May 2017 Print


Glenn Parker, Director
Augusta Recreation and Parks, Georgia

Jeremy Rogers, Parks and Recreation Director
Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas


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2017 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

Registration closes on May 31.

For More Information:


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A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS sees a 675% increase in organic search traffic
Courtesy of Southeast Publications

By Brian McGuinn, a website designed and created by SEPI Marketing has had a substantial increase in organic traffic year over year. Over the past year, SEPI Marketing installed MRV The Buzz, an RV travel industry /destination digital publication, and MRV Connect, the social media network for their community of RV travelers. These two additions have complimented the largest RV Travel search engine quite nicely because their content engages a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts.

SEPI Marketing also states that while the organic traffic makes up most their website’s visitations, they have also experienced enormous amounts of growth through referrals from partner websites and social media. Brian McGuinn states, “Our combined Facebook presences alone has over 100,000 active fans that are constantly being referred to our website. In total, we have 15 social media platforms engaging our audience 24 hours, 7 days a week.” Brian also indicates that currently they have over 480 partner websites that are referring traffic daily.

SEPI Marketing is producing unique content in a myriad of formats every day. has a robust mix which includes RV Resort videos, podcasts, blogs and in depth outdoor destination articles. Their MRV Connect platform is basically a diary where RV Enthusiasts can catalog their journey, review places they’ve been and even communicate within their network friends through and easy to use newsfeed.

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Santa Clara County Parks and Rec get new exhibits
Courtesy of Taylor Studios

The recent floods didn't deter a successful install; Anderson Visitor Center just received new exhibits designed and built by Taylor Studios. Be sure to visit if you're ever in the San Jose area. Check it out:

Have you ever had a question about what exhibits cost, whether your design idea is a good one or how to build a component durably? Why not give Taylor Studios a call (217-893-4874). We offer a free half-hour of consultation with a wide variety of experts in the exhibit field.


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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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Wetland Restoration Project Receives Governor’s Gold Medal
Courtesy of Fairfax County Park Authority

VIRGINIA - Huntley Meadows Park’s wetland restoration project has been honored with a Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award Gold Medal in the Environmental Project category. The award was given to Fairfax County Park Authority representatives at the 28th Annual Environment Virginia Symposium in Lexington, Virginia, on April 4, 2017.

Huntley Meadows Park is located in the Hybla Valley, and its wetlands play a vital role in the overall health of the watershed by filtering surface water and helping to prevent flooding. When silt and debris buildup threatened the wetlands’ plants and wildlife, a restoration project was launched to restore this vital resource. The project used innovative technology and structures that blended into the environment to help control water levels and prevent erosion. Its success has been measured in the return of rare species and the growth of stewardship in the community.

“We are thrilled to receive state recognition for this important project,” said Park Authority Board Chairman William G. Bouie. “Each year, Huntley Meadows Park receives visits from tens of thousands of individuals, as well as educational groups, who can learn about environmental sustainability while enjoying the park’s unique blend of plant and animal life, thanks to the restoration work.”

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Google launches Five Rivers MetroParks street view images
Courtesy of

By Charlisa Gordon

DAYTON, Ohio – Google launched their street view imaging program for Five Rivers MetroParks trails and recreational spaces Tuesday. The world can now take virtual tours of the region’s hiking, biking, horseback riding, water and paved trails thanks to Google.

The project is the most comprehensive of its kind in Ohio and Five Rivers is the first park system in the state to participate in Google’s Street view trekker program.

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New local trail for mountain bicyclists ‘Single-track’ path at Oak Openings Preserve Metropark
Courtesy of the Toledo Blade

By Mark Reiter

OHIO - Ten years ago, local options were few for single-track mountain bikers wanting to get an off-road experience.

That changed in 2010 when Jermain Park Mountain Bike Trail opened in West Toledo. With about seven miles of single-track, the urban trail near the Ottawa River satisfied most mountain bikers.

However, anything technical or challenging required a 60 to 90-minute drives north to Michigan for the Potawatomi Trail near Pinckney or the Island Lake State Recreation Area at Brighton.

That is about to change today when a new single-track trail in Oak Openings Preserve, north of the Wabash Cannonball Trail near Swanton, officially opens to the public.

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Canyon County Parks Director Tom Bicak to retire 
Courtesy of the Idaho Press

By Olivia Weitz

IDAHO — In the late 1980s, Canyon County Parks, Cultural and Natural Resources Director Tom Bicak was thinking about how to transform and preserve the riverfront parcel 10 miles south of Melba. Bicak realized the value of the ancient etchings, known as petroglyphs, along with the variety of other artifacts found at the site. To him, it was all a cultural and archaeological resource worthy of protection and source of education.

Bicak, 64, who has worked on improving Celebration Park nearly his entire career, is retiring in May, bringing to an end a nearly 30-year career with the county. Besides creating what became Idaho’s only archeological park, he helped create eight more parks in Canyon County. On Friday, the county is throwing a retirement party for Bicak at — where else? — Celebration Park.

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NACo Annual Conference

Date: July 21-24, 2017
Location: Franklin County (Columbus), OH

Join county officials, experts from the private and nonprofit sectors and other leaders from across the country for the 2017 NACo Annual Conference and Exposition.

For more information:


Got a data-visualization or map that solved a problem for your county?

Submit it for recognition to the Map of the Month contest sponsored by the Data-Smart City Solutions program at the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center. The Map of the Month program will recognize data visualizations and maps that illustrate, enhance understanding of, or solve a complex problem faced by the public sector.

For more information:


Civic leaders Invited to apply for dog park grants totaling $275K

Communities around the country can now submit an application for PetSafe Brand's seventh annual Bark for Your Park™ grant-giving program through Friday, June 30. PetSafe will award 25 grants totaling $275,000 to help counties and cities build new dog parks and provide makeovers or maintenance for existing parks.

For more information:


Join a NACo Committee

Committee leadership and participation are an integral part of NACo's mission. I look forward to my term as NACo president and encourage you to get involved. In preparation for my presidency, we are pleased to begin the appointments process.

These appointments are for:

- Policy steering committee chairs and vice chairs and subcommittee chairs and vice chairs.
- Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) and Rural Action Caucus (RAC) chairs, vice chairs and members.
- Standing committee chairs, vice chairs and members.
- Ad hoc committee, task force and advisory board chairs, vice chairs and members.
- At-large NACo board directors

To be considered for a presidential appointment to any of the above committees or as an at-large director for the NACo Board of Directors, you MUST complete the application online before June 2, 2017. Appointments will be announced after NACo's Annual Conference in July.

For more information:


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The 2017 NRPA Annual Conference Big Easy Preview

The 2017 Conference is not coming to New Orleans by coincidence. This event actually has a lot in common with The Big Easy. For one, it’s BIG! The event is comprised of more than 7,000 total attendees, nearly 500 exhibitors, more than 500 expert speakers and nearly 300 education sessions. It’s also easy in a lot of different ways. It’s easy to make connections with all the networking opportunities. It’s easy to be inspired by the high-caliber speakers. And, sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in the exhibit hall with such amazing displays to distract you.

Whether you are a repeat NRPA Annual Conference attendee or a newbie, you probably want to know a little more about the event before (or after) you register. Here is a preview to help you plan…

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Ten Cities Nationwide Aim to Improve Access to Parks through ‘Safe Routes to Parks’ Pilot Program

This month, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) will kick off its new Safe Routes to Parks pilot program, which aims to demonstrate how local park and recreation agencies are utilizing the Safe Routes to Parks Action Framework to increase safe access to parks and improve health outcomes in underserved areas. Developed by NRPA in collaboration with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the framework provides evidence- and practice-based guidance to help local park and recreation agencies implement policies and practices that create safe and equitable access to parks for all people.

Three NACPRO Member Districts are among the 10 agencies involved in the pilot program:

- Hugh Force County Park, Morris County Park Commission, Wharton, N.J.
- Monte Sano Park, Recreation Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC), Baton Rouge, La.
- Wesleyan MetroPark and the Wolf Creek Trail, Five Rivers Metro Parks, Dayton, Ohio

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Outdoor Industry Association Releases the Outdoor Recreation Economy Report
Courtesy of the Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today released The Outdoor Recreation Economy report, the largest and most comprehensive report of its kind that captures the power of a vast economic engine that creates billions in consumer spending and millions of good-paying American jobs.

A sector woven deep into the fabric of local communities across the country, the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually, sustains 7.6 million American jobs and generates $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue each year. With more Americans employed as part of the outdoor recreation economy than in food and beverage service, or in construction and computer technology, this report shows that when our nation’s leaders invest in outdoor recreation, the result is healthier economies and healthier communities.

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Download the report:


New study shows Americans' deep appreciation for nature, barriers to connection
Courtesy of

The findings from an unprecedented national study of Americans’ relationship to nature reveal an alarming disconnection, but also widespread opportunities for reconnecting.

The results are prompting nature conservation, environmental education, and outdoor recreation leaders to rethink how they work to connect people with nature.

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Living near nature linked to longer lives, says study
Courtesy of CNN

By Morgan Manella

The trees, shrubs and plants outside your home might offer something more than just pretty scenery. A new study found that living in, or near, green areas can help women live longer and improve their mental health.

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital examined more than 108,000 women enrolled in the Nurse's Health Study -- a nationwide investigation into risk factors for major chronic diseases in women -- from 2000 to 2008.

They compared risk of death with the amount of plant life and vegetation near the women's homes and found that women living in the greenest areas had a 12% lower death rate than women living in the least green areas. The levels of vegetation were determined using satellite imagery from different seasons and years.

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Trail Towns 101
Courtesy of American Trails

By Amy Camp

American Trails hosted the webinar “Trails and Towns Together” with presenter Amy Camp. The webinar focused on how communities capitalize on trails and tourism. Participants asked a lot of questions on how to get started in creating a “trail town” program. Here’s a primer to help you in getting started:

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Trails to nature for all
Courtesy of American Trails

By Michael P. O’Connor

MASSACHUSETTS - Mass Audubon is committed to helping people connect with nature. In meeting that commitment, the regional conservation leader, which was founded in 1896 and inspired the national Audubon movement, in recent years has been developing accessible trails at its wildlife sanctuaries throughout Massachusetts. Sanctuary visitors with mobility and sensory disabilities can now follow pathways that welcome exploration of the natural world with state-of-the technology communication and navigation tools that profoundly enhance the quality of their outdoor experiences.

Based on its years of experience in building accessible trails and a well-earned reputation for connecting people of all backgrounds with nature, Mass Audubon was selected and funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to prepare a “how to” manual that like-minded organizations nationwide could use to guide them in designing their own trails

Mass Audubon’s All Persons Trails: A Manual for Guidelines and Best Practices for Developing and Operating Universally Designed Interpreted Trails Experiences is now available as a free PDF download on the organization’s website.

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Extreme sea level rise mapped in 3D
Courtesy of Climate Central

In January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published updated sea level scenarios for the United States. They included a new extreme scenario that would mean roughly 8 feet of global average sea level rise by 2100, but 10-12 feet along almost all U.S. shores outside of Alaska. Scientists consider the scenario unlikely, but increasingly plausible, especially with continued high emissions of greenhouse gases.

Climate Central just released a suite of new maps, visuals and analyses fleshing out the implications:

- Read our report, Extreme Sea Level Rise and the Stakes for America.
- Tour our interactive 3D map, using the new online Google Earth.
- Explore a map in Surging Seas’ original format.
- See sea level and flood risk projections based on each of NOAA’s new scenarios in our updated Risk Finder.

We will have much more to share in the coming weeks, including our first edition of Surging Seas tools in a non-English language; a new paper on how quickly sea level rise could escalate flood exposure in U.S. coastal cities; and a deep journalistic dive into the challenges facing one low-income coastal community. So please stay tuned.

We are proud that our free tools are already stimulating over 1,500 downloads per month of maps, figures, tables and reports from users like you at every level of government and in NGOs, businesses, and academia. As always, we welcome and encourage your feedback.

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Combined Built Environment Features Help Communities Get Active
Courtesy of Active Living Research

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends combined built environment approaches to increase physical activity. These approaches combine new or enhanced transportation systems (e.g., pedestrian and cycling paths) with new or enhanced land use design (e.g., proximity to a store, access to a public park) to promote physical activity among residents.

The Task Force finding is based on a systematic review of the evidence that showed combinations of activity-friendly built environment characteristics are associated with higher levels of transportation-related physical activity, recreational physical activity, and total walking. The review was conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice, and policy related to physical activity.

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How Accessible Are Fitness Facilities and Exercise Equipment?
Courtesy of the National Center in Accessibility

"Fitness Facilities Still Lack Accessibility for People with Disabilities" is a new research article by J. Rimmer, S. Padalabalanarayanan, L. Malone, and T. Mehta just published in the Disability and Health Journal. According to the authors "People with disabilities have a greater risk of chronic and secondary health conditions compared to the general population. Furthermore, individuals with disabilities encounter substantial obstacles to participating in health-promoting activities due to physical and social environments that limit fitness and recreation opportunities, including inaccessible parks, trails, sidewalks, and fitness facilities.

The conclusions of the study indicate "There exists a strong and urgent need to encourage owners and operators of fitness facilities to reach a higher level of accessibility. Until then, many people with physical/mobility disabilities will continue to have limited access to programs, equipment, and services offered at these facilities."

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Outdoor recreation industry, seeing role to protect public lands, boasts $887 billion impact
Courtesy of the Denver Post

By Jason Blevins

A new report shows Americans spend $887 billion a year on outdoor recreation, fueling an industry that is testing its newfound political clout in an emerging battle over public lands.

The third-ever impact report by the Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association being released Tuesday affirms the industry’s ascent to economic powerhouse, a climb that mirrors its recent efforts to evolve into a political force. That nascent political emergence, bolstered by a nearly trillion-dollar economic impact, arrives as the outdoor industry faces a shifting political landscape involving the public lands that anchor recreation.

“The day has arrived when people outside of our industry have that level of understanding about recreation’s contributions to the economy and this is the day that our political presence will be fully actualized,” said Luis Benitez, the director of the Colorado Recreation Industry Office. “These numbers showing up when they are and recognizing just how big it is and acknowledging the fact that a significant portion of those numbers are driven by the utilization and access to our public lands, you have a pretty different kind of dialogue pretty instantaneously.”

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More Than 100 Outdoor Recreation Executives Sign Letter Urging the Administration to Keep the "Great" In Great Outdoors
Courtesy of the American Recreation Coalition

Washington, D.C. (May 3, 2017)- In an open letter published in the Wall Street Journal, executives from more than 100 outdoor recreation industry companies praised the agenda being set by Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. These leading executives represent many segments of the $887 billion outdoor recreation industry including the shooting, hunting, archery, camping, fishing, marine, motorcycle, powersports, hospitality and recreation vehicle sectors.

In the letter, the industry expresses enthusiasm about Secretary Zinke, a strong supporter of outdoor recreation. Since his confirmation, Secretary Zinke has been working closely with the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) to increase access to recreational opportunities and enjoyment on all federal lands and waters. In addition to increasing access, ORIR is working with the Administration to establish public-private partnerships as an entrepreneurial mechanism for addressing part of the $20 billion in deferred maintenance and to achieve a better balance in decisions involving recreation and conservation.

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2017 Annual NOHVCC and INOHVAA Joint Conference

Manchester, New Hampshire - August 22 - 27

The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and the International Off-Highway Vehicle Administrators Association invite you to join them in New Hampshire this August. This conference will once again have both Administrators and Users at the same tables to go over items of mutual interest and provide for very valuable discussions and decisions about successes and issues that we all deal with in our respective jurisdictions.

The Theme for the conference is Forward Momentum. Together, we have achieved successes over the past couple of decades. We want to keep the progress going forward and position ourselves for even more success in the future.

The mobile workshop will be at the Hopkinton-Everett Trails Area, an Army Corps of Engineers property.

The agenda is still being completed. If you have an agenda item, send us your ideas to before May 28th, 2017 to get it on the schedule. We have some ideas for informative presentations already, such as:

- A helmet trade-in or discount program
- Making the most of smaller budgets to create great trails
- A website template for clubs and associations
- Creating a digital forest
- Public and private partnerships
- The BLM Strategic plans
- Electric motorcycles
- Other items from your imagination

The general agenda schedule will be:

- INOHVAA is sponsoring a Program Managers Round Table on Tuesday evening.
- The INOHVAA Annual Meeting will take place on Wednesday morning.
- We are offering OHV training for Dirt bikes, ATVs, and ROVs.
- Youth Corps members will once again be presenting.
- We will have presentations regarding successful OHV projects which have been completed recently.

For more information:


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

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

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

For more information:


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