November 24, 2020

In This Issue...

Welcome New Members
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 December 8 10, 2020.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by December 7.

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

NACPRO's Sponsors

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Job Announcements

Special Districts Manager
City of Oxnard, California
Oxnard, CA
Salary: $89,128 - $147,284  /yr
Closing Date: Dec 23, 2020

General Manager
East Bay Regional Park District
Oakland, CA
Salary: $262,891 - $335,670 /yr
Closing Date: Dec 18, 2020

Director of Washington State Parks
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Tumwater, WA
Salary: $146,000 - $161,000 /yr
Closing Date: Open until filled

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:

Welcome New Members

Ms. Katie White, Recreation Supervisor
Onslow County Park and Recreation
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Mr. Tommy Scott, Director
Charlotte County Community Services
Port Charlotte, Florida

Mr. Mike Koenig, Resource Manager
Charlotte County Community Services
Port Charlotte, Florida

Ms. Tina Powell, Parks and Natural Resources Manager
Charlotte County Community Services
Port Charlotte, Florida

Mr. Zachary T Hall, Director
Ida County Conservation Board
Ida Grove, Iowa

Ms. Shauna Godlevsky, Interim Director
Knox County Parks & Recreation
Knoxville, Tennessee

Ms. Alicia Culman, Chief of Philanthropy
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Cincinnati, Ohio

Mr. Andy Collins, Chief Financial Officer
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Cincinnati, Ohio

Mr. Tim Zelek, Chief of Planning
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Cincinnati, Ohio

Mr. Jason Rahe, Chief of Conservation & Parks
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Cincinnati, Ohio

Ms. Rachel Messerschmitt, Chief of Guest Experiences
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Cincinnati, Ohio

Mr. Scott Snow, Ranger Chief
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Cincinnati, Ohio

Best Practices Forum

Seeking Smoking Policies

Our leadership is contemplating a no smoking policy in our outdoor areas and we are trying to get a sense of what other County park organizations allow. Please send me your policies and/or your lessons learned in developing and instituting a smoking policy.

Kent Taylor
Pinal County open Space and Trails, Arizona
[email protected]


History professionals in parks survey

The national task force, History in our Parks, from the American Association for State and Local History is seeking to learn more about the many history professionals who work for parks agencies in the United States.

If you manage or work for a historic site, museum, or heritage center at your park agency, please fill out the attached survey - or forward to the appropriate staff person.

The results will be sent to those respondents who include their email addresses and will help us better understand how history is preserved and interpreted in parks across the nation.

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

2020 CRT Awardees - Congratulations to NACPRO Member Agencies!
Courtesy of American Trails

On October 22, 2020, twelve trail projects and programs were honored by the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) as recipients of its 2020 Tom Petri Recreational Trails Program Annual Achievement Awards. The awards – honoring former U.S. Representative Tom Petri (WI) – recognize outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds. These projects will be honored at a live virtual ceremony on October 22 with participation by award recipients and key trails champions, including Members of Congress.

- Gwinnett Countywide Trails Master Plan (Georgia) – Community Linkage
- Maricopa Trail Volunteer Stewardship Program (Arizona) – Engaging Public-Sector Partners

For more information:


Des Plaines River Trail Earns National Recognition
Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserves

ILLINOIS - The scenic Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway (DPRT) in Lake County has been designated as a National Recreation Trail. The U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt recently added 30 new recreational trails in 25 states to the National Trails System.

"We are honored to receive this prestigious national designation," said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. "The DPRT is a recreational treasure in Lake County and one of the crown jewels of the forest preserve system. Acquiring the land and building a continuous 31.4-mile trail along the Des Plaines River’s edge took 57 years and 133 separate land purchases to achieve. Being added to the National Trails System is a significant achievement of this work."

Read more:


Save Energy. Save Money. Save The Future. Embracing energy management
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Matthew Kaiser

VIRGINIA - Approximately one million tons of carbon dioxide are produced each year from energy consumed by Fairfax County, Va., government facilities, and among county agencies, the Park Authority manages the third largest inventory of sites and facilities.

The Authority identified energy management in its 2006-2010 strategic plan as a means to: Improve facility lifecycle management and seek cost-saving opportunities.

As the agency continues to endure difficult fiscal realities, the decision to find savings through energy conservation is paying dividends.

Read more:

Research and Resources

2021 NACo Call for Award Nominations

Applications are now open for the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2021 Achievement Awards.

Since 1970, the NACo Achievement Awards have recognized outstanding county government programs and services. Through a non-competitive application process, noteworthy programs receive awards in 18 categories that cover a vast range of county responsibilities. By participating, your county can earn national recognition.

NACo will highlight the 18 “best of category” winners, as well as feature all winners in NACo materials and online. We also provide a customizable press release for you to share the good news with the media and residents.

We encourage all counties, parishes and boroughs to apply.

EARLY BIRD APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 8, 2021 (save $25 off the application fee)


For more information:


This is Freedom: The Fast-Paced Progression of Adaptive Mountain Biking
Courtesy of Craft Mtn

By Niall Pinder

Trail-side blackberries accompany beautiful vistas at each stop. The muffled sound of tires cutting turns through deep loam is etched into the mind. A weekend of riding equates to mountain lakes, remote towns and warm nights drinking beer around a campfire with your friends. This is life at its best for a mountain biker. Yet these experiences are something we often take for granted, and in reality are not accessible to everyone.

For people with disabilities, these settings are substantially more difficult to access and enjoy. Sometimes people don’t have these experiences at all because straying from a paved path can be impossible. For those born with a disability, or adapting to a new reality after a life-altering accident, the happiness and freedom of the outdoors should be attainable. Enter Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association (KASA) and adaptive mountain biking (aMTB). KASA’s mission is to help everyone access nature, get people onto—or back onto—mountain bikes and spread that joy as far as possible.

What aMTB riders seem to value most while on the bike is the fact that they are completely autonomous and can enjoy mountain biking exactly as it’s supposed to be—not some watered-down version that relies on other people. aMTBs are one of the few means by which adaptive athletes can move through the backcountry in a self-reliant way, on their own terms and time lines.

Read more:


Public Space Programming Pivots
Courtesy of

As the pandemic and local shutdowns moved across America earlier this year, civic asset practitioners realized two things: first, outdoor public spaces had become more important than ever, as some of the only safe places for members of their communities to find respite, exercise and play; second, public spaces were critical for organizing and responding to people’s basic needs.

In part 1, we showed how cities across the country were building community, extending a universal welcome, and supporting (safely distanced) human connection in public space. In part 2, we highlighted the people and public spaces across the country where civic infrastructure is keeping civic life and economic vibrancy alive. Here in part 3, we bring you stories of innovative and safely designed programming that engages people of all ages and backgrounds.

Read more:


Making the Most of Your Partnerships
Courtesy of NRPA

By Nick Pitas, Ph.D., Andrew Mowen, Ph.D., and Samantha Powers, MS

Although park foundations have long been a valuable partner to many public park and recreation agencies, their importance may only grow in light of the global pandemic and resulting recession. For agencies currently partnering with a foundation, maximizing the potential benefits of that relationship will be critical to ensuring the ongoing delivery of high-quality park and recreation services to the community.

Until now, there has been a lack of research on the characteristics and conditions that lead to effective and sustainable partnerships between park and recreation agencies and their nonprofit partners. As a result, we worked with NRPA on a nationwide study of agency-foundation relationships that combined a survey of park and recreation agency leaders and in-depth interviews of leaders from both agencies and nonprofit foundations. The data gathered by this process generated not only a snapshot of the agency-foundation relationship, but also serves as the basis of recommendations we make for agencies hoping to get the most out of their partnerships.

Read more:


NACo Election insights for counties
Courtesy of NACo

The November 3 general election altered the political landscape in Washington, with a likely change in the White House. Democrats maintained the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, while control of the U.S. Senate will be decided in a pair of runoff elections in Georgia on January 5.

To help understand the most important election outcomes – and what they mean for counties – the National Association of Counties (NACo) released a comprehensive 2020 election analysis, which will be updated as results are finalized.

At the state level, the political makeup of governorships and state legislatures saw little change. Republicans gained one governorship, bringing their total to 27. The same was true for state legislative chambers, where only a third of the typical partisan change experienced in a general election year occurred, with Republicans expanding their edge to 61-37.

NACo’s analysis details these outcomes, along with significant ballot measures approved or rejected by voters in various states. Click here to read NACo’s comprehensive 2020 election analysis.

For more information:


Six Unique Trail Funding Solutions
Courtesy of American Trails

In Steamboat Springs, Colorado the city decided to think about trail funding in a different way. Rather than go through the government or through a private corporation, why not reach trail users directly, while they are on the trail, and therefore the most likely to be thinking about those trail benefits? The city took ten parking meters from their original urban centers and parked them at trailheads, painting them a bright orange color so trail users can't miss them. The visuals of this had the added effect of creating novelty, which creates publicity, which makes people want to be a part of things. Users immediately started donating, swiping their credit cards at the re-purposed parking meters with a minimum $5 donation, and raising thousands within weeks of installation. The city ultimately projects a whopping $1.5 million by the year 2026 from this program, with all of those funds going into the trails.

Read more:


The Economics of Outdoor Recreation
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

When it comes to spending on outdoors recreation, it's hard to beat the hunters, anglers, RV enthusiasts and other outdoor lovers in Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, Florida, Wyoming and Maine.

Those six states lead the nation when it comes to the percentage of state gross domestic product generated by spending for outdoor recreation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

"Outdoor recreation activities fall into three general categories: conventional activities (including activities such as bicycling, boating, hiking, and hunting); other core activities (such as gardening and outdoor concerts); and supporting activities (such as construction, travel and tourism, local trips, and government expenditures)," the bureau explained Tuesday on its website.

Read more:


New Report: Youth Sports at Park and Recreation Agencies
Courtesy of NRPA

Equity is at the heart of access to youth sports. Studies demonstrate that gender, household formation and income correlate with children's engagement with organized sports, what sports they may play and how long they engage in those activities. Unfortunately, there are significant disparities in who has access to youth sports opportunities. NRPA is proud to release the Youth Sports at Park and Recreation Agencies report, which explores youth sports offerings, partnerships, fees and registration, and equitable access. The report also takes a look at the impact of COVID-19 on youth sports during the summer and fall of 2020, in which 90% of park and recreation professionals report that the pandemic has negatively impacted their agencies' youth sports programming.

Download here:

In the News

Giving Thanks in the Midst of a Pandemic
Courtesy of NRPA

By Clement Lau

2020 has been a challenging year in so many ways. Due to the pandemic, our personal and professional lives have changed. We have been forced to adapt and come to terms with how much we have taken for granted — our family, friends, co-workers, daily routines, recreational activities and just the simple things around us. And, regrettably, some of us have had to endure the loss of a loved one, a job and/or a home over the past few months.

While it would be easy to just focus on the negatives, I am choosing to share the positives, especially with Thanksgiving fast approaching. Thanksgiving is unequivocally my favorite holiday because it prompts me to think about and remember how blessed I am. And I believe that it is good for my soul to give thanks in all circumstances and reflect upon what I am thankful for. Here is my gratitude list and perhaps you can relate to it.

Read more:


Huron County parks bringing in more than $1.7 million this year
Courtesy of the Huron Daily Tribune

By Robert Creenan

MICHIGAN - Despite getting a late start to their year, the Huron County Parks are on pace to exceed the amount of money brought in from years past.

Neal Hentschl, the secretary-manager for the Huron County Road Commission, which operates the county park system, said they are on track to bring in more than $1.7 million, though the final amount has not been confirmed.

To prepare itself for any coronavirus outbreaks, the road commission purchased a sanitizing system worth $20,000 that would clean bathrooms, offices, and other facilities, and followed the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. As a result, there have not been any coronavirus outbreaks in any of the county’s parks.

Read more:


Are ‘Edible Landscapes’ the Future of Public Parks?
Courtesy of the Smithsonian Magazine

By Emily Matchar

A growing movement of gardeners, food activists, landscape designers, urban planners and others is encouraging us to think “edible” when it comes to public green space. Flowers are pretty, they say, but if those blossoms become apples or zucchini, isn’t that even better?

A public food landscape is a food-producing land fully accessible to the public that is intended to be used for public benefit. This could include community vegetable gardens, public parks with “edible forests” of fruit and nut trees, public university campuses with agriculture projects that benefit the community and neighborhood centers with food-producing green roofs.

“I think Covid has made people more aware of our utter dependency on our farmers, food retailers and the at-times mind-boggling supply chains and processes required to keep these operational,” says Joshua Zeunert, a landscape designer and professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney who studies edible public spaces.

Read more:


Secretary of the Interior gives counties veto power over LWCF federal acquisitions
Courtesy of NACo

By Jonathan Shuffield, Aaliyah Nedd

On November 13, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt issued a secretarial order regarding implementation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Established in 1965, the LWCF is used for state and local conservation efforts and the acquisition of federal lands and water. This secretarial order follows the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) earlier this year. GAOA provides $900 million in annual mandatory funding for the LWCF. Secretary Bernhardt’s order requires written support for any federal land or water acquisition from both the respective state governor and the affected county, which NACo advocated for.

Read more:


Changes to LWCF Trigger Swift Bipartisan Pushback
Courtesy of Wyoming Public Media

By Cooper McKim

The Interior Department is facing criticism for putting up barriers to conservation projects nationwide funded through the new Great American Outdoors Act.

But Interior Secretary David Bernhardt issued an order last week restricting how the money can be spent, including giving state and local governments veto power over federal land acquisitions.

Kyle Simpson, senior government affairs manager with the National Recreation and Park Association, says Congress considered granting local governments such authority and voted against it, "And now the Trump administration is trying to go around those and put them into a secretarial order, which we just can't support," Simpson said.

Read more:


Prescribing Nature for Better Kids' Health
Courtesy of the University of California San Francisco

Pediatrician Nooshin Razani, MD ’01, MPH, brings her patients into the woods for a big dose of awe. The feeling – evoked by trees, fresh air, and freedom – can ease loneliness, stress, and other conditions linked to poor health.

It’s part her unorthodox prescription for better kids' health at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, where she directs the Center for Nature and Health.

Read more:


Boulder County Parks and Open Space offers research, inventory grants
Courtesy of the Daily Camera

By Brooklyn Dance

COLORADO - Boulder County’s Parks and Open Space is offering grants up to $10,000 for research projects and inventories on open space lands.

The research and biological inventories “provide data to monitor management practices and improve resources and park visitor experiences,” a news release from park and open space states.

Read More:


Webinar: Advancing Safe Routes to Parks in the Time of Coronavirus
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: December 2, 2020
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: Safe Routes Partnership

The coronavirus pandemic has simultaneously underscored the benefits of parks and greenspaces while shining light on the disparities in who has safe and easy access to those places. Learn how the 2020 participants worked closely with community members to not only advance shared goals for parks, but also help build the capacity, skills, and structures to ensure the work continues.

For more information:

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