June 2017 Print


Jeff Perry, Park Operations Manager
Anoka County Parks & Recreation, Minnesota


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Congratulations 2017 NACPRO Award Winners

Outstanding Public Official

Arnold Randall
Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois

Outstanding Support Organization

Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers
El Paso County Parks, Colorado

Outstanding Contributor

Midwest Health
Shawnee County, Kansas

Outstanding Volunteer

Norma Hoffman
Fairfax County Park Authority, Virginia

Park and Recreation Program - Class I

Fishin' With a Friend
Columbus, Georgia (Consolidated)

Outdoor Adventure Expo
Metroparks Toledo, Ohio

Park and Recreation Program – Class II

Youth Outdoors
Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio

Camping Leadership Immersion Camp
Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois

Agents of Change
Hillsborough County, Florida

Park and Recreation Facility - Class I

Anoka Co. and Univ. of Minn. Design/Build Collaboration
Anoka County, Minnesota

Middlegrounds Metropark
Metroparks Toledo, Ohio

Park and Recreation Facility Class II

Lake Pleasant Regional Park Discovery Center
Maricopa County, Arizona

Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail
Three Rivers Park District, Minnesota

Operational Facility

Solar PV System
Great Parks of Hamilton County, Ohio

Historical/Cultural Facility

Gardenville School House
Hillsborough County, Florida

Through the Eyes of the Servants Tour at Merestead Estate
Westchester County, New York


Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Habitat Restoration
County of San Diego, California

The Invasive Management Program
Fairfax County Park Authority, Virginia

Native Seed Collection Collaboration
Johnson County, Kansas

Osprey Point Golf Course
Palm Beach County, Florida

Removing Barriers Initiative

Spring Prom
Chesterfield County, Virginia

My Mentor and Me: A Dynamic Camp Team
Metroparks Toledo, Ohio


Securing a Future for Wildlife
Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio

Los Angeles County Comprehensive Park and Recreation Needs Assessment Website
Los Angeles County, California

Annie's Canyon Trail Virtual Hike Video
San Diego County, California

Bird the Preserves
Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois

Planning Initiative

Great Parks, Great Communities Long Range Park Plan & Needs Assessment
Fairfax County Park Authority, Virginia

Mapping the Community of a Park: A Survey Design & GIS Application
Palm Beach County, Florida

Professional - Fellow

Tim Schetter
Metroparks Toledo, Ohio

Professional - Lifetime

Sandy Stallman
Fairfax County Park Authority, Virginia

For more information: http://nacpro.org/Award_Presentations


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Learn Your Digital Weaknesses with Google Analytics
Courtesy of Southeast Publications

By Brian McGuinn

You can track how a guest found your website and what they did while they were there. Most importantly, you can learn where your digital weaknesses are and start protecting your business from gaping holes in your marketing strategy. For this article, we will be speaking specifically about Google Analytics, arguably the best digital analytics platform out there. The best part, it’s free.

First things first. What ways can your website be found by potential guests? Google Analytics has segmented seven “channels” that direct web traffic to your website. They are as follows: Organic, Direct, Referral, Social, Email, Display / Search, and Other Campaigns.

Each of these channels can be optimized to convert impressions to visitations but you will need to know how to spot weaknesses. Each channel has different ways you can gauge their efficacy.

Read more: https://southeastpublications.com/campground-managers-learn-digital-weaknesses-google-analytics/


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Got an issue or best practice you want to share? Send us the details and we will publish it in the next NACPRO News.


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Surprising benefits from nighttime park programming in Los Angeles
Courtesy of urbdezine.com

By Clement Lau

CALIFORNIA - Over the years, I have written numerous articles about the importance of planning for new parks in underserved communities and highlighted various projects that I have been fortunate to be involved in. As a park planner, I am generally more focused on the creation and siting of parks to meet community needs, and the equitable distribution of such facilities. However, I am also fully aware that recreational programming matters just as much as planning, and perhaps even more so based on the input of many residents and park staff with whom I have interacted.

The Parks after Dark (PAD) program is a successful, award-winning program that the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has offered since 2010 in collaboration with the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Sheriff’s Department, the Board of Supervisors, and other partners. What began modestly as a pilot project at just three parks has been expanded to 23 parks countywide in 2017. Essentially, PAD extends hours of park operation during summer evening hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and offers park patrons of all ages the opportunity to participate in a variety of recreational activities and educational programming free of charge. Extended hours mean that patrons have greater access to indoor gyms and pool facilities, enabling them to play basketball, swim, or learn/practice martial arts in the evening.

The idea for PAD began in 2009 as part of the community planning process for the County’s Regional Gang Violence Reduction Initiative during which members of four demonstration site communities identified summer parks programming as a priority.

Read more: http://losangeles.urbdezine.com/2017/06/12/programming-parks-after-dark/


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Survey: current state of park and recreation professional development

NRPA, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Mississippi, is conducting a research project to study the current state of park and recreation professional development and to determine opportunities for improvements. The findings will help NRPA and the academic community ensure that professional development opportunities, education and certifications meet the needs of professionals today and into the future.

To complete this research, we need insight from all types of professionals -- no matter your years of experience, the size of your agency or your level of education. We are giving away two $50 Amazon gift cards and 20 $20 Amazon gift cards to 22 randomly selected participants who complete the survey by June 30.

Take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/professional_credential


Meeting Community Fitness Needs at All Levels

By Kevin Roth, Ph.D.

Providing quality facilities and services is not the only way park and recreation agencies improve the health of their community — it is also the broader actions they take that set the tone for improved wellness in the community. In turn, there is strong public support for park and recreation agencies to set the standard for better decisions. Recent NRPA Park Pulse polls revealed the following:

- 79 percent of Americans support policies that prohibit the use of all tobacco products at public parks and recreation facilities.
- 67 percent of Americans believe it is important that vending machines and concession stands in their local park and recreation facilities include healthy food and drink options.
- 83 percent of Americans agree that park and recreation centers should provide children with opportunities for physical activity outside of school grounds. This is critical as schools are shrinking the amount of time they dedicate in their curriculum for gym and outdoor time.

The data above provides park and recreation professionals with yet another opportunity to make the case for more stable and increased funding through the multiple ways they positively affect the community.

As important as your agency is to improving your community’s health, you can do even more to deliver on this promise. That is where NRPA Facility Market Reports (FMRs) come into play. FMRs offer key data and insights about the market served by your agency’s facilities. With this data, your agency gains a greater understanding of the residents served by a park, aquatic center, recreation center or any other facility. You give us an address and a radius to be analyzed (e.g., 10-minute walk, 15-minute drive) and we give you a wealth of data about the residents living near that facility. This helps ensure that the programming and capital investment decisions you make best serve the needs of the facility’s users.

Read more: http://www.nrpa.org/parks-recreation-magazine/2017/june/parks-and-recreation-meeting-community-fitness-needs-at-all-levels/


How to Keep Citizens Informed About the Threat of Zika in Your Community

By Landon Schenck

Keep your citizens informed this summer about the threat of Zika in your community with an effective communication and education plan. By increasing communitywide understanding of the Zika virus, its sources, risks, symptoms and treatments, your citizens will be best prepared to help prevent its spread, mitigate the potential impact to themselves and their families, and actively help safeguard their community from the risk of widespread infection. Following is a recommended communication plan to help you get started...

Read more: http://tinyurl.com/ybwq8kl9


Opening General Session Video Contest

Would you like to showcase your agency’s superior work during this year’s NRPA Annual Conference? Enter our video contest for the Opening General Session!

NRPA is calling upon its member agencies to submit their best videos for this year's annual conference in New Orleans. The top video, which will be chosen by NRPA staff, will be featured in front of 3,000+ people during the Opening General Session on Tuesday, September 26.

For more information: http://www.nrpa.org/conference2017/video-contest


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RECx 2017 Videos
Courtesy of the American Recreation Coalition

RECx: Great Ideas for the Great Outdoors is a showcase for great ideas about outdoor recreation presented in brief TED-like talks that took place on Wednesday, May 31. The presentations focused on pitching a new idea or telling a success story that demonstrates how outdoor recreation experiences, opportunities and resources can be improved.

RECx I: Innovative Partnerships and Programs
- Artist in Residence Program on Public Lands
- The Power of Awe
- Delivering Health Benefit at the Interface of Public Lands and Community Wellness
- RECx I Q&A

RECx II: Enhancing the Visitor Experience
- Your License to Wisconsin's Wild Side: Go Wild Wisconsin
- The Yarberry Peninsula Campground: A Success Story
- Mobile Apps: An Essential Tool for Visitor Engagement and Communication

RECx III: Engaging People in the Great Outdoors
- From Screen to Green: Girl Scouts are Getting Girls (and Families) Outdoors Again
- Dive In! In-Stream Freshwater Snorkeling
- Discovery Agents: Getting Youth Active Outdoors in a Digital Age

RECx IV: Using Technology to Create and Protect Recreation Resources
- Designing and Providing a Quality Trail Experience
- Angler Action: Bringing Recreational Anglers Directly into Fishery Management and Habitat Protection By Going Fishing!
- The Middle Space: The Role of Private Land in Our Greater Recreation Ecosystem

Watch the videos: http://www.funoutdoors.com/RECx2017


Completing America’s Inventory of Public Parks and Protected Areas: An Action Plan for 2016-2020
Courtesy of the USGS

We are pleased to announce the release of a new report, Completing America’s Inventory of Public Parks and Protected Areas: An Action Plan for 2016-2020. This summary provides information about the current inventory and a proposed action plan for the next few years. You can download this summary or the full report at http://www.protectedlands.net/vision.

The report assesses requirements to enhance the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Protected Areas Database of the U.S. (PAD-US) to better serve recreation and public health applications—an expansion of its original conservation mission. PAD-US is the official inventory of public land and other protected open space in the United States. More information about PAD-US is available at https://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/padus.

Please join us at a webinar to review the report and offer feedback:

Wed, June 28th (2-3 EDT)
Click here to join the webinar: https://tinyurl.com/ycbx79wo

Read more: https://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/padus/files/2017/06/PADUS_Stakeholder%20Letter_Email_FINAL.pdf


New online interactive map shows every kind of trail in Colorado
Courtesy of kdvr.com

By Chuck Hickey

The interactive map gathered every hiking, biking and multiuse trail in Colorado and put it in one location.

The Colorado Trail Explorer was developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and includes 17,099 trails and 1,431 trailheads.

It also shows 5,683 miles of hiking trails, 6,821 miles of mountain biking trails, 24,906 miles of motorized trails and unpaved roads, and 1,746 miles of paved bike trails.

Check it out: https://cts.state.co.us/cotrex/desktop/


Michigan Water Trails Manual Released
Courtesy of the River Management Society

As of 2017, Michigan boasts an estimated 2,850 miles of coastal water trails — covering nearly every mile of coastline on both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas — as well as an estimated 1,280 miles of inland water trails. Water trails are located in some of Michigan’s most remote and natural environments as well as in some of the state’s most industrial and urban environments, weaving together Michigan’s beautiful water resources and its communities.

The rise of interest in water trails can be attributed to many factors, including the relatively low cost of paddling equipment, the popularity of paddling for people of all ages and abilities, and the ability to easily access Michigan’s vast freshwater resources. In addition, water trails provide a great opportunity for communities to establish and strengthen their identity, attract tourists, promote healthy lifestyles, and grow their local and regional economy.

Published by the nonprofit Land Information Access Association (LIAA), the Michigan Water Trails Manual is a comprehensive how-to guide for Michigan communities interested in developing and promoting their own water trails.

For more information: http://www.michiganwatertrails.org/manual.asp


ADA Title II Action Guide for State & Local Governments
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

The New England ADA Center released its online ADA Title II Action Guide for State and Local Governments to help public sector entities understand and fulfill their obligations under the law. (Title II, Subtitle A covers all programs, services, and activities of state and local government and Subtitle B contains requirements for public transportation systems such as regional transit authorities.) The guide explains provisions in Title II, including requirements for effective communication and access to facilities and programs. It also describes actions that state and local governments must take, such as appointing an ADA Coordinator, establishing grievance procedures, conducting self-evaluations, and implementing transition plans. The material includes sample documents and self-evaluation forms, answers to frequently asked questions, and best practices.

For more information: http://adaactionguide.org/


Best Practices For Trails Crossings
Courtesy of American Trails

American Trails reports Minnesota DOT published “Best Practices Synthesis and Guidance in At-Grade Trail-Crossing Treatments.” It provides guidance on safety treatment applications at trail crossings, which have frequently been the sites of bicycle, pedestrian, and snowmobile crashes. It includes principles of user-friendly trail-crossing designs and a toolbox of categorized treatments widely used in the US.

For more information: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/research/TS/2013/201323.pdf


Natural Surface Trails in Urban Environments
Courtesy of American Trails

American Trails reports that Benchmark Trails, Inc. shared its presentation on "Natural Surface Trails in Urban Environments." It includes design and construction details, wetland issues, and many photos. Several case studies on several North Carolina trail systems are included.

For more information: http://atfiles.org/files/pdf/Urban-Natural-Surface-Trails-Benchmark.pdf


Cities Are Trying to End Pedestrian Deaths. New Data Suggests They're Making Progress.
Courtesy of Governing.com

By Daniel C. Vock

In recent years, a number of U.S. cities have been intently focused on reducing the number of pedestrians who are killed in traffic accidents. These cities have started to transform their streetscapes to minimize pedestrian, cyclist and motorist deaths as part of the Vision Zero movement, which emphasizes that no traffic deaths are acceptable.

But the big question about those efforts is just how effective they really are. Now, new data is emerging that gives policymakers a better picture of where Vision Zero is working. And more data tools are on the way that could help address dangerous conditions before traffic deaths or injuries occur.

One recent analysis of Vision Zero in New York City found that the improvements did seem to be working.

Read more: http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-pedestrian-deaths-vision-zero-data.html


Your chance to be part of the ALR2018 program
Courtesy of Active Living Research

The 2018 Active Living Research Annual Conference is now accepting abstract submissions for presentations and workshops on the conference theme as well as other advancements in research and practice on active living. Don't miss this opportunity to share your work with active living researchers and champions from over 30 disciplines to advance knowledge and action around active communities. The submission deadline is August 24, 2017.

The 2018 conference theme is 'Future-Proofing Activity: Application Across Sectors'. Delegates will be challenged to consider the future of activity across all sectors, and reflect upon applications that will minimize the detrimental effects of technology while maximizing the beneficial effects by way of intentional design.

For more information: http://www.alr-conference.com/submit-abstract.asp


Applications due June 30 for National Park Service Help

Could the National Park Service help your community create close-to-home recreation opportunities and protect nearby nature?

The community assistance specialists in our Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program can help you to:

- Increase access to outdoor recreation and the natural world.
- Improve community health with new opportunities for more active living.
- Promote conservation and encourage stewardship of local resources.
- Benefit the local economy by improving quality of life.
- Connect youth to the outdoors and engage the next generation of conservation stewards.
- Build partnerships that support your project's success.

To find out if we can help your community, review the application process. Then call or email our staff member nearest you to discuss your idea. We want to talk with you informally before you apply, to explore and develop your project idea and help you make the best of your application.

For more information: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/rtca/apply.htm


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All across the country, budget cuts put conservation at risk
Courtesy of the Trust for Public Land

When it comes to the federal budget, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers. But behind every proposed cut are real communities—including many where The Trust for Public Land is working with everyday Americans to protect the places that matter to them.

The administration wants to completely eliminate programs that fund great city parks—including the National Endowment for the Arts and Community Development Block Grants. It has proposed sizeable reductions to the departments of interior and agriculture that would impact national parks and forests where everyday Americans go to get outside. And a massive, 84 percent cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund would pull the rug out from under communities across the country that want to make their natural resources a priority.

Here are just a few examples of ongoing conservation efforts that the administration's budget puts at risk.

Read more:


Why the next generation needs public lands
Courtesy of High Country News

By Ernie Atencio

As I watch at-risk urban kids from Salt Lake City scrambling up slickrock canyons to see ancient Puebloan ruins, I see their faces come alive as they absorb their spectacular surroundings. Attitudes chill, eyes and smiles get wider. Something stirs within them.

These high school and college-age youth are spending a weekend at Hovenweep National Monument in southeastern Utah through a program called YouthWorks in the Parks, which hopes to make them advocates for public lands. Later in the weekend, they will rappel into a canyon on the southern fringe of Bears Ears National Monument. There, they will have to work together and contort their bodies in creative ways to squeeze through a sinuous slot canyon.

Many of these young people have never set foot in a national park; some have never camped out and seen the night sky. This ancestral homeland of Pueblo peoples with its strange and twisted landscape is new and wild to them. Until they saw it, it was utterly unimaginable to them. Now they are seeing the world through new eyes, and what they see is bigger than anything they had thought.

I know these kids. I used to be one of them.

Read more: http://www.hcn.org/articles/kids-need-intact-public-lands-like-bears-ears-national-monument-to-learn-from-them


Eight lawmakers whose bills attack public lands
Courtesy of the High Country News

By Rebecca Worby, Brooke Warren and Paige Blankenbuehler

When President Donald Trump signed an order loosening fossil fuel regulations in March, he proclaimed the dawn of “a new era in American energy production and job creation.” Both his administration and the 115th Congress strongly espouse these goals: Trump has filled his Cabinet with industry darlings like Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Perry and Pruitt have strong ties to the energy industry in their home states, while Zinke met with more oil and gas lobbyists than representatives of any other interest group during his first months in office. Meanwhile, many Republicans in Congress have received hefty campaign contributions from powerful players in extractive industries, such as Koch Industries and Chevron, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan nonprofit that analyzes money behind elections and policy. These lawmakers have also introduced bills to weaken public-land protections and thereby benefit corporate oil and gas interests by opening up more land to potential development.

In response to backlash from constituents, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, withdrew HR 621, his bill to sell 3.3 million acres of public land. Though Chaffetz backed down — and will soon resign — several other anti-public-lands bills remain active in Congress. Many propose transferring federal lands to state control — a goal long part of the GOP platform — or weakening federal protections on national monuments and other public lands by changing the way they are designated. Below are the eight Western lawmakers most actively driving legislation, ranked by the number of bills they sponsor. This includes all such bills by these lawmakers since 2011, including those introduced by the 115th Congress.

Read more: http://www.hcn.org/issues/49.10/the-western-lawmakers-whose-bills-attack-public-lands


The Airbnb Concept Arrives for Campers
Courtesy of GP RED

Bloomberg reported on a new app that allows people to book campsites on private lands, similar to Airbnb and other share applications.

Started in New York State, it’s called Tentrr, and the company plans to have several hundred sites around the country listed as the year progresses. Now there’s a way to make money off of that patch of lawn in the back yard J. It remains to be seen whether this will spur an explosion of interest in camping the old-fashioned way – in State and National parks, forests, and other public lands.

For more information: https://www.tentrr.com/


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Webinar: Healthy Parks Healthy People 2.0 Strategy
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: June 22, 2017
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: National Park Service (NPS)

The National Park Service is preparing a new 5-year strategy for Healthy Parks Healthy People. Join NPS to orient yourself on this new strategy. The purpose of the webinar is to:

- Communicate the vision, goals, and principles of the HPHP 2.0 strategic plan;
- Create awareness of the breadth of actions to be implemented across the Service;
- Generate interest in partnering with the NPS on actions related to strategic goals;
- Identify ways to engage with NPS.

For more information: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c094faaab2ba1ff2-register


Webinar: Nature Play Spaces for Children and Families
Courtesy of the Children and Nature Network

Date: Thursday, Jun 22, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Registration is recommended. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

When children engage in outdoor play in nature, they experience many benefits to their health, well-being, and learning. Join experts from the Natural Learning Initiative at NC State University to learn more about designing nature play spaces and city progress toward integrating nature play into parks and early learning settings.

Featured speakers:

Dr. Nilda Cosco, Natural Learning Initiative, NC State University
Dr. Robin Moore, Natural Learning Initiative, NC State University

Register here: http://tinyurl.com/yb9c6np9


Webinar: Restoring Public Access to Waterfronts
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

Date: July 19, 2017, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET
Presenters: TBA
Hosts: APBP
Details: $50 for members, $85 for non-members

For more information: http://www.apbp.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=900270&group=


Webinar: How to Address Roadway Safety Issues for ATVs and Other Off-Road Vehicles
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: July 12, 2017
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: National Center for Rural Road Safety

This webinar will provide an overview of the risk factors associated with deaths and injuries when riders take ATVs and Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs) on the road. These include youth as a particularly vulnerable riding population, and the higher risk of traumatic death when crashes occur on rural versus urban roads. It will also include a discussion about the challenges and potential strategies related to raising public and stakeholder awareness of this widespread roadway safety issue.

For more information: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ee09j689bb6085d3&llr=ngyyawuab


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Director of Regional Parks
County of San Bernardino, California
Posted March 24, 2017; Open until filled.

Director Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Affairs
DeKalb County Government, Georgia
Posted May 4, 2017. Open until filled.

Recreation and Parks Manager
Glynn County, Georgia
Posted June 7, 2017. Closes June 30, 2017.

Landscape Architect II
City of Boulder, Colorado
Posted June 16, 2017. Closes July 9, 2017 at 5:00 PM Mountain Time.

For more information: http://nacpro.org/Job_Posts


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