April 2017 Print


NACPRO Legislative Platform

NACPRO, as an affiliate of both NRPA and NACo, has the opportunity to influence the legislative agendas of these organizations. We are able to consider legislative concerns of county and special district park and recreation agencies and make sure these interests are represented through the lobbying strength of the larger NRPA and NACo organizations.

Among NACPRO’s major areas of concern are: LWCF, CDBG, children and nature initiatives, natural resources preservation programs, and funding for physical activity and nutrition promotion programs. The NACPRO Board of Directors invites all members to review the NACPRO Legislative Platform. You can submit additional concerns and comments to NACPRO at brenda@nacpro.org.

For more information: http://nacpro.org/about.php


2017 Special Park District Forum and NACPRO Summer Meeting

This year NACPRO will be meeting in conjunction with the Special Park District Forum, hosted by Stark Parks in Canton, Ohio from June 6 - 8. The Forum program will substitute for the NACPRO county park tour and classroom educational session. The NACPRO awards ceremony and board meeting is scheduled for June 8.

The Special Park District Forum is an annual gathering of representatives from park, recreation and natural area special districts throughout North America. Each year, participants tour the host agency’s facilities, discuss hot topics, and share the successes and challenges of managing regional park systems.

Registration is required if you plan to attend the NACPRO award ceremony. Options for full or one-day Forum registration, or an awards ceremony only registration are available

Early bird rates are available through May 1. Registration closes on May 31.

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


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Bogies and birdies in store for counties over golf courses

By Mary Ann Barton

While both public and private golf courses provide a space for getting exercise and fresh air for residents in your county, they can also improve property values (unless it’s being neglected), prevent flooding and serve as an environmental oasis for residents and wildlife.

But while golf courses can provide benefits to residents, they can prove to be as tricky as making a hole-in-one for some county governments, starting with waning demand. “Golf is declining in popularity nationally,” said Palm Beach County Fla. Commissioner Steven L. Abrams.

He’s right — just Google “golf” and “millennials” and you’ll find loads of articles headlined “How Golf Lost the Millennials,” “Millennials Ditch the Links” and “Millennials Are Hurting the Golf Industry.”

Golf has seen participation drop from about 30 million players to around 23 million in the last 10 years, according to the National Golf Foundation.

Read more: http://www.naco.org/articles/bogies-and-birdies-store-counties-over-golf-courses


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Introducing the new Park Champion Toolkit

Many of the critical federal programs that benefit parks and recreation are at risk of being cut or even eliminated. You can play an integral role in saving the future of parks and recreation by joining the Park Champions initiative. By inviting your members of Congress to your next event and showing them firsthand how important parks and recreation are to your community, you can help us save these programs. It's easier than ever to invite your members of Congress for a visit with NRPA's new, interactive Park Champion Advocacy Toolkit.

For more information:


New report: Park and recreation agencies make local environmental sustainability a priority

To gain an understanding of the sustainability practices currently implemented by park and recreation agencies and of how agencies are contributing to sustainability in their communities, NRPA surveyed nearly 400 park and recreation agencies around the country.

Read more: http://www.nrpa.org/climate-resiliency


Turning the Tide on a Generation Left Inside

By Jackie Ostfeld

In 2010, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) came together to address this national crisis among America’s children and youth by breaking down the barriers that have left an entire generation indoors. NRPA has been there since the very beginning as a founding partner organization. Today, OAK brings together nearly 100 organizations, representing more than 60 million individuals to help shape a future where all children, youth and families have safe and readily available opportunities to connect with the outdoors. Alliance members believe that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities, and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. We also understand and value two simple truths: there are many ways to experience and spend time in nature, and our public lands and open spaces belong to all of us. To reach its objectives, OAK celebrates diversity in the outdoors and actively works to ensure all kids and communities have encouragement and opportunities to safely explore the natural world.

Read more:


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What Can YOU Do to Make Playgrounds Safer?
Courtesy of the Eppley Institute

There are playgrounds in nearly every corner of our communities – on school grounds, at parks, at churches, nestled in apartment complexes, and in our own backyards. The question is – do you know if these playgrounds are safe? And what can YOU do to make them safe? Maybe you haven’t thought much about playground safety and you want to learn more?

There are simple actions that we can take - as parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, or program staff - to be proactive about playground safety. Per the National Program for Playground Safety, these basic safety tips can have a significant impact on the reduction of child injury and death:

- Children should wear closed-toe shoes while playing.
- Children should NOT wear drawstrings, scarves, or necklaces on equipment.

Other resources and fact sheets can be downloaded from the National Program for Playground Safety site: http://playgroundsafety.org/safety-week/introduction

Has your playground been inspected or maintained recently? The Eppley Institute manages the national Playground Maintenance Technician (PMT) Program which teaches the basics of playground maintenance to school and park maintenance staff. The affordable, two-day PMT program builds skills necessary to effectively address safety concerns on playgrounds, helping to increase playground safety and reduce liability for agencies. The goal of the PMT is to improve playground safety by reducing the number and severity of injuries. Since September 2016, nearly 500 PMT participants have been trained in this highly sought-after, sold-out program. Don’t miss your chance to learn the fundamentals of playground maintenance and repair! Visit www.playgroundmaintenance.org to learn more and call the Program Coordinator, Sally Pelto-Wheeler, to schedule a PMT training in your area.

To learn more about backyard and neighborhood park playground safety recommendations, search www.CPSC.gov


Noteworthy Local Policies That Support Safe and Complete Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks
Courtesy of the FHWA

Noteworthy Local Policies That Support Safe and Complete Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks provides local and state agencies with the tools to create a solid policy platform to support the creation of multimodal transportation networks for users of all ages and abilities. The guidebook is intended to assist local and state governmental agencies in developing and applying policies and provide evidence to support policy adoption.

The guidebook showcases opportunities to make street networks more complete, more livable, and safer for all users. The guidebook first defines a safe and complete pedestrian and bicycle network. The guidebook then identifies six key elements of a successful policy framework to achieve a complete network and provides suggestions for implementation. The accompanying case studies, organized by the six key element categories, showcase noteworthy examples from across the country of how policies can support safe and complete street networks. Sections within each case study describe the policy of note with characteristics of the municipality in which it was enacted and examples of similar case studies if they exist.

Download the report: https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/tools_solve/docs/fhwasa17006.pdf


New Rivers Hazards Map/Analysis Tool
Courtesy of the River Management Society

By Dr. Greg Pasternack, Professor of River Science and Watershed Hydrology University of California, Davis

Today my research group at UC Davis published a new peer-reviewed article in the journal Natural Hazards that lays out how you can map and analyze several of the deadly natural hazards in the rivers you manage. If any of you are involved in physical habitat studies, you’ll find some cross-over in the thinking and approach, but the specific analyses are all related to whitewater river hazards. This is not just theoretical, either. We implemented the approach on a 12-km segment of hazardous bedrock/boulder river in the Sierras, including analysis of waterfalls, hydraulic jumps, boulders, and more.

If you check out the article linked below and would like to know more about what it would take to replicate this work for your river, please contact me (gpast@ucdavis.edu) and I would be happy to help in any way possible. As someone who has been churned in a large hydraulic jump myself, I fully appreciate the hazards people face, and I want to do what I can to help our society cope with this unheralded but important problem.

Read more: http://rdcu.be/rshq


A Focus on Health to Resolve Urban Ills
Courtesy of the New York Times

By Amy Maxmen

On a crisp morning in the struggling Bay Area city of Richmond, Calif., Doria Robinson prepares a community vegetable garden for an onslaught of teenagers who will arrive that afternoon. Beyond the farm, a Chevron refinery pumps plumes of smoke into the atmosphere. The farm won’t remove the pollution, but Robinson believes it can make the city’s residents healthier in other ways, specifically by showing them that “their actions have an impact.”

Robinson is the director of Urban Tilth, a nonprofit organization that is part of a movement in Richmond to counteract chronic stress that stems from the characteristics of the environment — abuse, discrimination, unrelenting economic worries and feelings of marginalization and lack of control — all of which scientists have linked to poor health.

Although evidence for connections between social factors and physical health has mounted for decades, interventions have remained elusive. To figure out what works, more than a dozen jurisdictions across the United States have rolled out a policy regimen titled “Health in All Policies” that has decades-old international roots; it explores new ways to improve health through social transformation, and ways to assess the impact of the changes. Robinson’s farms are among many interventions supported by the new laws. But “Health in All Policies” is part of a broader movement to confront problems before they manifest in illness and casualties.

Richmond became an early adopter of “Health in All Policies” in 2009. The basic idea is that considerations of health and health equity should be systemically woven into city plans and budget decisions ranging from transportation to housing. It was widely known that unsafe streets can directly injure an individual.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/opinion/a-focus-on-health-to-resolve-urban-ills.html


The Anatomy of a Great Dog Park
Courtesy of City Lab

By John Metcalfe

Dog parks where pups scamper off-leash have long been the fastest-growing segment of urban parks in the U.S., surging in number by 89 percent since 2007. As cities continue to stake out four-legged-friendly zones, how can we make sure hounds are getting the best experiences and not, say, surviving chaotic mosh pits of mud and snapping teeth?

Leslie Lowe is a landscape architect who helped design the Hugh Rogers Wag Park in Whitefish, Montana, dubbed one of the country’s 10 best dog parks in 2015 by USA Today. Her park includes a wealth of dog-pleasing features, including climbing rocks, tunnels, asphalt trails, a pond for splashing, shade trees, and an agility course. She’s now plotting out another in Fernie, British Columbia, and writing a book about dog-park design. Lowe, who has spent decades working with hunting dogs, believes that a good dog park replicates the experience of frolicking in the wide-open, ever-stimulating wild, making dogs feel at ease by placing them in a setting that feels naturally familiar.

“A lot of architects don’t really understand dogs. They’re designing parks as, ‘Well, let’s just put a fence around it,’” she says. “But when my dogs are in natural settings, they’re leaping over logs, they’re climbing on rocks, they’re going under logs. There’s a variety of different sensations you’re giving them, rather than just a flat, grass park with nothing in it.”

Read more: https://www.citylab.com/navigator/2017/04/how-to-design-the-best-dog-park/522870/


Check out these new wildlife highway crossings
Courtesy of 9news.com

COLORADO - Have you noticed the wildlife underpasses and overpasses in Grand County? Construction crews started putting them into place in April 2015 between Kremmling and Silverthorne.

There are two wildlife overpasses and five wildlife underpasses where instead of crossing the highway in front of cars, the animals can safely go above or under the highway.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the project has resulted in a 90 percent reduction in wildlife-vehicle collisions.

Watch the video:


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The Future of Fighting Wildfires in the Era of Climate Change
Courtesy of Pacific Magazine

By Bob Berwyn

During the height of the Soberanes Fire last September in Central California, the United States Forest Service estimated it was costing about $8 million per day to fight the wildfire. By the time firefighters fully contained the blaze at 132,000 acres, it had become the most expensive wildfire in U.S. history, with a total cost of more than $206 million.

The Soberanes Fire wasn’t even one of the 10 largest on record in California, but the high price tag is one of the signs that the U.S. is losing the battle against wildfires. Moreover, according to a new study based on research in Colorado and California, the Forest Service and other agencies simply won’t be able to keep up with bigger and longer-lasting fires unless they adopt a new, forward-looking attitude and different strategies to prepare for wildfires in the era of global warming.

The researchers behind the new study, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that, instead of trying to fight every fire or thin vast areas in futile prevention efforts, the Forest Service should focus on protecting communities and limiting new development in fire-prone areas, while letting some fires?—?even large?—?burn, which will help Western landscapes adapt to climate change in the decades ahead.

Read more: https://psmag.com/the-future-of-fighting-wildfires-in-the-era-of-climate-change-3004d07fdcd6


Conservation program grows youth passion for nature
Courtesy of Wisconsin Gazette

By Virginia Small

Several hundred young Milwaukeeans could get a job working in county parks this summer — and more.

August M. Ball, community engagement and volunteer services coordinator, is revamping several parks department efforts, including the Summer Youth Employment Program funded through the City of Milwaukee’s Earn & Learn initiative.

Ball is working to re-create a version of the SCA program and expand its scope. The parks department will partner with Employ Milwaukee, Groundwork Milwaukee, Maximus and United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee to “increase land stewardship efforts, address unemployment and increase representation of Milwaukee’s diverse community in service to our public green space,” said Ball.

Adult participants will work May through August with the potential to stay on through the fall. They also will be introduced to potential employment opportunities within the parks department. Earn & Learn participants will work 20 hours weekly for eight weeks. Ball is still working out the funding details for what will be at least two or three hours of professional development training weekly.

Each teen and adult participant will engage in personal and professional development throughout the program, including résumé building, job interview practice, conflict management, green career exploration and effective communication. Participants will also receive 90 minutes of financial literacy each payday through the Make a Difference Foundation, which is a nonprofit that offers financial literacy education specifically for teens.

Read more: http://wisconsingazette.com/2017/04/06/conservation-program-youth-nature/


Siege Has Ended, but Battle Over Public Lands Rages On
Courtesy of the New York Times

By Kirk Johnson

BURNS, Ore. — A year ago, this corner of rural Oregon became center stage in the drawn-out drama over public lands when armed militia leaders seized a national wildlife refuge, arguing that the government had too much control of land in the West.

Now that President Trump is in office, people here and in other parts of the 11 states where 47 percent of the landmass is publicly owned are watching to see what he will do on everything related to public lands, from coal mining and cattle grazing to national monuments and parks. In Burns, some ranchers and others are feeling emboldened, hopeful that regulatory rollbacks by the federal government will return lands to private use and shore up a long-struggling economy.

But the change in administration has also spawned a countermovement of conservatives and corporate executives who are speaking up alongside environmentalists in defense of public lands and now worry about losing access to hunting grounds and customers who prize national parks and wildlife.

In Idaho, for example, a deal to put thousands of acres into private ownership — exactly the sort of transaction that the militia leader brothers, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, had espoused in seizing the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge — was met with fierce opposition, by no less than a group of conservative outdoorsmen.

Read more: 


Poll: Oregonians would turn against politicians who vote to sell public land
Courtesy of Oregon Live

By Andrew Theen

Most Oregonians, regardless of political party, would be less likely to support an elected official who votes to sell off public lands such as forests, parks or wildlife refuges.

That's according to a poll conducted last week by Washington, D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, and commissioned by Oregon Wild, a nonprofit environmental advocacy and conservation group.

Statewide, 80 percent of the poll's respondents said they would be less likely to support a politician who voted to "sell off or privatize" public lands. Just 10 percent of poll respondents said they would be more likely to support that elected official. Ten percent said the stance would have no effect on their views or they were unsure.

Read more: 


Recreation Industry Leaders Complete Important Day of Policy Discussions with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
Courtesy of the American Recreation Coalition

Washington, D.C. (April 25, 2017) - Senior recreation industry corporate and trade association officials met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday, April 24, capping a full and encouraging day of discussions with Trump Administration officials. The meetings were organized by the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) and began in Shenandoah National Park. Twelve hours later, the day’s discussions concluded in the office of the Secretary of the Interior in downtown Washington, DC.

Secretary Zinke had originally planned to spend most of the day with a larger group of recreation leaders in the park but travel challenges the prior day interrupted those plans. The scheduled discussions went on and were very productive, with Administration participation by the Interior Department’s Senior White House Liaison Doug Domenech, Special Assistant to the Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Virginia Johnson, Acting National Park Service (NPS) Director Mike Reynolds and Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon.

The evening discussion began with the Secretary outlining a broad range of goals. He pledged to rebuild trust with the public and with state and local governments, with more collaboration and less focus on law enforcement, expressing plans to rebuild the image of park rangers as hosts and sources of information and assistance. He discussed more active management of parks and other public lands.

Read more: http://www.funoutdoors.com/ZinkeMeeting


California Approves $84m in Trails Projects
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy eNews reports California transportation officials recently announced more than $84 million in funding for trail projects as part of the state's Active Transportation Program (ATP). And this month, the state Legislature approved an additional investment of $1 billion over the next decade in ATP for walking and biking programs across the state.

Read more: http://tinyurl.com/kjd7mht


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Crime Prevention through Environmental Design Classes
Courtesy of NICP

- 5 Day Basic CPTED Course, Houston, TX, May 1-5, 2017
- 5 Day Basic CPTED Course, Greenville, SC, May 8-12, 2017
- 3 Day Basic CPTED Course, Apple Valley, MN, May 16-18, 2017
- 2 Day CPTED Seminar, Hartford, CT, May 20-21, 2017
- 5 Day Basic CPTED Course, Carmel, CA, May 22 -26, 2017
- 3 Day Advanced CPTED, Parker, CO, May 31-June 2, 201
- 5 Day Basic CPTED Course, Las Vegas, NV, June 26-30, 2017
- 5 Day Basic CPTED Course, El Cajon, CA, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2017
- 5 Day Basic CPTED Course, Grand Rapids, MI, Sept. 11-15, 2017
- 3 Day Advanced CPTED Course, Greenville, SC, Sept. 18-20, 2017
- 2 Day CPTED Specialized Topics, Greenville, SC, Sept. 21-23, 2017
- 3 Day Advanced CPTED Course, Las Vegas, NV, Oct. 9-11, 2017
- 2 Day CPTED Specialized Topics, Las Vegas, NV, Oct. 12-13, 2017
- 5 Day Basic CPTED Course, Durham, NC, Oct. 23-27, 2017
- 5 Day Basic CPTED Course, Riverside, CA, Nov. 6-10, 2017
- 5 Day Basic CPTED Course, Kernersville, NC, Nov. 13-17, 2017

For more information: http://www.cptedtraining.net/


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

Executive Director
Maywood Park District, Illinois
Posted April 3, 2017; Closes May 5, 2017

Director of Park & Recreation
City of Great Falls, Montana
Posted April 17, 2017. Closes May 19, 2017.

Assistant Director Parks & Recreation
Clark County, Nevada
Posted April 25, 2017. Closes May 9, 2017.

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


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