May 21, 2024

In this issue


Last Call for NACPRO Summer Meeting Registrations

June 1-3, 2024 - San Diego, California

Registration for the Summer Meeting closes this Friday - May 24,2024.

The hotel room block at the Courtyard San Diego Old Town closed has closed. If you have not made your hotel reservations yet, there are several other hotels in Old Town. You may be able to snag a good rate on, Google or other hotel booking sites. 

For more information:


Ask the membership

Survey on Policies and Procedures for setting resident and non-resident fees

Johnson County Park & Recreation District (JCPRD) presents its fees and charges to the JCPRD board annually for review and approval. Upon further discussion with the JCPRD Board, JCPRD is interested in learning what policies and procedures park and recreation agencies have in place to assist staff in making adjustments to fees and more specifically setting rates for residents and nonresidents. Your participation in this short survey is appreciated. JCPRD will be happy to share the results of this survey once the data has been gathered.

Take the survey:

Tap into our collective experience. Send your question and some background to the editor and we will include it in the next NACPRO News.


From our sponsors

One stop for all your dog park needs
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

Furnishing a new dog park or making some updates? We offer a great line of agility and exercise products to equip the dogs' playground - for running, jumping and climbing. These products include hoops, hurdles, tunnels & steps.

Don't forget the humans the dogs bring with them. While the dogs are playing, their human companions can take a seat at one of our picnic tables and benches customized with dog-inspired graphics.

For more information:


Member News

Our apologies - The following article was incorrectly attributed in our last newsletter.

All-terrain wheelchair opens up "a whole new world" for nature exploration
Courtesy of Forest Preserves of Will County

ILLINOIS - The first person to test the new GRIT Freedom Chair at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center said she loved that she could travel over grass, roots and mud and feel secure while doing so. The wheelchair is available for public use at no cost. 

Read more:


Congratulations to NACPRO Agencies with 2024 NRPA Award Winners!

Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research
Dr. Clement Lau, Departmental Facilities Planner, Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, Los Angeles, California

Innovation in Equity Award
 - Signs of Belonging, Ramsey County Parks and Recreation, Maplewood, Minnesota

Innovation in Park Design Award
 - Glass City Metropark, Metroparks Toledo, Toledo, Ohio

Young Professional Fellowships
 - Christopher Harrison, CPRP, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation (Florida)
 - Rachel Smith, CPRP, James City County Parks and Recreation (Virginia)

Diversity Scholarship
 - Nancy Xiong, Three Rivers Parks District (Minnesota)

Read more:


Using Gamification to Increase Visitors and Outdoor Engagement
Courtesy of NRPA

By Caitlynn Martinez-McWhorter and Wendy Kummerer

ILLINOIS - Last summer, McHenry County Conservation District launched a digital scavenger hunt using the Goosechase application to introduce visitors to new places, reach and engage new audiences, and encourage outdoor recreation for all ages and abilities. The response was overwhelming and far exceeded expectations. The three-month campaign amassed more than 1,100 participants who checked in at the district’s conservation areas more than 5,400 times and submitted more than 5,200 photos while participating in various activities.

Read more:


News & Resources

Administration Launches
Courtesy of the River Management Society

As part of the America the Beautiful initiative, this new website helps connect people with information, tools, resources, and opportunities to support land and water conservation projects in communities across the country. Built through an interagency partnership between the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the website is a public information hub for staying updated on conservation efforts across the country, finding places to recreate outdoors or to volunteer on public lands, and applying for financial assistance in support of conservation projects. 

Read more:


Outdoor, play-based learning supports school curriculums and unlocks new worlds for children
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business Plus

By Jefferey Spivey

GEORGIA - In Gwinnett County where STEM and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) programs have been offered for over a decade, learning opportunities didn’t initially incorporate play. Much of what was offered took place in a more formalized setting at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. But, in recent years, program offerings have expanded to include public parks and playgrounds.

On the 233-acre Environmental and Heritage Center campus is a treetop adventure course, which leads to a dynamic science experience for visitors.

“We looked at the physics behind the design of the course,” says Jason West, Deputy Division Director of Collaboration for the Gwinnett County Department of Community Services. More than providing ziplining and chasing adrenaline rushes, he says the course helps visitors understand concepts about moving from point A to point B. 

Read more:


San Diego just OK’d a sweeping plan to remake northeast Mission Bay. Does anybody like it?
Courtesy of the San Diego Union-Tribune

By David Garrick

CALIFORNIA - San Diego City Council members unanimously approved an ambitious plan Tuesday to transform much of northeastern Mission Bay into climate-friendly marshland that can fight sea-level rise and pull carbon from the air.

Supporters said the plan, which follows seven years of community debate, is a fair compromise between environmentalists and advocates for camping and other recreation like tennis, softball and water skiing.

Read more:


Study: Lack of Safe Infrastructure Keeps People Away From Active Transportation
Courtesy of Planetizen

By Diana Ionescu 

A consumer study from outdoor retailer REI Co-op highlights barriers to active transportation participation that transportation planners can use to fill gaps in service networks and encourage more multimodal transportation.

Unsurprisingly, “The majority of respondents, 68%, said their frequency of bike trips would increase if dedicated infrastructure were present, while 62% expressed it’s hard to find safe infrastructure for active transportation in their respective cities.”

Read more:


Swing Sets Aren’t Just for Kids Anymore
Courtesy of

By Alexandra Lange

Swings can be sociable, but they are also physical. This inviting duality has often been undermined by public safety standards, which discourage swings for more than one person and mandate that they be far apart. After a certain age, swinging solo loses its thrill.

But at Anna C. Verna Playground at Philadelphia’s FDR Park, on the south side of the city, the largest swing set in North America was designed to test those limits. Not by creating unsafe play, but by transforming those standards into something challenging, unusual, beautiful and rewarding for swingers of all ages. The playground, which opened in October and was designed by WRT Design with Studio Ludo as play consultant, features two acres of nature-based play, including seven slides of increasing height and speed, two steel-and-rope “birdhouses” ascended by climbing nets, three log climbers, and assorted shady picnic tables, rock circles and sittable logs.

Read more:


Economic Contribution of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation in Colorado and Wisconsin
Courtesy of American Trails




Green Revolution
Courtesy of NRPA

By Christina Hudson

MARYLAND - Five years ago, Montgomery Parks Deputy Director of Operations Gary Burnett had a vision for Montgomery Parks: replace noisy gas-powered landscaping equipment with the quiet hum of electric tools in public parks. 

Some staff had concerns about the switch, unsure if electric equipment would prove as powerful as the gas-powered versions and whether it might potentially require more time to complete their work. A committee was formed to research the equipment options and vendors were brought in to demonstrate equipment to those who would be using it.

Read more:


State of Play: What’s in Demand in Today’s Playgrounds?
Courtesy of NRPA

By Scott Roschi

There is perhaps no better refuge for kids from social media and screen time than their local playground. And with today’s bigger, more colorful and more engaging playground equipment, kids are enjoying richer play experiences than ever.

But building the playgrounds that people want isn’t just about picking equipment from a catalog. Communities must consider how they can create fun and unique spaces kids want to come back to while addressing the diverse needs of community members. And, at the end of the day, they’re creating not only better playgrounds, but also better communities.

Here are some of the things that communities are trying to achieve in their playgrounds today.

Read more:


Bikeway Selection Guide
Courtesy of American Trails

The Bikeway Selection Guide from the Federal Highway Administration will help planners make informed decisions about the selection of bike-way types. This guide emphasizes engineering judgment, design flexibility, documentation, and experimentation.

Read more:


All-Gender Restrooms Foster Inclusion
Courtesy of NRPA

By Cassandra Ruport

Today’s demand for all-gender public restroom buildings runs parallel with the trend of transitioning from multiuser restrooms to multiple single-user restroom spaces within the same building. The multiuser designs have declined in popularity except in applications involving a high number of users per hour. This type of design is ideal for maximizing the allowable floorspace to provide use to the largest number of occupants at a given time — for example, during half time at a big football game, at a concert or entertainment venue, or at the airport — whereas the “single user” layout has grown in popularity in many designs.

Read more:


Call for Proposals for the 2024 Global Outdoor Health Summit
Courtesy of ActivEnviro

November 17 - 20, 2024 - San Antonio, TX 

Submit a presentation proposal for the 2024 Global Health Outdoor Summit and tell us a story about how you worked to solve a problem in your community. 

We are looking for case studies about community collaboration, the latest in scholarly research, and best practices you've discovered at the intersection of outdoor
recreation, conservation, environmental economics, social justice, and public health. 

Deadline for proposals: July 8, 2024


New Grant Opportunities
Courtesy of the National Special Districts Coalition

FY 2024 Pool Safely Grant Program (Consumer Product Safety Commission)

WHAT DOES IT FUND? The purpose of this program is to prevent drowning and drain entrapment of children in pools and spas. 
WHO'S ELIGIBLE? State and territory governments, local governments, and Indian tribes and organizations
WHEN'S IT DUE? July 12, 2024
For more information:

FY 2025 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Standard Grants Program (second round)(Department of the Interior)

WHAT DOES IT FUND? The purpose of this program is to support projects that involve the long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds. 
WHO'S ELIGIBLE? State and local governments, special district governments, independent school districts, institutions of higher education, Native American tribal governments, nonprofits, and small businesses.
WHEN'S IT DUE? July 11, 2024
For more information:

FY 2025 Public Humanities Projects (National Endowment for the Humanities)

WHAT DOES IT FUND? This program supports projects that bring the ideas and insights of the humanities to life for general audiences through in-person exhibitions and historic site interpretations, as well as in-person, hybrid, or virtual discussions and other scholar- or staff-led programming. 
WHO'S ELIGIBLE? States and local governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
WHEN'S IT DUE? August 14, 2024, January 8, 2025
For more information:



Park Champions Initiative Training
Courtesy of NRPA

The Park Champions Initiative is NRPA's signature grassroots advocacy training program that provides members with the information, skills and experience needed to be effective advocates for parks and recreation. Through this asynchronistic version, members will have the flexibility to complete the online training at their own pace.

For more information:


Upcoming Webinars from American Trails

•    June 6:  A Parking Roadmap: Where to Start When Managing Parking for Your Trail 
•    June 13:  Three Ways to Estimate the Economic Impact of Trails and Outdoor Recreation 
•    June 20:  The Trail Partnership Research Project
•    June 27:  National Trails Legislative Update 2024
•    July 18:  Grants for Trails: Finding, Applying, and Managing
•    July 25:  Indigenous Placemaking Along Trails

For more information:

2024 NOHVCC Annual Conference
Courtesy of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council

October 17-19, 2024 - Minneapolis, MN

More information will be posted soon. 

For more information:


Job openings

NEW – Senior Land Management and Monitoring Specialist
Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency
Morgan Hill, California
$125,000 - $140,000 Annually
Application Deadline: Open until filled

Executive Director
Deerfield Park District, Illinois
$165,000 - $195,000 Annually
Application Deadline: May 31, 2024

Executive Director
Canton Park District, Illinois
$75,000 - $105,000 Annually
Application Deadline: May 24, 2024

Park Ranger I
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation 
Los Gatos, California
$72,716 - $87,946 Annually
Application Deadline: Jun 4, 2024 

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 June 11, 2024

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by June 10. 

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