March 31, 2020

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
Welcome New Member
Research and Resources
In the News
News from NRPA
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 April 14, 2020.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by April 13.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements


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

Director of Parks & Recreation
Hamilton County
Noblesville, IN
Salary: $44.82 Hourly
Closing Date: Apr 23, 2020

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

For more information:

2020 NACPRO Awards Ceremony

NACPRO planned to hold our awards banquet during the Special Park District Forum, which was scheduled for May in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Special Park District Forum has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NACPRO is investigating the feasibility of conducting our awards ceremony and annual board meeting in Orlando, Florida before the NRPA Congress, which is scheduled for October 27-29. We will keep you informed of what we decide.

Our evaluation of the award nominations is on schedule and we expect to notify everyone of the disposition of their nomination by mid-April.

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 Members

Vince Trinidad, Director
Tulsa County Park Dept, Oklahoma

Nicole Ellsworth, Sales Representative
BeachTech, Reno, Nevada

Research and Resources

Natural Bayou Better When Floods Threaten Houston
Courtesy of EEN

TEXAS - One bayou meanders toward downtown Houston. The other runs in parallel to the south, much of it through a concrete channel.

Which is better at preventing floods? Researchers at Rice University’s Brown School of Engineering give the nod to nature.

In studying the evolution of flood plains based on Houston’s Buffalo and Brays bayous, the researchers associated with Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education & Evacuation from Disasters Center determined Buffalo’s largely natural form has proven better at absorbing floodwater and preventing it from spilling over into heavily populated areas.

Read more:


Can Parks Help Save Fireflies?
Courtesy of NRPA

By Richard J. Dolesh

A new study, titled “A Global Perspective on Firefly Extinction Threats,” published in the February 2020 issue of the journal BioScience, reports the results of a survey of international firefly experts who were asked to identify the greatest threats to firefly populations in eight geographic regions of the world. The most serious threats to fireflies, according to these scientists, were loss of habitat, light pollution and pesticides, with drought, flooding and extreme temperatures as lesser, but still very significant, threats. Unsurprisingly, a number of these factors link to climate change conditions.

In interviewing several firefly experts for this article, there was one thing they all agreed on: Parks may be one of the best ways to contribute to firefly conservation. Emeritus professor of entomology Larry Buschman of Kansas State University, the author of Field Guide to Western North American Fireflies, says, “People love to visit where fireflies are. They are a charismatic species of wildlife. When people get out to appreciate and value fireflies in parks, then we can get conservation going. And when we do, we can help educate the public as well.”

Read more:


Seattle P&R Tests Glyphosate Alternatives
Courtesy of NRPA

By Patti Bakker

WASHINGTON - In Seattle, RoundUp — which contains glyphosate — was previously the most used herbicide by city gardeners and maintenance staff. In 2019, prompted by environmental and public health concerns, Seattle restricted the use of herbicides containing glyphosate on public land. The city’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program reclassified glyphosate as a Tier 1 product, meaning that its use requires rigorous review and approval from the city’s IPM interdisciplinary team (IDT).

The restriction poses a significant challenge to Seattle Parks and Recreation, which manages 6,414 acres of parkland (11 percent of Seattle’s area). Its parkland is divided between undeveloped areas (40 percent) and developed parks (60 percent), and RoundUp has been an important tool in both. (It should be noted that Seattle Parks and Recreation has never used herbicides on lawn areas or athletic fields, or near children’s play areas or water bodies.) While different types of landscapes have different public uses and receive different levels of maintenance, RoundUp previously provided a single go-to method for weed control. Moving forward, we are seeking effective alternatives to herbicide use, and are currently implementing three methods: (1) treat the weed, (2) pull it out and (3) heat it up.

Read more:


Cleaning Playground Equipment--Advice from Playworld
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

CDC recommends using diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, or most common EPA-registered household disinfectants. Household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses, when properly diluted. To dilute, please follow these instructions:

Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:

- 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- Rinse your equipment and let it completely dry before allowing it to be used

Read more:


New Blog from CHM Government Services: Responding to COVID-19
Courtesy of CHM Government Services

As the public health sector responds to the COVID19 crisis, public park agencies are called to respond. The purpose of this blog is simple: to provide you with strategies that assist you, your agency and your partners with a mutually beneficial way forward.

Read more:


GP RED Collaborates with SHIFT on a Summary White Paper about Toolkits for Improving Access to Nature
Courtesy of GP RED

GP RED enjoys an alliance in support of the annual SHIFT conference ( Proceedings from a panel workshop at the SHIFT 2019 conference on toolkits for improving access to nature have been compiled. This paper highlights the methods used during the workshop, along with findings and suggested next steps related to engagement, access, and implementation of tools for improving public access to nature. These were suggested and prioritized by 34 knowledgeable professionals who work as practitioners, researchers, and professionals in the realm of providing quality of life and preventive health services for communities.

Next steps will include having deeper discussions at the SHIFT Fall 2020 Healthy by Nature Summit (October 14-16 in Jackson Hole, WY), and the GP RED 2020 National Think Tank (November 18-20 in Raleigh, NC).

For more information:

In the News

Saugus Youth & Rec Department provides kids ‘boredom bags’
Courtesy of

By Mike Gaffney

MASSACHUSETTS - The Saugus Youth & Recreation Department has been handing out “boredom bags” to give kids stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic something fun to do.

On March 18, Youth & Recreation Department staff distributed 90 bags filled with toys, coloring pages and craft kits to local children.

The hope is to do the boredom bags once a week until school resumes, Cakounes said.

Read more:


Jefferson Co. Parks and Recreation offer virtual events during virus outbreak
Courtesy of

By Jessica Wilt

WEST VIRGINIA - With nearly every business and every organization shut down due to the coronavirus, Jefferson County Parks and Recreation found a way to keep the younger members of the community active during this time.

The organization began releasing “virtual events” on its Facebook page — Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission — over the weekend, a trend offers fun activities that allow for social distancing.

Each event is “scheduled” for a different day throughout the week through Facebook events but can be done whenever. Each offers fun facts about the topic to learn, as well as a craft that corresponds with the day’s theme. Some activities feature a video-component as well to get kids moving.

“The goal is to have a hands-on activity, an active or fitness activity and a learning element,” Zaglifa said. “Hopefully, at least some element of each day will appeal to different ages and use household supplies so everyone can participate. For instance, we started with rainbows — back bridges is a challenge for everyone, and the science project included is an opportunity for an entire family to gather around the table together, talk, hypothesize and learn. Not to mention, it’s just fun to explore.”

Read more:


Connecting Cleveland to Pittsburgh by Trail
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

This week, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy released the “Connecting Cleveland to Pittsburgh by Trail” feasibility study in partnership with the Industrial Heartlands Trail Coalition (IHTC), named for the industrial heritage and history of the region.

This feasibility study outlines the path forward and the potential in connecting Cleveland and Pittsburgh over 200 miles of multiuse trails in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The alignment of the Cleveland to Pittsburgh (C2P) Corridor is primarily made up of existing rail-trails, unused or abandoned rail corridors and canal corridors. The plan outlined in this study leverages the success of established and well-known trails like the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, Conotton Creek Trail, Panhandle Trail, Montour Trail and Three Rivers Heritage Trail to stimulate the political will and development necessary to complete the 72 miles of trail gaps along the C2P route.

The study is the first and only comprehensive look at the C2P Corridor within the 1,500-miles-plus IHTC network, which stretches across 51 counties in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Many thanks to all of our IHTC partners who helped to make this study possible.

For more information:


The Park Service is selling out to telecom giants
Courtesy of the High Country News

By Jimmy Tobias

The National Park Service is presently pursuing a massive expansion of cellular and broadband facilities at Grand Teton National Park. Working in tandem with major telecom companies like AT&T and its agents, the agency is planning to permit the installation of more than 60 miles of fiber-optic cable, as well as at least nine new cell tower sites scattered throughout the park. The plan, which is awaiting a final permit, would blanket much of Grand Teton with new and stronger coverage. It is shaping up to be the largest single expansion of telecommunications infrastructure in national park history.

Some see these proposed cell towers and the better coverage they promise as a positive development that will assist search-and-rescue missions and improve access for an American public increasingly reliant on digital technologies. But others view the proposal as a serious threat. Jim Stanford, the river guide, is among them. He relishes the remote corners of Grand Teton where his cellphone signal fades. He likes living close to “wild land” where Facebook, Twitter and Instagram hold little sway. There’s something comforting, he says, about places that haven’t been absorbed into the ever-expanding coverage maps of Verizon, AT&T and the other telecom conglomerates that control this country’s wireless waves.

Read more:


RTC Opening Day for Trails Events - Postponed
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

Earlier this week, RTC President Ryan Chao sent out a message to our supporters, colleagues and partners announcing that all in-person April 18 Opening Day for Trails events have been postponed until further notice to prioritize public health and safety in light of the COVID-19 situation. As a national voice for the trails community and global citizens, RTC cannot encourage people to gather in groups at this time, regardless of whether or not those events are outdoors.

Thank you to everyone who has already invested time and energy into this year’s celebration. We do hope that there is an alternative opportunity to celebrate Opening Day for Trails this year, and we promise to share updates—as well as authoritative public health guidance about ways people can get outside and maintain their physical and mental health while still following best practices on protection and safety.

Read more:

News from NRPA

COVID-19 News and Resources for Park Professionals

Are you wondering how other parks are managing their facilities during the COVID pandemic? NRPA is your source.

News & Resources (free to anyone):

Conversations on many related issues (member login required):

News from NACo

COVID-19 County Response Efforts & Priorities

NACo released a comprehensive analysis of the CARES Act, including a section-by-section breakdown outlining items of significance for America's counties, parishes and boroughs. NACo also released a comprehensive slide deck on counties and COVID-19, as well as a policy brief on safer at home orders.

Read more:


Webinar: Continuity Planning and Emergency Management
Courtesy of NRPA

DATE: Wednesday, April 1
TIME: 2:00 to 3:00 pm EDT
COST: Free

Join us for a free webinar as three parks and recreation leaders discuss continuity plans as part of park and recreation agencies' emergency response to unforeseen challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. You'll learn about the importance of continuity plans, what official sources to consult for guidance, how to deal with childcare for first responders, healthcare workers and more. This free webinar is eligible for 0.1 CEU and can be applied to AFO Group B renewal.

Register here:


Webinar: Closing Streets to Create Space for Walking and Biking During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Courtesy of Rails to Trails Conservancy

DATE: Thursday, April 2
TIME: 2:00 - 3:30 PM EDT
COST: Free

Many cities already practice "open streets" and "car-free streets" on major thoroughfares as standard practice on weekends, but with the unprecedented changes we’re facing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, converting more streets to car-free zones seven days per week could profoundly change the quality of life for millions of Americans.

Tune in to hear from advocates and city leaders who have already acted to make car-free streets available in their cities in response to the global pandemic.

For more information:


Webinar: Introduction to Great Trails Workshops: What Makes a Great Trail Great?
Courtesy of American Trails and NOHVCC

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 am Pacific (1:00 - 2:00 pm Eastern) 
Price: FREE

This webinar will provide information on what makes a great trail great and will serve as an introduction to NOHVCC's Great Trails Workshops.

NOHVCC’s Great Trails Workshops focus on the design, layout, construction, maintenance, and management of sustainable OHV trails. Hands-on field training is emphasized. Participants include trail managers; trail construction and maintenance supervisors and crews; engineering staff involved in trail planning, design, maintenance and construction; trail contractors; OHV club trail volunteers; and other interested stakeholders.

Topics covered during the webinar will include information on the Great Trails Continuum, the “wow” factor, safety, riders’ needs, and more.

For more information:


Webinar: Playground Inspection & Maintenance
Courtesy of PlayCore

- Prerecorded webinar
- Run time is 1 hour 15 minutes
- Available until Wednesday, April 8, 11:59 p.m. EDT
- Registration Code: COMMUNITY

For a playground to thrive, good maintenance is essential. Learn how to maximize your agency or school’s playground maintenance efforts by properly identifying and correcting potentially hazardous conditions on the playground. This session will help you define your maintenance plan as a key to protecting your investment, managing risk, improving children’s play experiences, promoting community values, and controlling expenses. This session will also enable you to identify procedures for correcting hazardous conditions and to develop inspection protocols and procedures for a sustainable playground maintenance program.

After watching the recording in its entirety, an email with information on how to obtain CEU will be sent within 24 hours. The link to access the survey/assessment to obtain CEUs will be opened until Monday, April 13 - 11:59 p.m.

For more information:


SORP offering free access to all webinar recordings
Courtesy of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals

Looking to hone your skills while you are working at home? For limited time, you can view the SORP webinar recordings free of charge - previously only available to members.

For more information:


2020 River Management Symposium - Rescheduled
Courtesy of RMS

The River Management Society, along with our partners at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) have rescheduled the River Management Symposium scheduled May 18-21, 2021.

In the mean time we will be offering virtual events to learn, share and meet new colleagues.

For more information:


2020 National Outdoor Recreation Conference - Rescheduled
Courtesy of SORP

The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals and our partners at Tennessee State Parks are pleased to announce the rescheduled 2020 National Outdoor Recreation Conference. The 2020 NORC will now be held on September 14 – 17, 2020, in Knoxville, TN. We are committed to working with our partners, presenters, and sponsors/exhibitors to make sure the rescheduled conference is just as amazing as it would have been in April..

For more information:


2020 National Planning Conference Canceled
Courtesy of Planetizen

American Planning Association (APA) President Kurt Christiansen and APA CEO Joel Albizo announced on March 17, 2020 that the 2020 National Planning Conference scheduled for April 25-28 in Houston would be canceled, in accordance with recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information:

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