share their passion and knowledge, inspiring and educating visitors.

Watch the video:


Pilot Rock - Check out our NEW line of dog park equipment

Furnishing a Dog Park? We offer a line of dog agility and exercise products to equip the dogs' playground....for running, jumping and climbing. These include hoops, hurdles, tunnels and steps.

For more information:

Member News

What Will Druid Hill Park Look Like in Two Years?
Courtesy of Baltimore Magazine

By Evan Greenberg

MARYLAND - As the overhaul of Druid Lake Reservoir passes its projected halfway point, city planners and officials are plotting their next move in order to turn ideas into concrete action.

The process—in which two storage water tanks are being buried under the lake in an effort to increase the efficiency of water reserve turnover and, in effect, improve the quality of drinking water—got underway in June 2017. The project also includes plans for improvements and added amenities throughout Druid Hill Park, and is expected to be completed by March 2022.

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works and the city’s Recreation and Parks Department are both working on aspects of the $135 million development. Adam Boarman, the chief of capital development at Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, hopes to begin gathering community feedback this summer to catalog improvements residents would like to see. Decreasing the size of the lake—part of the plan to build the tanks at the park and avoid excavating new holes—will create additional acres of green space to be used for community activation.

Read more:

Research and Resources

COVID-19 Resources for Counties
Courtesy of NACo

Visit the NACo website to view the latest news and resources on the coronavirus pandemic from NACo, our partners, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

For more information:

Esri Sets Up COVID-19 GIS Hub
Courtesy of Planetizen

Esri, the California-based geographic information systems (GIS) company, has launched the online "COVID-19 GIS Hub" with a number of useful tools for tracking information about the spread and mitigation of coronavirus disease around the world.

Tools include a deeply informative "Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases" dashboard, created by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, and a COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard, created by the Biocomplexity Institute at the University of Virginia. The Esri hub also offers GIS apps that illustrate data at the regional level in China, Italy, Japan, and Hong Kong; a story map article that examines age and social vulnerability in the context of Coronavirus; and a collection of additional maps offering insights into the pandemic.

For more information:

Coronavirus Disease 2019
Courtesy of NRPA

We know you have a lot of questions and concerns right now. That's why NRPA is actively monitoring developments around COVID-19 and how it is impacting parks and recreation. This webpage will contain the most up-to-date information on our response, as well as resources from NRPA, health organizations and federal agencies — like our latest blog post, which examines the recent emergency declaration from FEMA, stating additional expenses incurred at the direction of local and state health officials during this time will be eligible for reimbursement. And if you haven't yet, be sure to listen to the latest episode of Open Space Radio to find out how three park and recreation leaders are responding to the situation in their communities.

Read more:

Explore Coastal Flood Risk by Year & Water Level
Courtesy of Climate Central

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Coastal Risk Screening Tool. This new platform for maps depicting sea level rise and coastal flood risk provides even more of the scientifically rigorous information that Climate Central is known for in a new, sleek, and easy-to-use interface.

The Coastal Risk Screening Tool enables users to explore sea level rise and coastal flood risk over time, for anywhere in the world, and under multiple pollution scenarios. The maps allow users to choose between leading sea level rise models and to incorporate the most accurate elevation data available—including Climate Central’s new CoastalDEM® elevation data for areas outside the United States.

In addition, this new platform will enable us to create custom maps tailored to various interests and illustrating diverse stories. The first maps we are releasing allow users to explore sea level rise and coastal flood risk by year, water level, and elevation data source. Many more will follow.

For more information:

Moss In The Pool
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Mike Hahm

Creative Water Solutions, a Minnesota-based company led by Dr. David Knighton, approached the city of Saint Paul parks and recreation department officials with a new way for municipal pools to manage chemical usage and water filtration.  

The pitch was unique, but straightforward: install a system comprised of Sphagnum Moss species to naturally condition the pool water, thus reducing the need for expensive and non-environmentally friendly chemicals.  

The system had been used at residential pools and spas across the country for several years, but was never tested by the high bather-load and turnover rates that municipal pools deal with on a daily basis.  
After demonstrating the technology for various officials, including Mayor Chris Coleman, the outdoor Highland Park Aquatic facility, boasting several different amenities and a bather-load above 300, piloted the technology. Following the system’s installation, results were immediately measurable--from pH and chemical-level testing to water quality and clarity.  

Read more:

Prescribed Burns
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Tyler Mitchell

MICHIGAN - The Huron-Clinton Metroparks in southeast Michigan maintain 25,000 acres of public park land across five counties. The Metroparks Natural Resources Department manages undeveloped land in all 13 Metroparks. The goal is to restore significant elements of natural diversity while balancing ecological stewardship with compatible recreational uses. By carefully utilizing prescribed burns, the Metroparks are able to maintain healthy ecosystems in many of the natural environments that otherwise would shift to non-native or homogenous makeup. The prescribed fire program began in 2002 and currently burns about 250 acres annually. Burn units are generally on a three- to five-year rotation, and staff burn roughly 12 units a year.

Read more:

Make Informed Decisions When Designing a Disc-Golf Course
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Bob Carver

According to the Disc Golf Association, there are more than 2,500 courses in the United States and another 1,500 around the world. The association reports it has more than 87,000 members, and in 2019 there were more than 3,000 sanctioned disc-golf events in this country. As a casual sport, disc golf draws millions of people of all ages.

As a result of this growth, many parks are considering the viability of having a course in their communities. Here are some of the top questions to ask:

How much property is needed to construct a course?

As a rule of thumb, a minimum of 20 acres is a starting point for development. It is not unusual for a disc-golf course to share property with other common park elements, including trails, ball fields, playgrounds, and picnic areas. While these areas can be shared, safety is a key factor. For example, never throw a disc across a trail unless there is reasonable visibility in both directions; however, a disc-golf hole can be parallel to a trail. A disc-golf tee can be near a playground, but placing a basket nearby is out of the question. Obviously, one cannot send discs across recreational fields, but the perimeter of non-used areas works well.

Read more:

Encouraging Inclusive Play
Courtesy of

By Catherine Sweeney

MICHIGAN — In an effort to make Hemlock Park a more inclusive space, the city of Big Rapids recently approved the installation of an interactive sign at the park's playscape.

The sign -- which was created in collaboration with Community Mental Health for Central Michigan, Big Rapids Department of Parks and Recreation and Elite Signs and Apparel -- is designed to assist children with communication barriers in interacting with their peers.

The signs at both locations offer a variety of words and images -- including emotions, common verbs and playground objects -- that children are able to point to in order to communicate with other children, parents or caregivers.

While designed to help nonverbal children interact with their peers, the sign also will help students who use the autism center to feel more comfortable playing at other parks in the community, Bongard said.

Read more:

Car Sticker Price Predicts Driver Aggression towards Pedestrians
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

Streetsblog USA reported that a study published in the Journal of Transport and Health found the more expensive the car, the less likely the driver is to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. University of Nevada, Las Vegas researchers videotaped pedestrians navigating Las Vegas streets under what might seem like the best possible road conditions for walkers: a sunny day with great visibility, on an open road studded with 35 mile-per-hour speed limit signs and school zone warnings for a nearby elementary school, with the pedestrian crossing in a clearly designated mid-block crosswalk and wearing an easy-to-spot red t-shirt. Most drivers didn't yield at all--and the more expensive the cars got, the more often the driver failed to hit the brakes. For every extra $1,000 on the sticker, the driver was 3% less likely to let pedestrians pass safely.

Read more:

In the News

Senators reach $2B deal to boost conservation, parks
Courtesy of the AP

By Matthew Daly

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders and the Trump administration have reached an election-year deal to double spending on a popular conservation program and devote more than a $1 billion a year to clear a growing maintenance backlog at national parks.

The deal, announced Wednesday by senators from both parties, would spend about $2.2 billion per year on conservation and outdoor recreation projects and park maintenance across the country.

The plan announced Wednesday would fully fund the conservation program and add $1.3 billion a year for deferred park maintenance. The proposed $900 million for land and water conservation is nearly double the $485 million Congress approved this year and 60 times larger than the $15 million Trump proposed in his 2021 budget last month.

Read more:


Senate introduces Connecting America's Active Transportation System Act
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

On March 4th, four senators introduced a Senate companion bill to the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act. This Senate bill is critical to our collective efforts to create a visionary transportation reauthorization that generates new and innovative investments in active transportation, ensuring that everyone has the ability to get where they need to go, whether or not they drive a car.

The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act is the missing link in creating infrastructure that encourages walking and biking for transportation by making it safe, convenient and accessible. This critical policy innovation dedicates $500 million annually in funding focused on connectivity—connecting the nation’s 36,000+ miles of multiuse trails with sidewalks and bikeways to create seamless active transportation networks within communities and active transportation spines between them.

When paired with increased investment in existing core federal funding programs for trails, walking and biking—Transportation Alternatives and the Recreational Trails Program—as well as new approaches to investing in walking and biking access on federal lands, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s framework for visionary reauthorization will more than double federal funding for trails, walking and biking in rural, suburban and urban communities nationwide.

Read more:


Bureau of Land Management Releases Draft Public Land Access Priorities
Courtesy of SORP

WASHINGTON - As part of its efforts to implement the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, the Bureau of Land Management today released a draft list of public lands with limited or restricted public access for hunting, fishing or other outdoor recreational opportunities, along with a draft map of priority access nominations received from the public and partners. When finalized, this priority list will guide the BLM’s efforts to resolve access issues and expand public recreation opportunities on these parcels of land across the West.

Read more:


Boise starting pilot program to reduce pesticides in city parks
Courtesy of the Idaho Press

By Margaret Carmel

IDAHO - The grass may be greener in parks sprayed with pesticides, but the city of Boise wants to find a new way to maintain its open spaces without so many chemicals.

Boise’s Parks and Recreation Department is preparing to start a two-year pilot program to reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed in select city parks and start using other methods to keep out pests, invasive species and other weeds instead.

Reducing pesticide use could mean more weeds in the parks and other slight changes, but Holloway said so far the public has been receptive to the idea in order to ditch chemical spraying.

Read more:


Relations continue to improve with Forest Service
Courtesy of NACo

By Charlie Ban

The improving relations between NACo and the U.S. Forest Service culminated in the signing of a renewed memorandum of understanding March 1, outlining the priorities and expectations of both counties and the Forest Service.

Before the signing, U.S Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen spoke to the cooperative relationship necessary to succeed while addressing members of NACo’s Western Interstate Region (WIR).

“I’m trying to set a really different tone in the Forest Service, and to say we really share the responsibility, we share the ownership, we share the outcomes of what we want to create on these lands,” she said, pointing to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s shared stewardship initiative in 2018 as a catalyst for that, which has resulted in 13 signed agreements and 25 in the works. “This is a way for us to up our game, frankly. But we have scale mismatch. We’re not responding in a way that matches the size of the challenge, with a billion burnable acres, with catastrophic insects and disease, with a need to amp up our rural economies.”

Read more:


Postponed - 2020 National Outdoor Recreation Conference
Courtesy of SORP

In light of the rapidly evolving updates on the COVID-19 virus, we have decided to put the conference on hold. Our intent is to still have the 2020 NORC, but at a later date in 2020 (likely in August or September). We, along with our partners and supporters, feel that this is the best path forward at this time. We are still excited and hope you'll still join us for our great line-up of speakers, exhibitors, and events at the rescheduled 2020 NORC.

If you have already registered for the 2020 NORC, we encourage you to consider keeping your registration for the rescheduled conference. If you are a conference presenter, we also encourage you to do the same. We hope to announce the rescheduled conference dates in the coming week and thank you in advance for your patience as we work through the details of rescheduling.

Stay updated by joining the mailing list at (scroll to the bottom of the page)


Webinar: Igniting the Science of Outdoor Recreation
Courtesy of SORP

DATE: March 18, 2020
TIME: 1:00 to 2:00 pm ET
COST: Free members/$45 non-members

"Igniting the Science of Outdoor Recreation: A Research Strategy for Sustainable Recreation and Tourism on Public Lands" is a multi-agency effort led by the USDA Forest Service that has engaged over one hundred outdoor recreation and tourism researchers, practitioners, and advocates to strategize about how research programs can better serve the evolving needs of sustainable recreation and tourism managers on public lands. In this webinar, we will set the stage for the need for a new research strategy with key arguments from a recent report authored by 17 recreation thought leaders. We'll then take the audience on an annotated tour through the research strategy, highlighting the interdisciplinary and cross-sector research areas and partnerships prioritized for a reinvigorated national recreation and tourism research program.

For more information:


Webinar: Outdoor Adult Fitness Parks Best Practices
Courtesy of PlayCore

DATE: March 24, 2020
TIME: 2:00 to 3:15 pm ET
COST: Free
Registration Code: COMMUNITY

The Outdoor Adult Fitness Parks: Best Practices for Promoting Community Health by Increasing Physical Activity guidebook, helps communities effectively advocate the benefits of outdoor fitness spaces as solutions to providing readily available, affordable, and enjoyable ways to exercise in neighborhood parks and destinations. Supportive research, unique benefits, design considerations, and case study examples are outlined to effectively plan, implement, and champion fitness initiatives that provide meaningful outcomes to support overall health and wellness.

For more information:


National Trails Workshop - New Mexico
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

DATE: May 18-21, 2020
LOCATION: Ghost Ranch, NM
ORGANIZATION: Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Join fellow staff, volunteers, and agency partners for the 2020 National Trails Workshops (previously scenic and historic trail workshops) to be held in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, hosted by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. Topics will include trail land acquisition, management, administration, development, and community outreach.

For more information:

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