April 2017 Print


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.


All registration is being handled by the Special Park District Forum. Full Forum and One-Day Rates are available. Early bird rates are available through May 1. Registration closes on May 31.

Registration is required if you plan to attend the NACPRO award ceremony.

For More Information: https://starkparks.com/spdf-2017/


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Attracting Cyclists to Campgrounds
Courtesy of Southeast Publications

With more cyclists on the move and needing overnight accommodations, bicycle-friendly campgrounds are increasing in demand. Knowing what cyclists look for in a campground can empower campground owners and managers wanting to tailor their facilities to attract this growing clientele.

According to the Adventure Cycling Association, “the bicycle tourism sector in the U.S., and globally, is becoming more prominent, more lucrative, and is changing to meet consumer demands. Demand for bicycle tour opportunities is also prompting new and expanded bike route networks and facility improvements at the regional and national levels.”

Dick Wimmer of Lehi, Utah, is a veteran camper. Dick is also a veteran cyclist, currently serving as chairman of the City of Henderson Bicycle Advisory Board. Wimmer reports that the best campgrounds don’t require reservations and have enough hiker/biker sites so they don’t get turned away. He points out that “the consequences of being turned away at the end of a long day riding a fully loaded bike are much different than if you have a car and can drive on to find another spot.” As a tip to campground owners, Dick underscores the need for enough sites for these weary travelers and perhaps a “Plan B” if sites fill up so that they are never turned away.

Read more: https://mrvthebuzz.mobilerving.com/industry-edge/tech-trends/attracting-cyclists-to-campgrounds-the-cyclist-trend


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NACo wants your story ideas

Mary Ann Barton, a staff writer for County News at the National Association of Counties, is on the hunt for story ideas. Got an innovative amenity you’re proud of? Tips to share on parks and rec fees or budget issues? A nifty way of getting the word out on water safety?

Send your news tips to: mbarton@naco.org

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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A hundred years later, the Metroparks remains a Cleveland gem
Courtesy of cbcMagazine.com

By Kevin Goodman

OHIO - The Metroparks is now led by CEO Brian M. Zimmerman. He and his team are pivoting to the next 100 years, filling in the visual gaps in the necklace of interconnected green land envisioned by Stinchcomb in 1917. Cleveland is a more vibrant, attractive, livable, and green community as a result of all that goes into the Metroparks.

The park system employees 900 full-time and 1,500 seasonal workers. This world-class gem of 18 interconnected park reservations, trails, watersheds, rivers and beaches, a zoo, golf courses, and tobogganing at the Chalet recreation area are world class. The Metroparks is a crown jewel of our region, covering more than 23,000 acres of green land.

As the Metroparks enters its 100th year, the leadership under Zimmerman’s stewardship looks to the next 100 years with its 20/20 plan. There are five strategic goals of the 20/20 Emerald Necklace Centennial Plan:

- Protection of the parks and its 300 miles of trails.
- Relevancy: Helping the parks to remain relevant economic drivers, empowering the regions with almost 1 billion dollars of economic benefits annually.
- Connections: Continued expansions of various trails and lakefront reclamation. Property values near the parks continued to be enriched. The parks are working to provide access to densely populated and underserved neighborhoods.
- Come out and play: There are more than 19,000 programs, education, and adventures each year, providing great memories in our parks.
- Organizational stability: Continued leadership and vision.

Read more: http://cbcmagazine.com/2017/03/03/kevin-goodman-metroparks-celebrate-their-100th-anniversary/


Take a hike — for Santa Clara County photo challenge
Courtesy of the Mercury News

By Sal Pizarro

CALIFORNIA - If your New Year’s resolution was to get outdoors more — and you haven’t already given up — the Santa Clara County Parks system has a great challenge for you in 2017.

The #PixInParks Challenge, which started in January, showcases seven hiking trails in the 28-park system that offer beautiful views of the valley. The hikes themselves vary in length and intensity — the trek through Joseph D. Grant Park to Snell Barn is a relatively easy 3.2-mile journey, whereas the John Nicholas Trail through Sanborn County Park is a more moderate 6.6-mile trip.

The idea is to have individuals or groups of hikers — it’s more fun if you can bring friends along to share the joy or pain, right? — take selfies at specific locations, like the Lookout Point at Villa Montalvo County Park, and post them on social media with the #PixInParks (You can follow @santaclaracountyparks on Instagram to see what people have posted). When you’ve submitted photos from all seven locations, you can pick up a commemorative T-shirt listing all the trails.

Read more:


Journeyman finds home in Toledo as Metroparks director
Courtesy of the Toledo Blade

By Keith C. Burris

OHIO - The first job Dave Zenk applied for after graduating from Ohio State University was as a park manager for Toledo’s Wildwood Preserve Metropark.

Although he never intended to remain in this area, the avid fisherman has grown to love the rich fisheries of Lake Erie and the Maumee River and the warmth of the community. In December, he was named the eighth executive director in the 90-year history of the Metroparks of the Toledo Area.

As executive director, his goal is to have a Metropark within five miles of every resident in Lucas County. The acquisition and development of Manhattan Marsh in the Detwiler Creek portion of Toledo will be the final piece of the puzzle to make that possible. At some point in the not-too-distant future, almost all of the Metroparks will be connected by a 50 to 60-mile trail system and the parks will contain close to 200 miles of trails.

All of this is part of Mr. Zenk’s ambitious goal of making the Toledo area a more desirable place to live and to change the thinking of the region — from within and nationally.

Read more: http://www.toledoblade.com/BrianDugger/2017/04/02/Brian-Dugger-commentary-Journeyman-finds-home-in-Toledo-as-Metroparks-director.html


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Enter Now To Win a Trip to the NRPA Annual Conference

Parks and recreation brings people together from all walks of life, just as New Orleans is a city known for embracing its cultural diversity. That's why New Orleans is the perfect location for the 2017 NRPA Annual Conference.

This year's conference is about more than just sharing great ideas. It's about seizing new opportunities and facing challenges head on. It's about cultivating relationships with others who want to break out of the monotony. It's about challenging yourself and your peers to replace the typical with the extraordinary. Come to New Orleans. Come be inspired.

Before registration opens on May 1, we are giving one lucky person the chance to win a trip to the 2017 NRPA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

For more information: http://www.nrpa.org/conference2017/registration/sweepstakes


NRPA Agency Performance Review

The typical park and recreation agency offers one park for every 2,266 residents served, with 9.6 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. But park and recreation agencies are as diverse as the communities that they serve, and what works well for one agency may not be best for your agency. Therefore, you need data to best identify the best practices to optimally serve your community.

That’s where the 2017 NRPA Agency Performance Review comes in. This report is the most comprehensive resource of data and insights for park and recreation agencies in the United States, and has 21 figures highlighting critical park and recreation metrics.

For more information: http://www.nrpa.org/apr


Scholarship opportunity for director’s school

The NRPA Directors School is one of our most popular professional development opportunities. Just ask any of the graduates. They'll tell you that not only will you receive excellent instruction, but also come away with a network of peers who you can learn from for years to come. Directors School is aimed at new and potential directors of park and recreation agencies. Applications for year one are now open. Also available, is the "Pottsie" Leadership Development Scholarship which will provide two first-year students with tuition, lodging and up to $500 in travel expenses.

For more information: http://www.nrpa.org/directors


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“Story Maps” Use Technology to Create New Tool Promoting OHV Recreation
Courtesy of NOHVCC

By Dave Halsey

Chaffee County, Colorado, has just about every type of outdoor recreation there is. And thanks to its Visitors Bureau adding new technology to its website, families planning to visit the area can get a virtual tour of the experiences they’ll have during their stay.

The County’s new tourism tool is called a “Story Map.” Esri Story Maps are web applications that let authors combine beautiful maps with narrative text, striking images, and multimedia, including video. They make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story. The applications are designed to be attractive and usable by anyone, which makes them great for education and outreach, either to the general public or to a specific audience.

“Esri is the ‘go-to’ company for commercial and government mapping software,” said Drew Stoll, Executive Director of Great Outdoors Consultants, the company that created the Story Maps for Chaffee County. “They have 20 different tools to allow you to do that, including GPS maps to desktop software to navigation.” Great Outdoors Consultants provides inventory, analysis, planning and design for OHV recreation and Travel Management, and other forms of outdoor recreation. It works with local, state and federal agencies, as well as OHV organizations.

Read more: http://nohvcc.org/Materials/Newsletter/news03-2017


Water Safety Videos
Courtesy of the River Management Society

Spring is here! And this means that millions will be headed to the water soon to use their kayaks and SUP's. Based on feedback we have received, the 2016 Safer Paddling videos have been cut down to social media lengths of one minute or less...Here are shareable links to the first four episodes for use on your social media channels. On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire paddle sports safety community, we thank you in advance for using this content on all your social media channels.

- Episode 1 Life Jackets - http://candk.me/IQdYM7
- Episode 2 What to Wear - http://candk.me/Q8DuOI
- Episode 3 Essential Paddling Gear - http://candk.me/VCpuvE
- Episode 4 How to Paddle Your Kayak - http://candk.me/SM5XWO

Check out more videos at:


A Green Infrastructure Guidebook for City Planners
Courtesy of City Lab

By Krutika Pathi

Ninety-six percent of the country’s population lives in counties where federally declared weather-related disasters have occurred since 2010. Federal programs help mitigate these scenarios: EPA programs study climate change and issue guidelines about combating global warming; FEMA provides disaster assistance to mitigate these effects. But under Trump’s budget plan, these programs stand to lose their funding.

The budget blueprint, which emphasizes military spending at the cost of cuts across other agencies, would hit the EPA hard—the agency would absorb a cut of $2.6 billion, or 31 percent of its budget. In the meantime, U.S. counties are not waiting around to feel the aftermath. Many are—and have already been—heavily investing in natural resources to address concerns on a local level. Now, they’ve got a new online resource that makes it easier to do so. Naturally Resilient Communities is an interactive tool featuring 30 case studies of places that rely on nature-based solutions to protect themselves against climate threats like flooding and coastal erosion.

Developed by the Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the American Planning Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Association of Counties, and the Association of State Floodplain Managers, the case studies reveal stories of cities that have rebuilt after devastating storms. Reviewing a range of green infrastructure solutions, the resource works as a one-stop hub for city planners, engineers, and community leaders.

Read more: https://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2017/04/a-guidebook-for-city-planners-on-green-infrastructure/522396/


DOT releases first-ever noise map of the United States
Courtesy of ArchPaper.com

By Audrey Wachs

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released its first map of all the noise made by cars and airplanes across the United States. Though airports, ambulances, garbage pickup, and the neighbor’s sweet new sound system can cost us our hearing (and sanity), most U.S. residents live in safe noise zones. But some people, mostly city-dwellers, may have cause for concern around their exposure to constant, too-loud sounds.

The U.S. DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) compiled and analyzed data for the Noise Map, which is meant to help agencies track transit-related noise at the state and local levels. Officials can use the information to implement policies that reduce transit noise. The layers, which now include data up to 2014, will be updated annually and may eventually include noise data from rail and ships. The Noise Map is part of the U.S. DOT’s National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD), a collection of publicly-available infrastructure data.

Read more: https://archpaper.com/2017/03/dot-releases-national-noise-map/


Why Spring Is the Perfect Time to Take Your Workout Outdoors
Courtesy of Time.com

By Alexandra Sifferlin

When the weather thaws, the plants bloom and the days get longer, it's spring—and the best time of the year to take your fitness regimen outside. Here are six research-backed perks of al fresco exercise.

You work harder

When people exercise outside, they tend to spend more time doing it. One study found that older people who were active outdoors did at least 30 minutes more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week than those who only did it inside. It also made them feel healthier. "Nothing makes you feel more childlike than being outdoors," says Dr. Pamela Peeke, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and author of Fit to Live. "You're modulating stress hormones, increasing endorphins and increasing the secretion of serotonin," she says, so your mood brightens.

Read more: http://time.com/4718318/spring-exercise-workout-outside/


Become Part of the National Water Trails System
Courtesy of the River Management Society

Water trail managers around the country all play an integral role in the success of the National Water Trails System. You, too, can contribute by proposing a water trail for designation. Applications for designation should be submitted by November 1 and May 1 each year; edits can be completed on a continual basis. Applications are reviewed by a team of water trail specialists and agency representatives. Successful applications demonstrate the implementation of best management practices. The recommended trail nominations are forwarded to the Secretary of the Interior for review and designation.

Do you manage a water trail that deserves national recognition? If you would like your water trail to be considered for designation as a national water trail, the first step is to create an application account.

For more information: https://www.nps.gov/WaterTrails/Home/Apply


Webinar: Help from the Arrowhead - NPS Assistance for Your Community
Courtesy of the National Park Service

Wednesday, April 26 - 10:00 to 11:00 am MDT

Join us to learn how to secure help for your community project.

The National Park Service's Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) works with local leaders to build partnerships and engage their communities in outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation projects.

Tune in Wednesday, April 26 at 10:00 a.m. MDT/11:00 a.m. CDT to learn who and what is eligible for NPS assistance, how the RTCA program can support your vision, the ins and outs of the application process, and what makes a competitive application.

Applications are due June 30. We encourage potential applicants to contact their nearest RTCA staff member to discuss their interest by May 30.

Register for the webinar: http://tinyurl.com/ljckjyj

For more information on applying for NPS assistance: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/rtca/apply.htm


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REI is Taking the Fight for Gender Equality Outside
Courtesy of Fast Company

By Jeff Beer

According to research done by outdoor retailer REI, 72% of women say they feel liberated or free when they are outdoors, but only 32% describe themselves as “outdoorsy.” One of the most cited reasons for this is the primarily male-dominated news, social media, and marketing around the outdoor industry. In response this week, REI is launching a new initiative called “Force of Nature,” a commitment to making women the prime focus of the company’s nonprofit investments, gear development, and marketing for the rest of 2017.

The initiative includes putting more than $1 million of the company’s community investments directly into nonprofits that get women and girls into the outdoors. It also extends into product development, and while REI has been developing female-specific gear since 2000, the brand acknowledges there’s more work to be done. The brand’s senior vice-president of merchandising Susan Viscon is working to fill the remaining gaps with partners like Arcteryx, Osprey, Outdoor Research, and others. In marketing, for the rest of 2017 REI is putting women first in all its content, including a partnership with Outside magazine to publish its first-ever all women’s issue on April 11. And since the company’s survey reported that 43% of women said finding someone to go outdoors with is a barrier, REI will be launching 1,000 national events and classes for women, starting May 6.

Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/40401325/rei-is-taking-the-fight-for-gender-equality-outside


With Floating Farm, New York Looks to the Future of Public Parks
Courtesy of Bloomberg.com

By Nikki Ekstein

NEW YORK - Come April, a farm full of fruit trees and other crops will float to locations in three New York City boroughs, and visitors will be invited to enjoy nature by literally picking, snipping, and sowing to their hearts' content. Located on a 5,000-square-foot barge, "Swale" will include 4,000 square feet of solar-powered growing space, including a perennial garden, an aquaponics area, and an apple orchard sponsored by Heineken USA's Strongbow Apple Ciders atop a large man-made hill.

The project will be open to the public, but it’s more interactive exhibit than floating Central Park; only 75 people can board at once, and docents will usher guests around the grounds. Free educational workshops will include “painting with plants” and “dying natural fabrics,” and volunteers will always be on hand to explain how thoughtful permaculture planning can create a virtually self-sustaining farm.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-31/edible-forests-coming-soon-to-a-city-near-you


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Webinar: Opportunities for Rural Walkability
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: May 10, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: America Walks

Preserving and maintaining our outdoor spaces is a major responsibility, especially in rural communities where trails and other areas are opportunities not only for physical activity but also for transit connections. Learn how the support of trails, parks and sidewalks play a role in promoting walkability in rural communities and what you can do to help.

For more information: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4237636940336368643


2017 Annual NOHVCC and INOHVAA Joint Conference
Courtesy of NOHVCC

August 22 to 27 - Manchester, New Hampshire

Although it feels like we just finished the 2016 conference, The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council has already turned our attention to the 2017 conference. We are busy thinking of some creative twists for the conference. And, of course, the mobile workshop opportunities are plentiful. The conference topics will be informative and fun. The INOHVAA annual meeting and round table will again take place. Our main goal: to make this the best conference yet and a "can't miss" opportunity for you.

For more information: http://nohvcc.org/Education/Conference.aspx


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Executive Director
Belvidere Park District, Illinois
Posted March 14, 2017. Closes April 14, 2017.

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

Parks and Nature Director
Metro, Oregon
Posted April 3, 2017; Closes April 21, 2017 at 5 pm Pacific

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

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


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