July 21, 2020

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
Member News
A Word from Our Sponsors
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 August 4, 2020.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by August 3.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

oncell logo 

Job Announcements

Got a vacancy to fill? NACPRO will post your vacancy on our website and email a copy to our mailing list of over 1100 parks and recreation professionals for a fee of $100 for NACPRO members and $200 for non-members. NACPRO membership is $90/person.

For more information:

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.

Member News

LA County Welcomes Norma Edith García as the Director of Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

CALIFORNIA – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appoints Norma Edith García as the new Director of the Department Parks and Recreation (LA County Parks) and the Los Angeles County Regional Parks and Open Space District. Norma is the first woman and first person of color to serve in this capacity since the founding of the Department in 1944.

In her role as Director, she is responsible for the Department’s operations that include a $232 million budget, more than 2,458 employees, and asset management of 183 parks, 70,079 acres of parkland, over 210 miles of trails with staging areas, 5 equestrians centers, 14 lakes – 3 of which are boating and swimming lakes, 475 sports amenities such as futsal, basketball, tennis, lawn bowling and multipurpose fields, 42 swimming pools, 15 wildlife sanctuaries, and 10 nature centers that serve as a refuge for over 200 animals, amongst them hawks, bison, alpacas, snakes, owls, tortoise, ravens, and raccoons. Norma also directs the largest municipal golf system in the nation, consisting of 20 golf courses, in addition to the world-class Arboreta and Botanic Gardens - Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles County Arboretum, Virginia Robinson Gardens and South Coast Botanical Gardens and the Hollywood Bowl and Ford Theaters. She will also lead the Department during emergencies and natural disasters, where gyms, local parks, and regional facilities become shelters for residents and livestock, providing a safety-net for communities throughout Los Angeles County.

Read more:


Good News in Parks - People, Parks, and Possibilities
Courtesy of PlayCore

Thursday, July 23 from 1:00 to 2:15 p.m. (EDT)

Parks and recreation transforms lives and builds communities. Across the nation, Parks and Recreation departments are providing essential services that ensure people have access to life-transforming activities in healthy green spaces that build community capital.

To share the great work in Parks and Recreation agencies, join PlayCore and GameTime for Good News: In Parks!, a bi-monthly, interactive Zoom show where three leading park and recreation professionals will share best practices across relevant topics that inform their work and the resulting positive impacts on community well-being.

Guest Speakers:

- Brian Albright, Director of San Diego County Parks and Recreation, CA
- Michael Klitzing, Executive Director/CEO of Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation, IN
- Pamela Gery, Director of Darien Parks and Recreation, CT

For more information:


Supervisors introduce county parks and rec ‘Tour Our Trails’ challenge
Courtesy of the Times Advocate

San Diego, CA - Wednesday, July 1, Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, Supervisor Jim Desmond and County Parks and Recreation staff unveiled the “Tour Our Trails” challenge. It is designed to encourage County residents to visit County parks and explore different trails.

The challenge was launched before the July 4th holiday weekend to encourage safe, socially distant, outdoor recreation. The 15 trails range from easy, moderate, to tough and can be accessed on foot, bike and on horseback. Snap a selfie at each landmark and track your progress in your challenge passport. There is a prize for completing each category and completing all 15 trails will earn a special limited-edition patch.

Read more:

 A Word from our Sponsors

Video available for June 4 webinar hosted by OnCell and NACPRO
Courtesy of OnCell

This webinar recording from OnCell will provides an overview of the many ways other organizations have been augmenting apps to engage visitors - before and during the COVID-19 pandemic - and tips for creating those types of experiences. Participants will also learn about ways to promote their new offerings. 

Watch the recording:

Research and Resources

The Need For Justified Disinfection
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

According to a June 2020 report released in Bloomberg Law, "businesses across the U.S. have begun intensive COVID-19 disinfection regimes [that may be] exposing workers and consumers to chemicals that are largely untested for human health."

The report says this is "alarming health and environmental safety experts," because disinfectants can be harmful to cleaning workers as well as building users. Health risks include neurological, dermatological, and reproductive problems as well as an array of respiratory ailments.

These businesses almost certainly believe they are doing the best thing for their personnel and customers. Indeed, many of the disinfectants now in use are part of the Environmental Protection Agency's List N, a list of disinfectants approved by the EPA to kill the novel coronavirus.

Although they are effective against the pathogen, however, "this doesn't mean they … are considered safe with regard to human health," says Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Other experts agree, including Steve Teasdale, co-founder and vice president of Scientific Affairs at InnuScience, a global leader in commercial cleaning systems based on biotechnology. "Systematic overuse of disinfectants is common [and] has grown worse due to the pandemic,” Teasdale says. “What we need is ‘justified disinfection’ to address this problem."

Read more:


Representation Goes A Long Way Toward Building Racial Equity
Courtesy of GP RED

As recent instances of police brutality against African-Americans have spurred large protests not only in the United States, but all over the world, people are once again asking the hard questions surrounding racism and racial inequity in the United States. Parks and Recreation agencies are not immune to racial tensions, but we do have the opportunity to help be part of bringing people together. Over the past decade, more organizations have been evaluating their systems with regard to equitable distribution of service, but is that enough?

In 2018, Harrison Pinckney IV, Corless Outley, Aisha Brown, and Daniel Theriault published a paper in Leisure Services called, “Playing While Black.” The paper explores how racial profiling, lack of representation, misunderstanding of the needs of black youth and other factors contribute to risks that these youth face while recreating. Notably, the article explores case studies of black youth who have had negative interactions with law enforcement while participating in innocuous recreational activities. It then goes on to discuss how research and engagement can help agencies better meet the needs of African-American youth in the community

GP RED Presents... also explores this topic in an upcoming video in which Lakita Watson, Debbie Woodbury, and Mickey Fearn are interviewed. As professionals in the industry, Watson, Fearn and Woodbury have experienced first-hand how recreation can unite a community and how it can help to diffuse racial tensions.

Playing While Black:

GP RED Presents:


Montgomery Planning Launches Online Pedestrian Shortcut Map to Track Informal Foot Paths
Courtesy of Montgomery County

MARYLAND – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, recently launched the online, interactive Pedestrian Shortcut Map on desktop and mobile devices to help track informal pedestrian connections in the county. This will be the first effort in Montgomery County to systematically collect these important pedestrian connections.

The map is part of the county’s first Pedestrian Master Plan aimed at making walking and rolling safer, more comfortable, convenient and accessible for pedestrians of all ages and abilities in all parts of the county. It is also an effort to understand what informal pedestrian connections – apparent in trodden grass, dirt or gravel on public or private property – exist in Montgomery County.

Read more:


COVID-19 Play & Recreation Resources
Courtesy of PlayCore

Everyone at PlayCore understands how hard you are working to respond to rapidly changing conditions due to COVID-19. We’re here to help by actively working to assemble and share timely and relevant information and resources to help you.

For more information:


Additional Funding Opportunities for Parks and Recreation Agencies
Courtesy of GP RED

Funding issues are affecting nearly every community in the country due to the impact of Covid-19. Now, with new challenges related to social unrest, cities are dealing with fire and police overtime, which is further cutting into other department budgets, i.e. parks and recreation. Given these economic realities, governments will need to be especially strategic with their budget planning and examine every potential funding opportunity, along with potential cuts, resource allocations and creative ideas to maximize budgets now, and into the future.

In a recent GreenPlay-hosted roundtable forum, some industry professionals, consultants, and leaders from large and small agencies discussed various potential funding sources. Three federal funding sources were identified: the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), which is a law intended to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19; FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Act) which many local agencies are familiar with; and JAG, the Justice Assistance Grant, which police agencies tap into a lot.

Read more:


Create A Hub In Parks
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Axel Bishop

After several decades of city zoning and park design that encouraged focused-use athletic complexes, we are moving back to an earlier concept of park design for multiple activities. 

What’s new about park planning is the idea of linking all these areas to a central gathering space.

In this concept, playgrounds, sports fields, waterparks, nature areas, trails, and other activity areas are all next to each other and radiate from this social hub, something like a village commons. The hub can be placed so people can see most or all of the activity areas.

Read more:


Parks and Recreation, Combined or Separate Departments?
Courtesy of GP RED

By Chris Dropinski, CPRE

Are Parks and Recreation better off as one combined department, or with Parks under Public Works and Recreation under some sort of community services or economic development department? What are the pros and cons? With the financial impact being felt by many agencies, this is going to be, once again, a very common question over the coming months.

Read more:


Dog Park Maintenance
Courtesy of PlayCore

With the growing popularity of dog parks, maintenance is an ongoing responsibility affecting most parks and municipalities. Even hotels, airports, and other commerce centers are adding dog parks to offer convenience and differentiation to their customers.

When it comes to dog park maintenance, there are a variety of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Community support and participation are critical in the overall success of a dog park, as is the selection of the initial location. Ensuring that the lines of communication are open between the municipality or organization operating the dog park, and the community using it are critical to ensure ongoing success and timely maintenance.

Prior to opening, design parameters are important, as are establishing rules and incorporating attractive and visible “Dog Park Rule signs” to encourage users in following basic SPCA recommendation for a Dog Park - for more information on design and rule setting, request the guidebook Unleashed. It’s also imperative that the dog park owner plans and budgets for ongoing maintenance. 

Read more:


COVID-19 Legislative State and Federal Reports
Courtesy of PolicyEngage

The reports below include all state and federal bills and resolutions referencing COVID-19, coronavirus, or pandemic, as of July 20, 2020.

COVID-19 Cumulative In Session State Legislative Report

Cumulative Federal Legislative Report

COVID-19 Major Enacted State and Federal Legislative Action Center

In the News

Take Action Today to Secure Full LWCF Funding
Courtesy of NRPA

Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will take a historic step to ensure vital funding for outdoor recreation projects in local communities throughout the country. We need your help to ensure passage of full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) when the House takes up the Great American Outdoors Act for consideration tomorrow.

Full and dedicated funding for LWCF has been a top legislative priority for NRPA since its inception. The passage of this critical legislation would ensure $900 million a year for outdoor recreation. Of great importance to us is the fact that this will result in a large increase in the state assistance fund, which is responsible for the establishment, improvement, and development of local parks across the country. This will not only provide much-needed access to outdoor recreation in our communities, it will create local jobs at a time when they are desperately needed.

The last few months have been difficult for many of us, but this is a bit of good news that I am excited to share with you. However, we still need your voice to ensure the passage of this important legislation. I urge you to contact your House of Representatives member and ask them to vote YES on HR 7092 the Great American Outdoors Act.


How to Re-Design The World For Coronavirus and Beyond
Courtesy of

In the months since the coronavirus engulfed the world, it’s become clear that society won’t go back to normal any time soon, if ever.

Yes, states are reopening their economies, but some are seeing serious spikes and shutting back down. And even the “reopened” world looks very different. Restaurants are half-filled; many movie theaters and stadiums remain empty; vacations have turned local. Huge question marks hang over the summer’s presidential conventions and the school year this coming fall. Without a vaccine, and with the virus still spreading around the world, we can’t expect society to resume its former shape anytime soon.

That’s a deeply alarming thought. But a crisis of this scale also offers a massive opportunity and a powerful incentive to make some needed changes. The pandemic has exposed serious weak spots in our existing systems and norms. So, how can we rethink the way we live to make ourselves safer, healthier and even happier, now and in the future?

POLITICO Magazine surveyed designers, architects, doctors, psychologists, logisticians and more, asking them what they would do to redesign the world for the Covid-19 era and beyond.

Read more:


House Committee Considering Bills To Remove Confederate Statues From National Park System
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

Two measures calling for removal of statues on federal properties, including the National Park System, that memorialize the Confederacy are scheduled to be discussed Tuesday by the House of Representatives' subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. A third measure asks for an inventory of "Confederate commemorative works" on federal lands.

Read more:


The Fittest U.S. Cities
Courtesy of USA Today

By Jayne O'Donnell

The annual ranking of the fittest U.S. cities, out Tuesday, tracks with some of the cities that weathered COVID-19 better – but the reverse is also often true.

The ranking underscores how cities can help or hinder residents' opportunities to be physically active, lose weight and avoid chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, which increase the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 death rate for Arlington, Virginia, the nation's fittest city for the third year in a row, is 56 per 100,000 population. Like most of the other Washington suburbs, Arlington had more cases per capita than more rural parts of the state. Indiana's Marion County, which includes 94th-ranked Indianapolis, has the highest number of cases and deaths in the state.

Read more:


Meet the Minneapolis Parks and Open Space Commissioner Using the Outdoors to Fight for Racial Justice
Courtesy of Men's Journal

By James Hancock

Anthony Taylor didn’t start working for justice last month, when Minneapolis exploded in response to the murder of George Floyd. Sure, he, his wife, his 15-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter were fixtures at protests throughout the following weeks, but the business consultant, youth educator-activist, and Parks and Open Space Commissioner for the Twin Cities’ Metropolitan Council has pursued justice for years in a less expected context: the great outdoors.

In Minneapolis, Taylor advocates and develops programming that delivers the city’s world-class outdoor opportunities to underserved youth. He is the co-founder of Cool Meets Cause, an outreach program that teaches girls from North Minneapolis to snowboard in one of the country’s largest urban parks, Theodore Wirth. The park’s trails and programs are managed by the Loppet Foundation, where Taylor served as the Adventure Director.

Taylor has experienced first-hand the power of outdoor sports as a tool for youth development; he’s also experienced first-hand the institutional racism that is found in outdoor communities as much as anywhere else in the U.S. He has a clear-eyed view of how segregation designed to “control Black bodies in public spaces” persists in a legacy of disparity between who has access to the outdoors, and who may reap its benefits free from the fear that pervades much of the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) experience in our country today.

Read more:


Walk/Bike/Places 2020 - Check out the Program

August 3 - 7, 2020

The premier conference in North America for walking, bicycling, and placemaking professionals from the public and private sectors.

There's an abundance of content in this year’s program. We’re talking about 80 hours of content covering over 40 live breakout sessions, partner/sponsor-led sessions, virtual mobile workshops from Indianapolis, Virtual Activities/Happy Hours, our general session, and a conference app so that you can connect with other attendees and speakers before, during and after the event. If you need CM credits, this is also a great way to obtain your hours at a low cost.

We might not physically be in Indianapolis, but are so grateful that we're able to bring a program to you this year. Long standing issues around public health and racial inequality have been laid bare over the past few months. The last thing we wanted to do was cancel this event during a time when we need to take critical look at our work and our field. These conversations cannot wait until later. We hope to provide a platform that allows participants to get together, and dig deeper.

For more information:


Webinar: Trail Analytics and Data Storytelling
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

DATE: August 6, 2020
TIME: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
COST: Free
HOST: American Trails

Data science tools allow an exploration of trail connectivity, demand, comfort, health, and safety needs. This webinar will share a spectrum of data analysis and scenario planning tools that can be used to help plan and design new or existing trails. We will share examples from three California trail corridors at three scales: Los Angeles River Path, an 8-mile gap closure, the Iron Horse Trial, a 22-mile regional trail, and the Great Redwood Trail, a 300-mile former rail corridor. We will present the data analysis methods used to evaluate future user demand, assess how much space is required to accommodate various levels of use by people walking, biking, using e-bikes or other electric vehicles and understand network access priorities. These tools are very effective in considering not just existing travel characteristics, but also how changes in mobility options, such as e-bikes or shared autonomous vehicles could change the use of the corridor.

For more information:


ASBPA 2020 National Coastal Conference - Now Online
Courtesy of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association

October 13-16, 2020

The National Conference, “2020 Vision for Our Coasts: Navigating Stormy Times,” will reflect how beach and coastal communities are dealing with the unique challenges presented this year by the coronavirus pandemic, but will also look at how coastlines and communities can be resilient to current and future physical and economic challenges.

Topics covered at the conference will include coastal and beach science, engineering, processes, policy and management. This year, we will also include how beach communities, beach managers and tourism officials are dealing with COVID-19, and any lessons learned from managing a beach in a pandemic.

For more information:


2021 Trails and Outdoor Recreation Summit
Courtesy of American Trails

With COVID-19 still being very much on the forefront in so many countries, including the United States, we have decided to push back the 2021 Trails and Outdoor Recreation Summit (TORS) from May 2021 to September 2021.

The new 2021 TORS dates will be September 13-17, 2021 in Reno, Nevada.

The last several months have been challenging for us all. This unprecedented pandemic has required many drastic changes to all of our lives and continued uncertainty leading into 2021. With the current staff layoffs and increased possibility for travel restrictions and budget shortfalls in State and local agencies, co-hosts American Trails and the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals have collectively decided that this adjustment and additional time would be in the best interest of everyone. We want to make the 2021 TORS the best experience possible for all attendees, presenters, sponsors, and exhibitors, so this tough yet crucial decision was made to do just that.

Sponsorship opportunities as well as the Call for Presentations will be available in the coming months.

For more information:

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