February 27, 2024

In this issue

Welcome to our community

James Dinwiddie, Deputy Director
Orange County Parks
Irvine, California

Nick Mooneyhan, Director
Howard County Recreation and Parks
Columbia, Maryland

Ask the membership

Do you have a point of sale and reservation system for your department?

RJ Cardin from Maricopa County Parks & Recreation in Arizona is preparing a request for proposals for a POS and reservation system. He asked fellow NACPRO board members about their vendors. His questions generated a lot of discussion. 
We realized that this information could be useful to other park districts researching the options for POS and reservation system vendors.

If you have a POS and reservation system, please complete the short survey by March 8.



Seeking Advice on the Bureaucratic Structure of Park and Recreation Departments

Harris County, Texas is seeking best practices for the bureaucratic structure of park departments. A recent internal assessment highlighted that many of our parks are underutilized. This coincided with the departure of some park and operation staff members, presenting us an opportunity to reevaluate our approach.
We want to learn from other districts to inform our decision-making process. We believe that improving our park structure would enable a visionary park executive to enhance the overall effectiveness of Precinct One's Park and Recreation operations.

1. We are exploring the various ways that other park districts have structured their departments. What are the pros and cons of separating park and recreation operations into distinct departments versus consolidating them under a single department. 

2. What are the most effective types of executive roles (Superintendent, Director, etc.). What has and hasn't worked for other departments?

Respond to: 
Heeral McGhee, Policy Advisor
Harris County Precinct One
[email protected]
Mobile: (832) 870-9371

Got an issue you need advice on? Tap into our collective experience. Send your question and some background to the editor and we will include it in the next NACPRO News 

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Member News

New Initiative Helps Improve Physical and Mental Health Outdoors
Courtesy of American Trails

OHIO - Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton has launched a Heart Healthy Trails initiative. These are easy, entry-level trails on paved or flat surfaces without a lot of elevation change. The American Heart Association recommends walking at a brisk pace of 24 minutes per mile and work toward walking at least 2.5 miles per hour. Signage located every quarter mile on the Heart Healthy Trails helps users to calculate their pace. 

For more information:


Metroparks tracks visitors’ cell phone data
Courtesy of Signal Cleveland

By Mark Naymik and Nick Castele

OHIO - Cleveland Metroparks reported it saw 52 million visitors in 2023. It calculated that figure with hard data from vehicle counters at reservation entrances combined with other analytical methods. The Metroparks described having roughly 19 million “visitor occasions” related to recreation. The park system said the other 33 million visits were considered commuters or scenic drivers.

Metroparks officials discussed testing technology to keep tabs on visitors. They said they are working with a couple of companies, including location tracker, which uses anonymized data from cell phone carriers to track a visitor’s time and location in the park as well as provide other information.

Read more:

News & Resources

The Best Rain Jackets in the World Will Soon Be Illegal—with Good Reason
Courtesy of Outside Online

PFAS, a family of more than 13,000 unique chemicals, were invented in the 1930s by DuPont de Nemours, Inc., as the company was working to develop a non-stick frying pan. The world soon discovered the magic of these forever chemicals. Their Herculean bonding power means that they can render humble fabrics impenetrable to weather. They prevent red wine from staining your sofa and puppy poop from ruining your carpet. They keep grease from seeping through paper plates and take-out containers. They make mascara waterproof and are found in things like butter wrappers, lotions and sunscreens, toilet paper (including certain bamboo options), and menstrual products. PFAS are on your iPhone touch screen, and have been found in both tap and well water. A recent USGS report estimates that an alarming 45 percent of our country’s tap water contains PFAS.

Read more:


Los Angeles Just Proved How Spongy a City Can Be
Courtesy of Wired

By Matt Simon

CALIFORNIA - Earlier this month, the future fell on Los Angeles. A long band of moisture in the sky, known as an atmospheric river, dumped 9 inches of rain on the city over three days—over half of what the city typically gets in a year. It’s the kind of extreme rainfall that’ll get ever more extreme as the planet warms.

With traditional dams and all that newfangled spongy infrastructure, between February 4 and 7 the metropolis captured 8.6 billion gallons of stormwater, enough to provide water to 106,000 households for a year. For the rainy season in total, LA has accumulated 14.7 billion gallons.

Read more:


Park Champions Advocate for Vibrant Communities 
Courtesy of NRPA

By Dan McCarthy

Parks are the heartbeats of our communities, offering spaces for joy, connection and well-being. NRPA leads the charge in advocating for these vital spaces through its Park Champions Initiative. This unique program recognizes that advocacy takes many forms, each championing the cause of parks in unique ways. Park Champions emerge as dedicated park and recreation professionals equipped with the skills and knowledge to involve their communities in the movement.

Read more:


Biden-Harris Administration Releases the 2023 America the Beautiful Annual Report
Courtesy of US Department of the Interior

Celebrating the three-year anniversary of President Biden signing Executive Order 14008 and launching his ambitious conservation agenda, the Administration released the third annual report on the America the Beautiful initiative. This report describes the exciting progress made in 2023 to deliver on President Biden’s goals and highlights a wide range of locally led, partnership-driven efforts across the nation. The Administration supported conservation of lands and waters through historic investments, new policies and initiatives, and new national parks, wildlife refuges, and other conservation actions. 

Read more:


When the Civic Commons Is Shelter
Courtesy of NRPA

By Amy Collier, CPRP

More than 18 months have passed since camping in Tennessee parks became a felony offense. To date, no arrests for camping have been made in Memphis parks. However, at least 36 park users have been connected with the Hospitality Hub.

Park and recreation professionals may be the keepers of the civic commons, but we cannot solve every challenge in our parks alone. Seek partnerships intentionally and be open to the park and recreation professional’s role in each challenge you face.

Read more:


Buffalo Residents Push Back on Proposed Cap Park
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Mary Hammon

NEW YORK - The project is one of many of a growing “cap and cover” movement that state and local governments are hopping aboard, as reported by the Daily Beast. But questions about the long-term implications of these projects remain. A Colorado Public Radio News article about Denver’s new 4-acre cap park above I-70 that opened last year states, “Air quality concerns are only one reason anti-highway activists now see Denver’s park as a cautionary tale.” Among others are fears that the new public green space and park amenities will spur gentrification and displacement of existing community members.

Read more:


Trending Sports to Watch
Courtesy of NRPA

By Mary Helen Sprecher

Beach volleyball is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing sports nationwide, and courts are now being built in landlocked areas across the country. The announcement that flag football would be a showcase sport in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles was no surprise to its supporters since it is popular not only at youth levels, but also college levels. It is already offered as a women’s sport by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Read more:


Sustainability in Recreation and Parks: Building a Better Future
Courtesy of NRPA

By David M. Pearlman, Ph.D., CHE, CHIA

Sustainably designed parks exhibit robust resilience in addressing environmental challenges, serving as crucial hubs during emergencies and boosting urban resilience. Economically, they attract visitors, enhance local tourism, generate revenue through events and improve residents’ quality of life. They also serve as educational resources, promoting awareness about environmental conservation, wildlife protection and sustainable practices. Park and recreation departments have embraced sustainable practices in various ways...

Read more:


The Summer Seasonal Hiring Report
Courtesy of NRPA

By Melissa May

The Summer Seasonal Hiring Report, a new NRPA research report released in February, explores the summer seasonal hiring process, identifies some of the hiring challenges agencies nationwide faced in 2023, and highlights how park and recreation professionals are addressing those challenges.

Read more:


Accepting Nominations for the 2024 Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research
Courtesy of NRPA

The Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research is presented to an individual whose contributions to parks and recreation through research have significantly advanced the cause of the parks and recreation movement and whose dedication to the field parallels the same dedication and zeal toward parks, recreation and conservation that was exhibited by the presidents after whom the award is named. 

Applications are due March 29.

For more information:


SORP Webinar Series: Stewarding the Outdoor Recreation Profession
Courtesy of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals

March 13 - April 3, 2024 at 1:00 pm Mountain
We are pleased to offer access to all of these sessions FREE OF COST to everyone. It’s important to SORP to be able to serve the outdoor recreation community through these types of training opportunities. We could not offer these important training sessions without support from our members and partners. 

For more information:

Job openings

Regional Recreation Director (D8853)
Los Angeles County - Parks And Recreation
Alhambra, California
$7,796 - $10,506 Monthly
Application Deadline: Mar 20, 2024

Recreation Facility Manager
Goochland County, Virginia
$64,183 - $68,035 Annually
Application Deadline: Mar 5, 2024

Office Manager
Goochland County, Virginia
$51,273 - $54,349 Annually
Application Deadline: Mar 5, 2024

Assistant Director, Aquatics and Lakes
Los Angeles County - Parks And Recreation
Alhambra, California
$147,754 - $229,787 Annually
Application Deadline: Open until filled

Assistant Director of Parks
Travis County Parks
Austin, Texas
$90,000 - $115,000 Annually
Application Deadline: Mar 29, 2024

Director of Parks and Recreation
Springfield-Greene County Park Board
Springfield, Missouri
Salary: Negotiable
Application Deadline: Open until filled

For more information:

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.

How to contribute

The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on March 12, 2024.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by March 11. 

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