September 2017 Print


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More County Parks to Reopen after Hurricane Irma
Courtesy of Palm Beach County

FLORIDA - The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department will be reopening ten parks and facilities for general use on Tuesday, September 19. These parks are in addition to the 54 parks and facilities that were previously opened last week following extensive damage assessments, safety inspections and debris removal.

Specialized areas such as sports playing fields, courts, pools and other facilities located inside the parks may remain closed for safety reasons. All other county-operated parks and recreational facilities will remain closed until further notice. However, park crews will be working to prepare additional parks to reopen as quickly as possible.

For more information:


Creating Safe Routes to Parks
Courtesy of NRPA

By Dee Merriam, RLA, FASLA, Eric Sauer, Ian Dunn and Tegan Boehmer

In collaboration with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the National Recreation and Park Association developed a Safe Routes to Parks action framework for local governments. An early step in the framework is to determine walking access to parks within the entire jurisdiction and for specific sites. An acceptable walking distance will vary for individuals based on their age, ability and health, and within different environments. A half mile has been recognized as the distance that most people are able and willing to regularly walk to a destination.

Five Rivers MetroParks (FRMP) in Dayton, Ohio, used the Active Living by Design measures as part of its Safe Routes to Parks program. FRMP wanted to understand how many residents live within a half mile of its parks, and more importantly, how many residents live within a half-mile walk route of each park.

FRMP identified 25 potential new entrances that could provide more than 10,000 additional residents with walking access to a park. This analysis also illustrated how physical barriers — highways, rail lines or rivers — can separate large populations from a park. In the future, FRMP could collaborate with other city and county agencies to review neighborhood street networks for opportunities to shorten route distances by making walkable connections and to improve the safety of routes by assessing the presence and quality of sidewalks and street crossings.

Note: This article expands on three of the Common Measures included in the Improving Public Health Through Public Parks and Trails: Eight Common Measures report -

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Place-Based Design and Civic Health
Courtesy of NRPA

By Suzanne Nienaber

The Detroit riverfront captures a compelling tale of urban transformation. Home to a thriving industrial base in the early 20th century, the riverfront gradually became marred by crime, pollution and urban decay. In 2003, the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy was formed by a determined, innovative group of civic and community leaders who wanted to reverse these negative trends and create a world-class riverfront park, providing safe, green and accessible recreation space for all.

The Conservancy’s work has resulted in an international success story. Today, the riverfront is teeming with activity, attracting millions of visitors each year. Children splash in fountains, people roam butterfly gardens and bike on greenways, and crowds gather for a full schedule of activities, including concerts, festivals and community yoga. “One of the most special things about the riverfront is that it is a truly welcoming space,” says Detroit RiverFront Conservancy President and CEO Mark Wallace. “You see visitors from out of town and Detroiters who live in the neighborhoods; you see folks who are new to the city and folks who have been here for 85 years. It’s a special place where everyone feels pride in this community, where everyone can get along and be themselves.”

Stories like this are part of the inspiration behind Assembly, a groundbreaking initiative to understand how place-based design can impact civic life. Studies show that communities across the United States are facing concerning civic engagement trends, such as distrust among neighbors, economic and political segregation, low voter turnout and disinvestment in public infrastructure. At the same time, promising innovations are emerging to support civic life — often through enhancements to parks and public spaces. Assembly’s research efforts seek to further understand this crucial relationship between place-based design and civic health.

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Tennis, Everyone
Courtesy of NRPA

By Mary Helen Sprecher

In the morning, you’ll see them: athletes filtering onto the park tennis courts before the North Carolina heat catches up to the day. After a short warm-up and a review from the coaches, lessons, drills and play begin in earnest.

The sounds — cheers when a point is scored, yelps of frustration over the occasional bad shot — can be heard any morning on a thousand municipal courts around the country. Except, these players, who range from raw beginners to being able to hold their own in league play, have developmental disabilities. Many still live with their parents, despite being adults. Some have jobs, some don’t. Some may never have jobs and some live in group homes.

But, they all play tennis in the park, where passersby stop and watch. And that, says Jessie Taliaferro, who works with Abilities Tennis Association of North Carolina, is the biggest win of all. Without ever saying a word, these players are opening the eyes of the general population.

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E-bike Resources and Webinars
Courtesy of People for Bikes

PeopleForBikes has been developing resources that answer many of the questions you may be facing as electric bike usage rises: what they are, where they are allowed, and what studies and management resources exist. Our intent is to facilitate understanding of e-bikes and decisions regarding their use and access.

We are hosting three webinars geared toward land managers between November and January. Two time slots are offered for each webinar. We're leaving plenty of time for Q&A and discussion, and want to learn more about the challenges and opportunities land managers face with regard to the management of electric bikes on public lands.

Webinar #1: eMTB 101 - Who's Riding, Current Policies, and Resources
Wednesday, November 15, 9 - 10 a.m. & 12 - 1 p.m.

Webinar #2: eMTB Land Manager Handbook
Wednesday, December 6, 9 - 10 a.m. & 12 - 1 p.m.

Webinar #3: eMTBs: Current Issues and Partnership Opportunities
Wednesday, January 24, 9 - 10 a.m. & 12 - 1 p.m.

For more information:


GP RED Invites you to take our REDLine Survey on Drones in Parks and Recreation

This GP REDLine Survey focuses on the use of drones in parks and recreation. We are asking you to take a few minutes to answer the following brief questions. We also request that you send this on to any contacts or associates that might be interested in this topic. A link is presented at the end of the survey and is designed to allow you to send it on.

We at GP RED appreciate your participation and will send you a brief summary of key findings and best practices in the coming weeks.

Click here to take the survey:


Drones in Parks: Part 1. Policy, Drone Zones and Resources for Land Managers
Courtesy of NRPA

By Roxanne Sutton

A topic as complex as drones in parks couldn’t be covered in just one episode, so we we’re launching a three-part series to tackle this topic by interviewing experts in the field with three different perspectives.

Part 1. Policy, Drone Zones and Resources for Land Managers
Part 2. Ways Park Managers Are Handling Drones
Part 3. Opportunities and the Future of Drones in Parks

In part one, I chat with Chad Budreau – Public Relations and Government Affairs Director for the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

For more information:


2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation
Courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Preliminary information from the 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation is provided in this report. The final, more detailed National Report will be available December 2017.

In 2016, 101.6 million Americans 16 years old and older, 40% of the U.S. population, enjoyed some form of fishing, hunting or wildlife-associated recreation. Outdoor recreation is a huge contributor to our nation’s economy, and expenditures by hunters, anglers, and wildlife-watchers were $156.3 billion. This equates to 1% of Gross Domestic Product; one out of every one hundred dollars of all goods and services produced in the U.S. is due to wildlife-related recreation.

Almost 39.6 million Americans participated in fishing, hunting, or both sports in 2016. These sportsmen and women spent $41.7 billion on equipment, $30.9 billion on trips, and $7.8 billion on licenses and fees, membership dues and contributions, land leasing and ownership, and plantings for hunting. On average, each sportsperson spent $2,034 in 2016.

Download the report:


Wildlife Poop versus Dog Poop: Explained
Courtesy of Leave No Trace

Estes Park, CO: Researchers in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park were greeted with exciting findings earlier this year when samples of bear scat mixed with soil in the Park's greenhouse yielded more than 1,200 Oregon-grape and Chokecherry seedlings. The astounding number of seedlings that germinated from the fertile mixture of bear scat and soil provided even greater evidence for the interdependence of species living in the Rocky Mountain ecosystem. According to researchers, the seedlings are much more likely to germinate after passing through a bear's internal system compared to simply dropping off the plant. This is because seeds from plants like Chokecherry have a thick, durable seed coat that needs to be broken down for the seed to germinate - a service the bear's stomach performs remarkably well.

From a Leave No Trace perspective, we find these results exciting. We enjoy hearing about studies that show how different species work together in an ecosystem to survive and thrive. More importantly, we feel this provides an excellent answer to the age-old question: Why can the wildlife poop in the woods, but my dog can't?

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Honeybee Conservancy Invites Applications for Beekeeping Materials
Courtesy of Philanthropy News Digest

The Honeybee Conservancy is inviting applications for in-kind grants to help organizations or schools safely set up, maintain, and observe on-site bee sanctuaries at schools, community gardens, and green spaces across the United States.

Through its Sponsor-A-Hive program, the conservancy will award grants in the form of honey or solitary bees, their homes, beekeeping equipment, and information on how to care for the bees. With the assistance of the conservancy, bees are placed strategically in locations where they can bolster local bee populations, advance science and environmental education, and pollinate locally grown food.

To be eligible, applicants must be located in the United States and be a nonprofit organization; elementary, middle, or high school; college or university; tribal education agency; environmental center; or a food bank or community garden that does not charge a membership fee. In addition, applicant organizations must have been in existence for at least a year to be eligible to receive materials.

Deadline: October 31, 2017

For more information:


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Nature's calling -- for more human diversity
Courtesy of CNN

By Alexandra Pattillo

In a time of intense political polarization in the United States, experts say, we need nature more than ever. Wild spaces offer opportunities for recreation but also for healing and unity. They are places to come together to breathe deeply and reflect on where society is headed.

Exploring natural places enables everyone to see the world in a new way -- but it's an experience that's often restricted to specific segments of the American population.

Green spaces bring numerous health benefits. Nancy Wells, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University, explained that experiences in nature can lead to decreased blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, assist with direct attention fatigue, and increase cognitive function. Nature might even buffer the impact of stress, Wells said. "There is also evidence that nature is a social magnet," she said. "Nature draws people together and helps to foster neighborhood social ties."

"Look who is on the cover of Outside magazine," said Jose Gonzalez, founder and executive director of Latino Outdoors. "You can look at the history of these covers. It will predominantly be a white male doing some kind of extreme outdoor adventure. What that affirms is: This is what the outdoors is, and this is who belongs in it."

"We need to be able to promote outdoor lifestyles that are real," said Ambreen Tariq, communications director and board member of Green Muslims. "People often view the outdoors as you're a backpacker or you have to be extreme and minimal. But that's not my lifestyle. The outdoors means you go outside and you enjoy nature in whatever setting you want. Maybe that's a cookout; maybe that's gardening; maybe that's going to a state park that's down the street."

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Sustainable for Whom? Large-Scale Sustainable Urban Development Projects and “Environmental Gentrification”
Courtesy of ShelterForce

By Dan Immergluck

Large, adaptive-reuse, “sustainable development” projects are all the rage these days in urban planning circles. These are projects where large pieces of abandoned or underutilized infrastructure are repurposed as centerpieces of major urban redevelopment initiatives that are couched in the rhetoric of sustainable development. They bring positive environmental amenities to an area, including added green space, increased walkability and bicycle-friendliness, and more local shopping and retail services.

These projects are often led by local governments or their affiliate agencies and tend to involve substantial public and/or philanthropic subsidy. Examples range from New York’s High Line, to Washington, DC’s 11th Street Bridge project, to Chicago’s 606 Trail.

Over the last twelve years, I have studied and closely monitored one such project, the Atlanta BeltLine, and drawn some lessons from the project, particularly for cities or regions where, overall, the housing market is strong. (These lessons do not apply directly to large-scale projects in cities with declining populations or “weak market” cities.)

Projects like the BeltLine have the power to transform communities so rapidly and dramatically that they call for a new approach to planning and implementation that I call “Affordability First.” Contrary to the traditional, rational-comprehensive model of planning in which all aspects of community needs and assets are effectively put on equal footing, the Affordability First approach recognizes that when a project is of such a scale and impact that it has the potential to spur rapid increases in land and housing costs, provisions for preserving significant housing affordability must be put in place before other aspects of the project are considered.

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Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account Takes Next Steps
Courtesy of the American Recreation Coalition

Outdoor recreation is an essential part of the American economy. According to industry numbers, the various business sectors within outdoor recreation generate $887 billion per year in economic activity and provide an estimated 7.6 million direct jobs. Now, thanks to strong support from the recreation industry, the federal government is working to develop a clearer picture of just how economically important outdoor recreation is. The government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) – with support from recreation industry groups like the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) – has established the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) as part of the effort to measure the economics of outdoor recreation. ORSA was created after the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives unanimously passed the Outdoor REC Act in November 2016.

BEA's first step is defining just what constitutes "outdoor recreation." The Bureau is working with experts in academia, the private sector and the Federal Recreation Council to develop two sets of prototype statistics using broad and narrow definitions of outdoor recreation.

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As sportsmen watch Zinke, disillusionment replaces hope
Courtesy of High Country News

By Rebecca Worby

At the beginning of Ryan Zinke’s tenure as Interior Secretary, the sporting community was hopeful: He’s from Montana. He’s a sportsman himself. And his first public meeting was with hook-and-bullet groups.

But those early hopes have waned as many sportsmen have begun to feel that the Interior Department is giving short shrift to conservation. Chief among sportsmen’s concerns are the Trump administration’s push for energy development on public lands, the loosening of sage grouse protections and other regulatory rollbacks, and Zinke’s recommendations to shrink national monuments. “We’re concerned that there’s this aura of downgrading a lot of the gains that have been made in conservation over the past handful of years,” says Aaron Kindle, senior manager of Western sporting campaigns for the National Wildlife Federation.

Meanwhile, sportsmen and women have cautiously applauded a few of Zinke’s actions over the last few months, such as expanding hunting and fishing opportunities in ten wildlife refuges. “So far it’s been a mixed bag,” says Land Tawney, president and CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, a sportsmen group with a public lands focus.

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California Beach and Park Smoking Ban Heads to Governor’s Desk
Courtesy of

By Charlie Minato

A pair of bills seeking to ban smoking at California’s parks and beaches are heading to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

A.B. 725 passed its third reading in the California Senate 26-11 with three abstaining on Monday, while S.B. 386 cleared its final vote in the California Assembly 56-22 with one abstaining.

The bills are almost identical, both would ban smoking at parks and beaches within the states, but there are a couple differences that make A.B. 725 more preferable for smokers than S.B. 386.

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"Rain For Rent" Intended To Protect Lake McDonald Lodge In Glacier National Park
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

By Kurt Repanshek

"Rain for Rent," a large-scale piping system designed to spray water over large areas, was being installed at Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park to protect the historic facility and its surrounding complex from the Sprague Fire that has been burning for nearly a month in the mountains above the lake.

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A river runs through it: the global movement to 'daylight' urban waterways
Courtesy of The Guardian

By David Cox

United Kingdom - Tucked away in a corner of Sheffield’s cultural quarter, among the graffiti and red-brick housing blocks and a derelict industrial site, lies a green oasis. Porter Brook is a “pocket park” – a small amphitheatre, sloping down to the banks of the river Porter, where wild trout spawn in spring and students from the technical college picnic and paddle.

Two years ago, the pocket park did not exist. There was just a crumbling car park with the river Porter nowhere to be seen, save for a brief glimpse before it disappeared into a culvert.

The success of uncovering Porter Brook is the first step in a new project to bring back Sheffield’s lost urban rivers – to remove the culverts and integrate them into the city again. Known as “daylighting”, it is part of a broader global movement towards rediscovering urban rivers in cities worldwide.

In Zurich, daylighting is actually enshrined in law. Known as the “Bachkonzept” or the “stream concept”, urban river restoration has been common practice in Switzerland’s largest city for 30 years. Urban rivers have been daylighted and integrated into Zurich in all manner of ways, such as complementing the local architecture.

But river daylighting isn’t purely for aesthetic reasons. Climate change has been one of the major driving factors for large-scale investment in these projects. Planners hope to utilise the passive cooling provided by rivers to help combat the urban heat island effect, and most of all, offer benefits in terms of flood protection.

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Google Expands Wheelchair Access Mapping
Courtesy of City Lab

By Casey Brazeal

Google is looking to expand information about accessibility for the disabled in its maps by recruiting "local guides." As Linda Poon reports for CityLab, "Google Maps already indicates if a location is wheelchair accessible—a result of a personal project by one of its employees—but its latest campaign will crowdsource data from its 30 million Local Guides worldwide."

These guides can upload tips and information relevant to accessibility, such as: "Does the building have wheelchair-accessible bathrooms?" or "Are there wheelchair-accessible elevators?" In exchange, guides will receive prizes like additional storage space.

But as simple as the questions seem—Is there wheelchair-accessible seating? or Is there a wheelchair-accessible elevator?—answering them requires careful attention to detail. That’s why Google even sent out a nifty tip sheet to help its physically abled members answer those questions.

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Secretary Zinke Signs Secretarial Order Seeking to Expand Access to Recreation on Public Lands
Courtesy of the American Recreation Coalition

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356 today (September 15), creating a process to identify and expand access to outdoor recreation – especially hunting and fishing – on public lands and waters managed by the Department of the Interior. The order is an extension of Secretarial Order 3347 – issued on Secretary Zinke’s first day in office. The new order seeks to improve wildlife management and conservation and increase access to public lands for hunting, shooting, and fishing. It also puts a new and a greater emphasis on recruiting and retaining new sportsmen conservationists, with a focus on engaging youth, veterans, minorities, and other communities that traditionally have low participation in outdoor recreation activities.

For more information:


Secretary Perdue Administers Oath to Tony Tooke as New Forest Service Chief
Courtesy of the USDA

(Albany, NH, September 1, 2017) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today administered the oath of office to Tony Tooke, who became the 18th Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, in a ceremony at White Mountain National Forest. Tooke has worked for the Forest Service since age 18 – with 37 total years of service – and until today was the Regional Forester for the Southern Region.

“Tony Tooke is truly a home-grown Chief, having worked his entire adult life for the Forest Service, and he comes on board at a time of great opportunity to reform our approach to forest management,” Perdue said. “He will oversee efforts to get our forests working again, to make them more productive, and to create more jobs. Additionally, wildfires have been aggressive this season, and it is frustrating to see that a greater and greater percentage – now 55 percent – of our Forest Service budget is spent on fire suppression. This diminishes our efforts to mitigate disasters in advance. I am committed to finding a permanent solution to this budget imbalance, and Tony’s leadership will be key to accomplishing that goal.”

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Webinar: Connecting Communities: Integrating Transportation and Recreation Networks
Courtesy of American Trails

Date: Thursday, September 21, 2017
Time: 10:00-11:30am Pacific (1:00-2:30pm Eastern)
Price: Free for members / $55 for nonmembers
CEUs: $20 fee

This presentation demonstrates how to integrate transportation and recreation infrastructure. It describes a process in Columbus, Ohio, to assess transportation and recreation facilities for connectivity. It also describes several FHWA publications that highlight ways that planners and designers can apply the design flexibility found in national design guidelines to address common design challenges and barriers. These publications focus on reducing multimodal conflicts and achieving connected networks, so that walking and bicycling are safe, comfortable, and attractive options for people of all ages and abilities.
Learn more about the webinar, the learning objectives, and presenters here.

- Christopher Douwes, Community Planner, Federal Highway Administration
- Laura Toole, Planning and Environmental Specialist, Federal Highway Administration

For more information:


Measuring Cities Connecting Children to Nature
Courtesy of the Children and Nature Network

Date: Thursday, Sep 28th, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

The Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) initiative supports city leaders in connecting more children, more equitably to nature. The pilot CCCN cohort broke new trail, expanding cities’ capacity to collect data on how well and how much children equitably connect with nature. The cities built their capacity through articulating strategies and identifying early indicators of progress. With much work remaining in order to institutionalize and standardize children and nature assessment within and across cities, the CCCN Metrics Toolkit offers a starting point for municipal leaders to consider what strides in institutions, infrastructure, and programming will lead to better outcomes for all young residents.

Join CCCN initiative leaders to learn about development of the CCCN Metrics Toolkit, hear what stories early data tell eight months into cities’ strategy implementation efforts, and offer your insights on how best to collect, disaggregate, and share data documenting children’s connection to nature.

Register here:


SORP 2017-18 Webinar Series - Developing Campgrounds for Today's Visitor
Courtesy of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals

The nature of camping and the camping consumer continues to evolve. To keep you up to date on trends, SORP has created a five part webinar series providing cutting edge research and best practices on an array of camping and campground topics. The series will commence on October 18, 2017 with information from the North American Camping report. Future webinar sessions will continue through November and into the first quarter of 2018. Join us for this unique webinar series with information outdoor recreation professionals can use to improve and enhance the camping experience for their visitors.

Webinar 1: The Changing Face of Camping (see below)
Webinar 2: Understanding RV consumer and product trends
Webinar 3: Best Practices in Cabin, Glamping and Bike Camping
Webinar 4: Best Practices in Campground Design
Webinar 5: Developing the Business Case for Your Campground


Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Length: 1 Hour
Time: 2:00 pm Eastern, 1:00 pm Central, Noon Mountain, 11:00 am Pacific
Cost: Free for SORP members, $45 for Non-members
CEU's: 1.0 AICP Continuing Maintenance credit available

Over the past few years, there has been a growth in camping nationwide that is being driven in part by the changing demographics of the U.S. population. Camping is becoming more representative of the overall population with more and more younger campers taking to the outdoors and bringing with them a different outlook on what camping is and should be, as well as being part of a more diverse segment of campers. These changes in the camper demographic are going to place a different set of demands on those who serve the camping sector of outdoor recreation, whether it is how campgrounds are designed, or the activities, services and amenities that are being provided.

Presenter: Scott Bahr, Cairn Consulting

For more information and to register:


Webinar: Trail Users Count! Automated Bicyclist and Pedestrian Trail User Counting in Greater Philadelphia
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: October 19, 2017
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: Free members/$55 non-members
Organization: American Trails

This webinar will explore how data, metrics, and advanced tools are being used to further the development of trail networks, and showcase how it especially helped with an extensive trail system in the state of Delaware.

For more information:


AORE Continues to Bring Awareness to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Courtesy of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education

Roanoke, Virginia - November 1-3, 2017

AORE is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion - especially at our Annual Conference. We are very proud of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee who provides advice and recommendations on matters relating to diversity and inclusion. The committee also develops initiatives, events, trainings, and more to create a culture of inclusiveness, collaborative practice, and innovation in our field. Check out all the ways we are bringing awareness to diversity at #AORE2017.

For more information:


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Trails & Parks Millage Coordinator
Ingham County, Michigan
Posted August 23, 2017. Open until filled (updated 9/15/17).

Senior Park Ranger and Supervising Park Ranger
City of San Jose Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services, California
Posted August 29, 2017. Closes September 20, 2017.

Leisure Services Director
Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia
Posted September 8, 2017. Closes September 30, 2017.

Director of Community Services
City of Palo Alto, CA
Posted September 8, 2017. Closes October 8, 2017.

For more information:


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