April 28, 2020

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
Welcome New Member
A Word from our Sponsors
Member News
Research and Resources
In the News
News from NACo
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 May 12, 2020.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by May 11.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

oncell logo

Job Announcements

Park Ranger
Ingham County
Lansing, MI
Salary: $40,629-$50,646 Annually
Closing Date: May 15, 2020

Director- Quality of Life
City of Panama City, FL
Salary: $82,907.41 Annually
Closing Date: May 4, 2020

For more information:

2020 NACPRO Awards Program - Update

The NACPRO Board decided yesterday to cancel the awards banquet for 2020. While we hope that things return to normal as quickly as possible, there is too much uncertainty to move forward with this year’s awards banquet.

Email notifications regarding the disposition of your award nominations will be going out this week.

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.

Welcome New Member

Jay Worley, Director
Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency, Georgia

 A Word from our Sponsors

Pilot Rock: Food Storage Lockers

Our Pilot Rock BPRT Series Recycling and Trash Receptacles and BPFL Series Food Storage Lockers have been designed and tested to keep bears out. Out of your trash and out of your camping and food supplies. Each unit has been reviewed and tested by the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center (GWDC) using the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) protocol.

For more information:

Member News

Mobile recreation center gets community moving
Courtesy of NACo

By Rachel Looker

GEORGIA - “We’re going to play.” The phrase can be seen on the back of a former home-delivered meals box truck driving throughout Gwinnett County, Ga. Now a recreation center on wheels, the truck is no longer providing food but instead hula hoops, jump ropes and other play equipment to county residents.

The unit is known as “Be Active Gwinnett,” which launched as part of the Live Healthy Gwinnett initiative. The mobile recreation center has visited more than 200 sites and served 15,000 participants.

The unit visits housing authorities, apartment complexes, childcare facilities, faith-based facilities, new home developments, schools, camps, parks, afterschool programs, libraries and community events.

“We set up everything whether it’s on grass or asphalt — a parking lot can be blocked out for us,” said Carion Marcelin, coordinator for Live Healthy Gwinnett. “We make it happen with whatever space that we have available.”

Although the 437-square-mile county has an extensive park system with more than 10,000 acres and 50 parks and recreation facilities, studies found that 20 percent of county residents get no leisure time physical activity, according to the 2013 Gwinnett County Health Department’s Community Health Assessment.

Read more:

Research and Resources

American Trails wants a copy of your trail surveys

Over the last several months we have had several inquiries for trail survey examples. We would love to collect as many surveys, both motorized and nonmotorized, as possible to create a resource library. 

Please send examples to [email protected]


SORP Announces the Third Round of Christopher K. Jarvi Scholarships to Advance Partnerships

The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals will be opening its next round for the Christopher K. Jarvi Scholarship to Advance Partnerships. This scholarship fund was created to help dedicated professionals explore ways to integrate more partnerships into their work to benefit and bring value to parks, public lands, and the communities that host them. The scholarships are meant for professionals at any point in their career focused on enhancing recreational assets or programs and should be focused on training that can enhance the partnership skillset of the individual.

Scholarships range from $500-$1,500 and may be used over the 18 months following the award. Based upon the current COVID situation, SORP recommends a primary focus for this round on on-line training, professional memberships that provide training, as well as periodicals that expand one’s partnership knowledge. A secondary priority would be placed on in-person workshops and conferences that occur outside the next six months.

The scholarship period opens May 1 and closes July 31, 2020. 

For more information:


Connecting Children and Families to Nature during the Pandemic
Courtesy of the City Parks Alliance

Municipal leaders have an opportunity – even at a time of physical or social distancing – to promote connecting children and families to the outdoors and nature. Such connections can benefit city and town residents of all ages. Getting outside offers chances to combat social isolation, maintain physical and mental health, enrich connections with nearby parks and public spaces, and set a pattern for a healthier life and ongoing stewardship of the environment.

The layout of many cities and towns provides easy access to parks, as well as street trees and green verges, and some residents have back- or front yards. Just as many places do not yet feature such easy access, municipal leaders have a key role to play in bridging the nature access equity divide – in the immediate term, by encouraging residents’ attention to even the smallest patch of nature or the outdoors. Street trees and pocket parks count!

Encourage residents, and children in particular, to get outdoors at least once each day, and to connect to nature in any available form.

Read more:


Petaluma launches ‘Virtual Recreation Center’
Courtesy of

By David Templeton

CALIFORNIA - What does an experienced Parks and Recreation professional do when, almost overnight, there are suddenly no parks to recreate in. If you happen to be Petaluma recreation coordinators Kevin Hays and Rachel Beer, you get a little creative, as they have done in developing what they call Petaluma’s “Virtual Recreation Center.”

A constantly evolving page on the City of Petaluma’s recently redesigned information website (, the Virtual Rec Center is basically a hub where visitors can find links to an array of other sites and pages. These contain a wide variety of articles, videos, live webcams and online classes, plus lists of other resources for families, kids, seniors and active individuals who’ve been running out of ideas of how to stay engaged, entertained and fit under the coronavirus shelter-at-home orders. The Virtual Recreation Center works in concert with the Petaluma Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook and Instagram pages, which also contain plenty of daily-updated material designed to assist locals with information and suggestions they may not have thought of on their own.

Read more:


Milwaukee makes equity a key part of park renovations 
Courtesy of Landscape Architecture Magazine

By Jonathan Lerner

WISCONSIN - Milwaukee is overhauling 52 parks, many serving disadvantaged communities, using an "equity-based prioritization model" to determine what each park needs and in what order they should be addressed. The city has also sought community input on what to add and keep at the parks.

Read more:


Centering Health Equity in COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plans
Courtesy of NRPA

While COVID-19 has impacted each one of us, it’s well known that certain populations have been more severely affected — people aged 65+, people experiencing homelessness, and people with underlying chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity, asthma and heart disease. These are not the only groups at a higher risk of being impacted by COVID-19, though. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color, low-income and rural communities, indigenous people, low-wage workers, people with disabilities, people without documentation, and other historically marginalized and underserved populations, resulting in an increased risk of exposure, increased rates of infection, hospitalization, mortality and significantly more negative impacts to daily life.

In many communities, the profession has rallied around these groups, setting up emergency shelters, providing critical food and supplies, offering childcare to essential workers, and calling community members to check on them and make sure they have what they need to get by. Park and recreation professionals have been leaders in embedding a health equity approach in their responses to COVID-19 to meet immediate community needs. 

Read more:


Physical Activity and COVID-19
Courtesy of PlayCore

By James F. Sallis

Exercising is probably not top of mind as we struggle with how to protect ourselves, our families and our communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Perhaps it should be, because physical activity can be a valuable tool for controlling COVID-19 infections and maintaining quality of life.

Physical activity is one of the most powerful forces for good health. Physical activity helps prevent and/or treat many physical and mental health conditions by improving functioning of numerous physiological systems. In this piece we explain how harnessing the salutogenic power of physical activity could help ease the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in four ways.

Read more:


How COVID-19 Impacts Park and Recreation Funding
Courtesy of NRPA

By Kevin Roth

In 2017, NRPA commissioned a study that found local elected and appointed public officials freely acknowledge that they target park and recreation agencies for substantial budget cuts when their city, town or county faces a fiscal crisis. This is despite the fact they wholeheartedly agree that parks and recreation significantly benefit their communities, especially in enhancing quality of life and promoting healthy lifestyles.

What is not speculative is that local and state governments will be facing tremendous fiscal pressures over the coming months and years. As a result, policymakers will be facing difficult decisions on the budgets and staffing of their jurisdiction’s services.

You have a compelling story to tell. Striking dollars from park and recreation budgets deprives people of open spaces to exercise for no or little cost, a place for hurried individuals to reconnect with nature and community resources where one can get a nutritious meal.

This is where the latest NRPA research report comes in. The NRPA Economic Impact of Parks report, conducted by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University and published in April, highlights how your agency is an engine of business activity locally, statewide and across our nation. The new study found that local park and recreation agencies generated more than $166 billion in U.S. economic activity and supported 1.1 million jobs from their operations and capital spending in 2017.

Read more:


Leave No Trace & Penn State Launch Covid-19 Recreation Patterns Research
Courtesy of Leave No Trace

The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly altering daily life and leading to changes in the way we spend time outside. In an effort to gather timely and relevant data on national recreation patterns before, during and after the pandemic, The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is working quickly with its academic partner, Pennsylvania State University, to conduct a study that can offer guidance to land managers, recreation providers and the general public. The hope is that the results of this rapid assessment will provide valuable information for managing the changing recreation use of public lands, predicting spikes in recreation and offering insights for land managers and other relevant groups as they work to protect the natural world.

Read more:


COVID-19, Communities, and the Planning Profession
Courtesy of the American Planning Association

We are all experiencing the severe impacts from COVID-19 on our personal lives, our work situation (if we still have a job), the cities and places we live in, and the entire world around us.

As APA’s research director, I’d like to explain how we at APA are approaching the questions of what the impacts on cities and communities are and how this pandemic affects the planning profession. I will describe our process of identifying current pain points, how we “learn with the future,” and what we do to prepare for new uncertainties coming out of this pandemic.

In addition to our emergency responses to immediate impacts, we need to start asking what all of this may mean for the future. What will social distancing do to our society in the long term? How will COVID-19 change how we interact in public space, how we use public infrastructure, and how we live, work, play, and move around?

What will be the impacts on our economy and how will they change urban life? What fiscal impacts on cities can we expect and how will they affect planning department budgets specifically?

Read more:

 In the News 

How Man-Made Islands Can Save the Mississippi River
Courtesy of

By Mike Mosedale

MINNESOTA - “Buy land,” Mark Twain supposedly quipped, “they’re not making it anymore.” That old investment chestnut, however, turns out to be wrong. That’s because they—and there are a lot of “theys”—make new land all the time.

If all goes to plan, Pig’s Eye Lake will become the newest addition to the island-building boom by the end of 2021. That’s when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to finish work on the construction of a little archipelago of new islands at Pig’s Eye, an isolated, 638-acre backwater of the Mississippi River located about four miles downriver from downtown St. Paul. (The work will be done in partnership with Ramsey County Parks & Recreation and a private contractor.)

The public plans call for seven islands of varying sizes, elevations, and shapes, complete with benches, willows and larger trees, marshes, and protected coves. In total, they will cover about 40 acres.

Read more:


Tourists: A double-edged sword during COVID-19 pandemic
Courtesy of NACo

By Charlie Ban

Counties that rely on tourism to power their economies are loath to turn visitors away but given the potential for transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus, they’re doing just that.

In California, Inyo County’s social media presence, Explore Inyo County, is blunt: “Please, go home. Under normal circumstances we welcome tourists with open arms, but there is a global public health emergency in progress, and we need to please request that you return to your primary address — your home.”

In Flathead County, Mont., where tourists spend more than $500 million per year, it’s much the same. As of April 6, the county had 31 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“Most of them are from people from New York and Washington state, trying to get away,” Commissioner Randy Brodehl said. “It’s an issue for us.”

Read more:


Five takeaways on nature and health during coronavirus
Courtesy of the Trust for Public Land

When Florence Williams moved from Colorado to Washington, DC, a few years back, she registered an immediate change: “I felt like a stress bomb went off in my own brain,” she says. “In Colorado, I had access to nature pretty much hourly—and it was hard to lose that when we moved to the heart of the city.”

As a science writer, Williams was well equipped to explore emerging research on the effects of different environmental conditions on our minds and bodies. “I became really interested in how external landscapes are reflected in our own internal and emotional landscapes,” Williams says. She turned that spark of interest into research for her book The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative.

These days, as Williams shelters at home with her family to wait out the pandemic, she says the lessons she learned while writing the book are more relevant than ever. Earlier this month she chatted with Trust for Public Land President and CEO Diane Regas about how the power of nature and our resilient communities will help see us through this crisis. Here are five takeaways from their conversation.

Read more:

News from NACo

NACo releases new report estimating $144 BILLION impact on county finances

 The COVID-19 pandemic could have massive budgetary impacts for counties of all sizes America's counties could face budgetary impacts as much as $144 billion in lost revenue and increased expenditures through FY2021. This estimate includes lost revenue from sales tax and local fees and additional expenditures related to COVID-19, but does not include budgetary impacts related to other funding streams like property taxes and intergovernmental funding, on which the impact of COVID-19 is less clear. Overall, counties' costs and responsibilities are growing throughout this crisis, and the federal-state-local partnership has become more crucial than ever.

Read more:



Webinar: Equity in Essential Services
Courtesy of NRPA


DATE: Thursday, April 30, 2020
TIME: 2:00 pm EDT
COST: Free


Across the nation, park and recreation professional support the needs of people from vulnerable populations by meeting them where they are to address challenges to homelessness, food insecurity and stigma. Now, that same innovation and strength is being used to address challenges specific to the global COVID-19 pandemic on a local level, demonstrating how essential the field of parks and recreation is. Join us for a free webinar, Thursday, April 30 at 2 p.m. EDT, to learn how park and recreation professionals are supporting the needs of the most vulnerable during the pandemic by providing essential services within their communities. By participating in this webinar, you will receive 0.1 CEU.


For more information:




Webinar: Place-based CPTED for Safe Trails
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter


DATE: May 7, 2020
TIME: 1:00 to 2:30 pm EDT
COST: $19 members/$39 non-members
ORGANIZATION: American Trails


This webinar will provide the history, background, and core learning objectives of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED is a proactive technique in which the design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the fear of and incidents of crime and unwanted behavior. Presenters will introduce participants to CPTED principles, public education techniques, and programmatic and operational measures for improving public trails. Strategies for how to use crime data and partner with local law enforcement when working on trail projects will also be included.


For more information:




Outdoor Recreation Management and Response during COVID-19
Courtesy of SORP


A discussion series hosted by the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals


Join us Wednesdays through May 2020 at 2:00 - 3:00 pm EDT for focused webinar discussions with panelists on topics specific for outdoor recreation professionals. As the world is in a state of adaptation and change, outdoor recreation experiences and our parks, forests, and public lands are as important as ever.

May 6: Providing outdoor recreation while keeping public and workforce healthy & safe


May 13: How the pandemic is changing outdoor recreation patterns


May 20: Data collection and monitoring during the pandemic and into summer of 2020


May 27: Unequal access to outdoor recreation - effects from COVID-19

For those who are unable to join, but interested in learning more, register and receive the webinar recording and follow-up.


For more information:




Webinar: Shared Goals for the Trails and Health Communities
Courtesy of American Trails


DATE: May 14, 2020
TIME: 1:00 to 2:30 pm EDT
COST: Free


The trails industry and the healthcare industry have important overlap. When people have more outdoor opportunities they are healthier both mentally and physically. For this reason it is vital that these two industries have open communication and work together, and advocate together, when it comes to bringing these outdoor opportunities to as many people as possible.


This moderated panel discussion will encourage significant audience questions and interaction as the primary mechanism for discussing these important issues. Invited panelists will respond to questions and encourage further discussion in the hopes of developing tangible policy guidance or best-practice takeaways on the subject being discussed.


For more information:




Upcoming Webinars from PlayCore
Courtesy of PlayCore


We understand this is a difficult time to stay on top of educational opportunities, so we wanted to make it easy as possible. New this year, the Center for Outreach, Research & Education (CORE) is offering on-demand webinars in addition to our regular live webinars. With a variety of topics, there are learning opportunities for all.

We invite you to participate in one of these great complimentary events, and don't forget to complete the assessment to earn your CEU.


Unleashed®: Off-Leash Dog Park Design Trends and Planning Tips
Prerecorded webinar available from Monday, April 27, 2020, 8:00 am to Friday, May 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT


Live Event: PlayCore Scholar Series
Parks as Equitable Resources for Youth Physical Activity, Especially Now
Tuesday, April 28, 2:00 to 3:15 EDT


Outdoor Adult Fitness Parks: Best Practices for Promoting Community Health by Increasing Physical Activity
Prerecorded webinar available from Monday, May 4, 2020, 8:00 am to Friday, May 8, 2020 at 11:30 pm EDT


ADA Standards for Accessible Design for Play Areas
Prerecorded webinar available from Monday, May 11, 2020, 8:00 am to Friday, May 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT


Shade (Un)Covered: Using Fabric Shade in Public, Private, and Commercial Environments
Prerecorded webinar available from Monday, May 18, 2020, 8:00 am to Friday, May 22, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT


Bike Parking Standards & Installation
Thursday, May 21, 2:00 - 3:15 pm EDT
Live Webinar


ADA Standards for Accessible Design
Tuesday, June 9 | 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. EDT
Live webinar


Register here:




NOHVCC Annual Conference Postponed Until 2021


After much consideration the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Board of Directors and staff have made the difficult decision to postpone our annual conference in Knoxville, Tennessee originally scheduled for August 2020 to a date yet to be determined in 2021.


While we hope that things return to normal as quickly as possible, there is simply too much uncertainty to move forward with this year’s conference. Further, we are not only unsure if the conference can go on as scheduled, we also do not want to subject anyone to potentially dangerous travel or to run afoul of any social distancing requirements that may still be in place. Stay tuned for more information about the rescheduled event.


For more information:

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