May 12, 2020

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 May 26, 2020.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by May 25.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

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

For more information:

2020 NACPRO Awards Program

Email notifications regarding the disposition of your award nominations were sent on May 5. Contact [email protected] if you did not receive an email.

Best Practices Forum

COVID-19 and Summer Camps

Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission (South Carolina) is seeking information from other park districts on their contingency planning for this year’s summer camps. What new practices are you implementing to protect campers and staff? We would like to hear how you are approaching the issue.

Steve Hutton, MA, CPRP
Director of Recreation
Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission 
(843) 762-8031
[email protected]

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

Cleveland Metroparks Cancels Live Concert Series, Summer Camps 
Courtesy of Cleveland Metroparks

OHIO - Cleveland Metroparks recently announced the cancellation of many of the Park District’s summer staples including the Edgewater LIVE and Euclid Beach LIVE concert series, summer camps and transportation on the eLCee2 Water Taxi due to mandatory safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, Cleveland Metroparks announced that approximately 650 employees have been affected by full or partial furloughs, salary reductions and layoffs due to the financial and operational impacts of COVID-19. Impacts include the cancellations of programs and events as well as the continued closure of educational facilities, rental facilities, restaurants including Merwin’s Wharf, Nature Shops and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Furloughed employees will continue to receive health benefits.

The cost-saving measures are in addition to many steps Cleveland Metroparks had taken in March to reduce operating expenses including suspending travel, deferring most non-grant related capital spending and implementing a temporary organization-wide hiring freeze, affecting seasonal employment for the 2020 season.

Read more:


The Power of Partnerships
Courtesy of

By Mercedes Santoro and Clement Lau

While the field of parks and recreation is often associated with fun and games, it should also be known for how it advances education in environmental stewardship and sustainability for children. Many local agencies, including the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), offer creative out-of-school time (OST) programs focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) or Environment, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (ESTEAM).

So how does a parks and recreation agency get involved in STEM or ESTEAM education and activities? Let’s take a look at DPR, for example. In 2016, DPR initiated an effort to update its mission, vision, and values as part of its Business and Operations Plan. The renewed mission includes a focus on serving as environmental stewards, building healthy and resilient communities, and advancing social equity and cohesion. DPR decided to realign recreation programming to support its strategic purpose with a goal towards partnering with others that share similar missions. Specifically, DPR’s school-age summer camp was reimagined to feature an outdoor science focus in partnership with the Natural History Museum (NHM) of Los Angeles County. The pilot camp program began in 2017, serving 350 school-age children at eight sites.

The program has since expanded in terms of partners, sites, and participants. In summer 2019, DPR partnered with NHM as well as the Departments of Beaches and Harbors, and Public Works to offer six-week ESTEAM camps at 17 county parks, serving over 900 children.

Read more:

Research and Resources

Sports United Against COVID-19

Last week NACPRO sent you a message from Triple Crown Sports with resources to help restart team sports this summer. This message included a survey to help understand current status across the US.

Video on Survey Findings:

Safety Protocol Resources:


Resources from the CDC
Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As public aquatic venues open in some areas, CDC has released COVID-19 Considerations for public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds.

These considerations were developed for the safety of those who operate, manage, and use public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds, and include:

- Promoting behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Maintaining healthy environments
- Maintaining healthy operations
- Preparing for when someone gets sick

Please remember that all decisions about implementing these considerations should be made locally, in collaboration with local health officials.

CDC also has other helpful guidance for keeping yourself safe from COVID-19:

Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19 When Visiting Parks and Recreational Facilities:

Information for Administrators in Parks and Recreational Facilities:


Phased Reopening Planning
Courtesy of NRPA

As park and recreation professionals work towards a path to recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is essential to take a thoughtful and methodical approach to reinstating operations that protects public health and safety. This section of the Path to Recovery Framework includes guidance on implementing a phased approach of reopening.

Based on public health guidance at the federal level, along with an analysis of phased reopening plans from state, local governments, and local park and recreation agencies, NRPA has developed this phased reopening guidance to help park and recreation professionals outline and implement phased reopening plans. In this document you will find:

1. Transition criteria between phases — and outline of key metrics that should be met prior to transitioning into the subsequent phase.

2. Key considerations in all phases — the need to assess staff capacity, budget, availability of supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), prioritization of resources to support vulnerable community members, communications and other key factors.

3. Sample phased reopening plan — a sample plan for reopening that outlines in each phase the spaces, facilities and programs that could reopen along with allowable activities, additional mitigation strategies, and protective measures for the public.

Read more:


Golf Industry Develops Responsible Back2Golf Guidelines
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

St. Augustine, Fla.—As part of an industry-wide collaboration to lead the responsible return of golf in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the game’s allied organizations have established “Back2Golf,” a plan outlining operational guidelines for golf’s 16,000-plus facilities that adhere to nationally established protocols and best practices.

After review from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), golf leaders and medical experts, the game’s national organizations have adopted a three-phase approach for golf’s careful reopening, focused on prolonged social distancing and enhanced sanitization practices. Using measures set by the CDC and The White House “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again” plan, the recommendations will progress at various paces depending on geographic location.

Read more:


Preparing for wildfires during a pandemic
Courtesy of Headwaters Economics

By Kimiko Barrett, Ph.D.

During the coming months many communities will be faced with the unprecedented challenge of managing wildfires and other disasters during a pandemic.

While local governments, the healthcare sector, and first responders race to address the urgency of the coronavirus, individual homeowners practicing stay-at-home measures can take immediate steps to reduce wildfire risks to their home and property.

The wildfire season, coupled with the COVID-19 crisis, will test the capacity and resolve of our country’s disaster management services, healthcare sector, and firefighting forces. Complying with pandemic containment measures requires the reevaluation of the entire incident management system, from the social-distancing of firefighters to evacuation and relief protocols for displaced homeowners.

Read more: 


Another Name for a Skatepark
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Vicky Blethen

Have you ever thought of your city skatepark as more than just a place for “those kids” to hang out? In the 16 years since the Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest opened in California, Community Services staff members began to think of the facility an “outdoor community center.” The result has been nothing short of spectacular, opening up a whole new world of skateboard-related programs.

The facility was born out of a public/private partnership among the city, Sole Technology, Inc., and Bank of America. Bank of America donated the land for the park’s location. Sole Technology, Inc.—the parent company of skate shoe brands Etnies and EAmerica—was a financial contributor. The company’s team of pro riders was a key factor in the park’s design, with the city supplying the majority of the budget for the park’s construction. In 2003, the skatepark opened to wide acclaim in the skating world as well as the parks and recreation world. Named as one of the top 10 parks to ride before you die by Thrasher Magazine, pros from around the world have skated the park, including Tony Hawk, Ryan Scheckler, Paul Rodriquez, and legends Christian Hosoi, Tony Alva, and Lance Mountain, to name a few.

Read more: 


Homelessness & Public Space during COVID-19: Seven Takeaways
Courtesy of the Project for Public Spaces

By Nate Storring

James Brasuell of Planetizen has described homelessness as “the crisis within the crisis” of the COVID-19 outbreak. As with many other vulnerable communities, the pandemic has both drawn attention to and worsened many of the existing challenges that face people living on the street.

Not only is this community at a higher risk of both contracting and dying from the coronavirus, but their entire support system that allows them to meet their daily needs has been pulled out from under them.

To shine a light on what public space managers can do to help, earlier this month, Elena Madison, Director of Programs & Projects at Project for Public Spaces, hosted a two-part webinar series titled When “Stay at Home” Isn’t an Option: Public Spaces and Homelessness During COVID-19. The webinars featured a range of experts in a conversation about the challenges facing people without housing right now, and the role of public space in addressing them.

Read more:


Guilty or Not Guilty? Know the laws pertaining to coaches in your state.
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Jason V. Henderson

Most injury cases in tort law are based upon negligence. To bring a claim of negligence, a plaintiff must prove four elements to be successful. Failure to show any one of these and the plaintiff is not entitled to recover from the defendant:

- Duty. Did the defendant (coach) have a duty to act in a certain way towards the plaintiff?

- Breach. Did the defendant fail to act or meet responsibilities?

- Causation. Did this failure to act or meet responsibilities, both a) cause an actual harm to the plaintiff, and b) is the harm of the type and degree that it is fair to hold the defendant responsible for that harm?

- Damage. Did the plaintiff suffer a harm that can be expressed in monetary terms?

Read more:


GP RED Presents - YouTube Channel
Courtesy of GP RED

GP RED is proud to announce the launch of our new YouTube channel: GP RED Presents… on Tuesday, May 5th. We are excited for this opportunity to share knowledge and to connect research into action for recreation, health, land management, and related professionals to help communities thrive.

We created this video channel to connect parks and recreation and related quality of life professionals, educators, and students to information that you need. Our carefully curated and timely content gives you access to experts in a variety of topics ranging from helping your community deal with COVID-19, planning, leadership, creative programming, financial aspects, ideas for marketing your facilities and other related topics.

For more information:


In the News

Outdoor Industry Urges Congressional Action to Support Outdoor Recreation Economy
Courtesy of the ORR

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 6, 2020 – Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) released a letter today signed by 29 national outdoor recreation trade associations, supporting over 100,000 businesses, urging Congress to pass the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). This legislation would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the nation’s public lands maintenance backlog in order to support rural communities and rescue the outdoor recreation industry, made up of 90% small businesses, during this unprecedented downturn.

Read more:


Lockdown exceptions drive demand for county parks
Courtesy of NACo

By Charlie Ban

Most COVID-19 safer-at-home orders allow for exceptions to let people exercise outdoors, and while county parks and recreation departments have been forced to close playgrounds, their open spaces are becoming even more valuable.

“As the weather gets warmer, and they’ve been cooped up longer, the need to get out just increases,” said Mike Riley, director of Montgomery County Parks in Maryland. “About a month ago, we started getting some concerns about social distancing on the trails.”

The county’s extensive pedestrian trail system was getting clogged as more and more people took advantage of the exercise exception. Despite the county’s social media push to publicize the system’s lesser-known trails, its main arteries, including one trail that leads right into Washington, D.C., were mobbed.

Jefferson County, Colo. is striking that balance. After hitting what the Department of Open Space believes to have been an all-time high in visitorship, the department had to close some of its parks recently to additional visitors by the afternoon. Parking lots were full, people were circling looking for a place to park and, as Community Connections Coordinator Matt Robbins put it, being creative with parking.

Maricopa County, Ariz. has had to institute a “one-in, one-out” policy for its parking lots to regulate park use.

Read more:


The case for reopening America’s parks
Courtesy of Vox

By Matthew Yglesias

The well-known examples of large-scale coronavirus spread have involved big groups of people being cooped up in confined indoor spaces — whether that’s cruise ships, nursing homes, prisons, or Singaporean migrant worker housing. The other major known vector of transmission relates to prolonged direct contact with sick people. Lots of health care workers get infected because they are taking care of Covid-19 patients. Lots of households see one family member get sick and then the infection spreads to the rest of the house.

Picking up germs from a chance encounter with a stranger outdoors is theoretically possible, but infectious disease experts consider it unlikely.

“I would not worry about walking by someone,” Johns Hopkins infectious disease researcher Amesh Adalja told Slate’s Henry Grabar.

A team of three medical doctors and biologists from Harvard wrote in the Washington Post that “outdoors, the virus quickly disperses in the air,” so the risk of becoming infected by someone running or walking past you is likely very low.

Read more:


Need More Outdoor Public Space? Maybe Cities Already Have It.
Courtesy of CityLab

By John Surico

Late last week, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, teased out impending initiatives to prepare the British capital for “phase two” of the Covid-19 pandemic. City Hall and Transport for London (TfL), he said, expect a ten-fold increase in cycling and a five-fold increase in walking over the next few months, as travel patterns remain resolutely local. That means the shape of the city will need to change.

Around the world, cities are scrambling for more space to accommodate an indefinite period of face masks and social distancing: Bern and Vilnius are converging downtowns into open-air cafe; Milan is casting the reallocation of street space as a long-term growth strategy; and a host of cities, from Paris to Oakland, are going big on pop-up bike and pedestrian infrastructure in streets and parks.

But where else can cities find open space relatively fast and cheap to help keep residents a few feet apart? There are a few other options at hand.

Read more:


Will Coronavirus Spur Changes to How We Visit National Parks?
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

By Kurt Repanshek

Leading up to the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service back in 2016, there was much discussion about the future of the parks. Perhaps the hallmark was the Second Century Commission's report, prepared following a year of listening sessions, professional input, and discussion. Within its outline for strengthening the Park Service and the national parks in the 21st century were recommendations for better conservation of park resources, both natural and cultural. A decade later, the Park Service remains strapped for funds, overworked, and struggling in some places to manage crowds that impact natural resources and stress staff.

Now, with many parks starting to emerge from weeks of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, is the time right for taking a longer look at what the "national park experience" should be? That might be presumptuous, in that different people, cultures, and ethnicities surely approach that experience differently. Yet many onlookers would agree that the overall "park experience" has been impacted by overcrowding and visitors who, in some eyes, don't see national parks with the proper reverence.

Read more:

News from NRPA

NRPA Announces New Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy

Ashburn, Va. (May 5, 2020) — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the nation’s leading advocate for parks and recreation, is proud to announce the selection of Elvis S. Cordova as the organization’s new Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy. Cordova most recently served as the president and founder of Statecraft Strategies, a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

Read more:


Identify the Best Practices to Optimally Serve Your Community

The 2020 NRPA Agency Performance Review, which gives park and recreation professionals the data you need to be industry leaders and best serve your community, is available now. This report, with its accompanying interactive and customizable online reporting tools, is the most comprehensive resource of park and recreation data and insights in the United States, and gives you the ability to compare your agency with others and identify best practices. The NRPA Agency Performance Review not only provides benchmarks, but also shows the breadth and depth of activities and roles that local park and recreation agencies are performing. View the report.

Read more:


NICP Announces Online CPTED Training
Courtesy of the National Institute of Crime Prevention

The NICP is excited to announce the launch of our online Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) training. We created an online educational platform to convert our hands-on in-person training into equally valuable online courses. The online courses maintain the same curriculum requirements as our in-person training including class projects, field assessment, and graded exams. Once the Basic and Advanced Courses are completed successfully, you will earn the NICP CPTED Professional Designation (CPD) which is the standard for all CPTED Professionals. The Basic CPTED course is now available, and the Advanced CPTED course will launch May 15, 2020.

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 2-3pm 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 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: The Economic Impact of Parks — What About Tomorrow?
Courtesy of NRPA

DATE: Thursday, May 14, 2020
TIME: 2:00 pm EDT
COST: Free for Premier Members, $35 for all other members and $50 for non-members.

Now more than ever, it is critical to understand how the work of park and recreation professionals and their agencies drive business activity in every city, town and county in the United States. Join us for a webinar to see the latest estimate of the economic impact of park and recreation spending. In addition, the researchers will provide an early analysis of the pandemic-driven recession's impact on park and recreation budgets and how to use this information to make the case for budget stability.

For more information:


Webinar: Creating Culture Change through Outdoor Recreation
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

DATE: May 27, 2020
TIME: 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm ET
COST: Free
HOST: American Trails

See how a park district committed itself to reinventing its facilities, programs, and events to serve 21st century audiences while at the same time helping to change the image and culture of what had been considered a "dying" rust belt community.

Dayton, Ohio is The Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest!

This region is now proud of its active, healthy, lifestyle culture and is home to the nation's largest paved trail network, whitewater features, Ohio's only national water trail, a national scenic trail, adventure cycling routes, award winning mountain biking and backpacking facilities, and much more. Outside Magazine called Dayton "The best rebirth of the American Dream" in its 2017 Best Towns edition.

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.

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

Playground Inspection & Maintenance
Prerecorded webinar available from Monday, May 25, 2020, 8:00 am to Friday, May 29, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT

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

Register here:

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