September 15, 2020

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
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 September 29, 2020.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by September 28.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

Park Program Coordinator - Martial Cottle Park
Santa Clara County Parks
Los Gatos, California
Salary: $84,406 - $102,150 Annually
Closing date: Oct 12, 2020

Division Manager (Recreation/Chief Financial Officer)
City of Cincinnati, Recreation Commission
Cincinnati, Ohio
Salary: $87,127 - $120,914 Annually
Closing date: Sep 21, 2020

Recreation Director
Upson County
Thomaston, Georgia
Salary: $60,000 - $70,000 Annually
Closing date: Sep 22, 2020

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

PBC Parks Assistant Director Installed as FRPA President
Courtesy of Palm Beach County

FLORIDA - Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Assistant Director, Jennifer Cirillo, was installed as President of the Florida Recreation and Park Association on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 during FRPA’s Annual Conference at the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate.

Passionate about community building and service through leadership, Jennifer has been in public service for more than sixteen years and previously held leadership posts in both the non-profit and private industry sectors She has served on the Florida Recreation and Park Association Board of Directors for four years.

Read more:


PBC Parks Director Awarded FRPA Distinguished Service Award
Courtesy of Palm Beach County

FLORIDA - Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Director, Eric Call, was awarded the Florida Recreation and Park Association Distinguished Service Award on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 during FRPA’s Annual Conference at the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate.

The FRPA Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have provided special or unusual service to the Association; or have made significant contributions to advancing the parks and recreation profession. This award is intended to recognize those that have consistently and without hesitation engaged in the work of the Association.

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Parks After Dark in Motion: Meeting Community Needs in the Midst of a Pandemic
Courtesy of NRPA

By Clement Lau, AICP, DPPD

With the pandemic and associated public health orders limiting in-person gatherings, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is unable to offer its highly popular, award-winning Parks After Dark (PAD) program this year as it had done since 2010. However, recognizing the needs and desires of community members to be physically active and recreate outdoors, DPR has initiated the PAD in Motion program, through which it closes off park-adjacent streets for residents to safely walk and ride. Specifically, this initiative provides community members — especially families with children — opportunities to walk and ride their bikes, scooters and skateboards along a designated route around and within their local park.

COVID-19 has impacted all park and recreation agencies and each one of us. We need to be flexible, creative and proactive in order to continue serving our communities effectively. PAD in Motion is an example of how a highly successful existing program can be modified during a pandemic to still meet the recreational needs of residents and achieve various community benefits.

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Equity Amidst A Pandemic
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

TENNESSEE - The pandemic created an unprecedented impetus for change across the world, and much of that change was felt at the local level, reaching into the lives of every individual.

Fortunately, numerous municipalities have stepped up and adapted to a chaotic new normal. The folks at Nashville’s Parks and Recreation Department have worked hard in recent months, to keep people safe and to not waste a crisis.

Read more:


The silver lining in budget cuts
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Jeffrey A. Biggs

NEW JERSEY - Because the Morris County Park Commission in Morristown, N.J., has been forced to do more with less, the engineering department continues to look to the sun to help the operating budget and avoid cutting services.

The commission identified the Mennen Sports Arena as its highest energy-user in the park system. The facility consists of three ice-skating rinks. Rink 1 was completed in 1974, Rink 2 in 1985 and Rink 3 in 2002.

The total energy bill in 2003, with all three rinks operating, was about $500,000. In 2009, the total annual energy bill was approximately $810,000 (the increase mostly due to rate increases, not consumption), it was obvious more needed to be done to curb escalating costs.

The commission worked diligently with the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders to reduce energy consumption and the cost to buy energy.

Read more:


Great Parks installs first-ever 'floating wetlands' at Parky's Farm in Winton Woods
Courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer

By Jeanne Houck

OHIO - Great Parks of Hamilton County has installed its first-ever “floating wetlands” in a pond at Parky’s Farm in Winton Woods.

Five perforated mats measuring 8 feet by 16 feet and holding aquatic plants are in a 1.25-acre body of water at the park in Greenhills, Great Parks said in a press release.

Read more:

Research and Resources

An International Physical Activity and Public Health Research Agenda to Inform COVID-19 Policies and Practices
Courtesy of GP RED

What if there was a single therapy available with strong evidence that it:

1. Boosts immune function and reduces inflammation (the most important physiological mechanisms determining the severity of COVID-19 infections);
2. Prevents and treats most of the chronic diseases that increase risk of severe COVID-19 infections; and
3. Can reduce anxiety and depression produced by the health, economic, and social isolation stress of the pandemic?

Every health care professional would demand urgent production of that agent to be prescribed to every patient infected with the coronavirus, and the world would demand that agent be given prophylactically to everyone.

The surprising reality is that there is an evidence-based therapy, and it is available for free.

Read more:


Leave No Trace COVID-19 Research
Courtesy of Leave No Trace

On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The 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 worked quickly with its research partner, Pennsylvania State University, to offer guidance to land managers, recreation providers, and outdoor enthusiasts across the country.

For more information:


Engagement with Parks Report
Courtesy of NRPA

In 2016, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) launched an annual survey that investigates how people engage with their local park and recreation agencies. Each year, the study examines the importance of public parks in people’s lives, highlighting the essential nature of park and recreation agencies as a local government service.

The 2020 Engagement with Parks Report continues to demonstrate the essential value of local parks and recreation. It provides a unique look at the field during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and showcases the vital role that agencies and professionals serve in their communities.

For more information:


Adding Bicycling Amenities to Increase Usage
Courtesy of PlayCore

If you’ve been outside enjoying the great outdoors as part of physical distancing, you may have noticed more people riding bicycles. It’s not your imagination, since the pandemic has taken hold, bike sales are skyrocketing. According to Bicycle Retailer, U.S. cycling sales alone through all retail channels grew 75% in April to a total of about $1 billion in retail sales for the month. Typically, April sales fall between $550 and $575 million. Making sure riders have appropriate supporting infrastructure is more important than ever.

It’s no surprise that the cities with the highest share of people bicycling have made significant and thoughtful investments in bicycle infrastructure and amenities. Cities like Copenhagen (Denmark), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Strasbourg (France), Seville (Spain), and Berlin (Germany), have some of the highest bicycle mode shares in the world, but have not always been that way. Many of these cities experienced a decline in people bicycling during their own “car invasion” in the 50’s and 60’s. Their city administrations have dedicated transportation funding to create a minimum grid of safe, connected, and physically separated cycle routes designed for people of all ages and abilities.

Read more:


Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy introduces backpacking lending program
Courtesy of

By Jordan Snowden

PENNSYLVANIA - With more and more people utilizing parks this year, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has been coming up with ways for visitors to enhance their outdoor experience as part of its Parks on the Go initiative, designed to help people enjoy city parks during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest addition to that initiative is the launch of a weekend backpack lending program.

For a $10 fee, visitors to Pittsburgh parks can choose from four themed backpacks that each provide a unique set of materials and resources to help visitors experience and learn about the local park habitats in different ways.

Read more:


Embracing Young Professionals with Chris Nunes
Courtesy of Let's Talk Parks

Season 2, Episode 16

In this episode, Chris Nunes talks with Anthony about how to break down barriers between new and older professionals and some of the obstacles that are often faced when doing so. The conversation also covers the many benefits of intergenerational workplaces - and the various outcomes of each stage in your career.

Listen here:

In the News

RENEW Conservation Corps Act
Courtesy of Ecological Society of America

Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Restore Employment in Natural and Environmental Work (RENEW) Conservation Corps Act (S. 4538), which would create a new Civilian Conservation Corps and authorize over $55 billion over five years to employ young Americans to do conservation work. This bill follows legislation from Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) (H.R. 7264 and S. 3684) introduced in early summer that would, similarly, create a $9 billion fund for qualified land and conservation corps to provide job training and help to restore public lands and watersheds.

Read more:


The History of Public Bathrooms
Courtesy of 99% Invisible

Before widespread indoor plumbing, public restrooms didn’t really exist. Instead, people used the privy, which was basically just a hole in the ground, sometimes with little outhouse style building. By and large, privies were not segregated by sex. Nor were they segregated by class. Terry Kogan, a professor of Law at the University of Utah and one of the country’s leading experts on the history of sex-segregated bathrooms, says that it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that bathrooms moved indoors.

“Beginning in the late 1840s and 1850s, cities began developing municipal works, waterworks and sewerage systems that actually could accommodate indoor water closets. So once that came about, the outdoor privy was replaced by indoor water closets,” says Kogan.

At first, it was only the very wealthy who could afford this latest in plumbing technology. Having a bathroom inside your house was a luxury. But gradually indoor water closets became more widespread. And as they moved into the public realm, they entered a world that was at the time shaped by a very popular idea called the “separate spheres ideology.” The idea that women belonged in the home and that men belonged in public spaces. There was an idea that allowing women into the public sphere was to be risky because, given their “weakness,” they could become contaminated by the vile influence of men.

Read more:


Milwaukee Latest City to Put an Equity Lens on its Parks
Courtesy of Next City

By Zoe Sullivan

WISCONSIN - Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley grew up on the north side of Milwaukee, a city a recent study described as “the archetype of modern-day metropolitan racial apartheid and inequality.” At least three times as a child, Crowley says, his family was evicted, upending the stability needed to concentrate in school and maintain social networks. In April, Crowley became the first African-American to win the county executive’s office. When he took office, asked each department to review its budget and hiring practices from a racial equity perspective. The parks department had already started.

“At Parks, we realized that if we just did it the way we had done it, we were just reinforcing the decisions made before,” said Jeremy Lucas, director of administration and planning for Milwaukee County Parks.

Lucas credits some of the parks department’s recognition of institutional racism to a 20-hour course that county employees took with the YWCA of Milwaukee on racism and implicit bias. The course helped him recognize, for example, the parks system’s “very significant amount of deferred maintenance” can’t just be handled “on the basis of oldest,” Lucas says. Allocating money to facilities based on their age would simply reinforce existing biases, he explains.

Read more:


Can Planting Trees Make a City More Equitable?
Courtesy of CityLab

By Patrick Sisson

As the U.S. grapples with natural disasters and racial injustice, one coalition of U.S. cities, companies and nonprofits sees a way to make an impact on both fronts: trees.

Specifically, they committed to planting and restoring 855 million of them by 2030 as part of the Trillion Trees Initiative, a global push to encourage reforestation to capture carbon and slow the effects of global heating. It’s the first nationwide pledge to the program, and additionally noteworthy because the U.S. group — which includes Microsoft Corp. and Mastercard Inc. — will focus on urban plantings as means of improving air quality in communities that have been disproportionately affected by pollution and climate change.

Read more:


Webinar: Managing High-Use Trails
Courtesy of American Trails

DATE: October 1, 2020
TIME: 1:00 to 2:00 PM Eastern Time
COST: Free

Overuse and misuse of the most popular outdoor destinations are threatening the ecological integrity of these special places. In the greater New York metropolitan region, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is taking a leadership role in coordinating stewardship efforts to keep up with growing threats. There is no one answer to solving this issue; it is our belief that we can create better outdoor experiences through user education, public participation, and sustainable, on-the-ground solutions. The Trail Conference has joined with land managers and local partners to begin a multi-phased stewardship approach on the Appalachian Trail, at Breakneck Ridge, and in the Catskills. Learn how trail steward and trailbuilding programs have worked to make the public better informed, more responsible trails users while protecting the resource. Because when trails are used responsibly, they protect both the people who use them and the environment that surrounds them. 

For more information:


Webinar: Collecting and Applying Trail Count Data
Courtesy of American Trails

DATE: October 22, 2020
TIME: 1:00 to 2:30 PM Eastern Time
COST: Free 

Trail count data is an essential tool to capture usage trends, justify spending and communicate with local stakeholders. For many organizations, understanding when trails are used, and how that growth is developing over time, is essential for justifying the existence of trials. But what are the best practices for collecting trail count data? Where should counters be placed, or when should counting occur? How can trail count data be communicated with local leaders, peer organizations and the public?

During this data session, learn from industry experts, advocates, and practitioners about how to collect and apply trail count data, and how to leverage that data in order to achieve meaningful, tangible changes in your community. 

For more information: 

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