September 2017 Print

A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS

RV Travel Search Engine Upgrades Site For RV Resorts
Courtesy of Southeast Publications

By Brian McGuinn

MobileRVing.com has installed profile analytics and review management features within the popular RV Travel Search Engine. The analytics reports now show resort users how often their profile has appeared within a search on the website and how many impressions each of their profile pages receives. Included within the analytics, resort users can now see what actions have been taken within the website. Resort users can see how many times an RV Traveler has clicked through to the resort’s website, clicked to dial the resort’s phone number or emailed the resort through the MobileRVing.com website.

Once RV Resort users see the volume their profile brings, they will want to expand the content within their profiles. Currently, MobileRVing.com enables RV Resort users to add events, descriptions, pricing, unlimited photos and videos. According to Jennifer Vista, webmaster of MobileRVing.com, the most robust profiles tend to see more activity for a variety of reasons. “Profiles with updated and complete content tend to receive more promotion within our social media community and website activity.” Jen explains that the most complete profiles find space within the MobileRVing home page and within the MobileRVing Facebook page, which currently has over 80,000 fans.

While MobileRVing.com gives their audience free content, the website has amassed over 12,000 registered users. RV users can save their travels, participate within the MRV Connect social media site, rate and review RV resorts. Sources at the company have said that the website is on track to more than double their current base of registered users by this time in 2018.

Read more: https://southeastpublications.com/travel-search-engine/

 

Back to top

BEST PRACTICES FORUM

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

Back to top

MEMBER NEWS

Parks After Dark turns Los Angeles County parks into safe havens for communities
Courtesy of UCLA Newsroom

By Venetia Lai

CALIFORNIA - A Los Angeles County recreational program created stronger ties within communities, improved relations between the community and law enforcement officers, and decreased crime, according to a report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The study also found that the program, called Parks After Dark, saved millions of dollars in policing and health care costs.

The program was intended to make specific Los Angeles County parks safer through positive community engagement by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, while providing wider access to free recreation, health and wellness programs. The effort, which was launched in 2010 as an anti-gang initiative by the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, has focused on neighborhoods with high levels of gang activity and crime.

Read more: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/parks-after-dark-los-angeles-county-parks-safe-havens-communities

 

Wellness walks help a new demographic discover regional parks
Courtesy of the East Bay Times

By Marta Yamamoto

CALIFORNIA - On recent Saturday morning a melting pot of about 100 people met at Tilden Regional Park’s Jewel Lake. Participating were people of African-American, Latino, Korean, Chinese, Lithuanian, Middle Eastern and European heritage, among others. One activity they engaged in was whooshing their hands and their cares away toward Jewel Lake, a good way to break the ice and share a common bond.

The event was one of the East Bay Regional Park District’s Multicultural Wellness Walks, a program designed to extend the park district’s mission of preserving and protecting open spaces and making parks accessible to the broadening and diverse demographics that make up the East Bay.

Answering the question as to how the park district could play a greater part in connecting all people together and to nature lead to the development of the Multicultural Wellness Walks program. As part of Healthy Parks Healthy People and with the support of Kaiser Permanente and the Regional Parks Foundation, the program is opening the parks to new multi-cultural communities.

Read more: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/08/18/berkeley-wellness-walks-help-a-new-demographic-discover-regional-parks/

 

Back to top

COUNTY NEWS

Metroparks director Phifer quits in middle of probe
Courtesy of the Detroit News

By Charles E. Ramirez and Sarah Rahal

MICHIGAN - The embattled executive director of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks resigned from his position on Monday, officials said.

George Phifer’s resignation comes nearly two months after he was placed on paid administrative leave as part of an internal investigation. Officials have not given any reason for the probe.

Read more: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/08/16/metroparks-director-phifer-quits-middle-probe/572533001/

 

Back to top

NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL RECREATION AND PARK ASSOCIATION

Local Government Officials’ Perceptions of Parks and Recreation

Parks and recreation is predominantly a service provided by local governments and therefore is reliant on financial support from local governments’ general tax funds. However, local governments fund and manage a variety of different public services, including, but not limited to, police protection, fire protection, transportation, education, public welfare and parks and recreation. Typically, these public services must vie for funding from the same limited pool of tax revenues. In the face of this competitive environment, many park and recreation agencies throughout the United States suffer from stagnant or declining budget allocations, despite the solid support for their offerings and services from Americans.

Due to the crucial role elected and appointed officials play in determining public expenditures, it is important for the park and recreation profession to understand how local government officials view and prioritize these services. To this end, NRPA partnered with Penn State researchers Dr. Andrew Mowen, Dr. Austin Barrett and Dr. Alan Graefe to conduct a nationwide study of local government elected and appointed officials. A total of 810 officials, from all 50 states, responded to the survey conducted during the spring of 2017. Their responses are the basis of this report.

Read more: http://www.nrpa.org/publications-research/research-papers/local-government-officials-perceptions-of-parks-and-recreation/

 

Back to top

NEW RESEARCH AND RESOURCES

How Much Are Trees Worth to Megacities?
Courtesy of City Lab

By Jessica Leigh Hester

In a metropolis teeming with shuffling crowds, cranes and high-rises shouldn’t be the only things reaching skywards. Megacities—those urban centers crammed with more than 10 million people—would be well served to double down on their arboreal assets, according to a new paper in the upcoming issue of the journal Ecological Modeling.

A team of researchers led by Theodore Endreny of SUNY’s College of Environmental Studies and Forestry sought to quantify how leafy infrastructure pays dividends in 10 chock-full cities—and the extent to which the benefits could compound if those areas went greener.

To estimate the existing tree cover in Beijing, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Istanbul, London, L.A., Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, and Tokyo, the researchers adapted the i-Tree model, which was developed by the U.S. Forest service in 2006. i-Tree employs aerial photography to gauge the dollar value and environmental payoff of the urban canopy. To date, it’s only been used to snap a birds-eye-view of the canopy across U.S. cities (past analyses have zoomed in on L.A. and Austin).

The researchers conclude that the payoffs of green infrastructure track closely with density—which is to say that megacities have a lot to gain. Endreny and his collaborators call for city stakeholders to build out their tree canopies. The researchers found that the 10 cities had a median tree cover of 611 square kilometers, and a potential additional tree cover of 455 square kilometers. Endreny and company argue that rededicating parking lots and other available surfaces to trees could nearly double the benefits that the existing leafy residents confer.

Read more: https://www.citylab.com/environment/2017/08/how-much-are-trees-worth-to-megacities/537972/

 

Transportation Alternatives Spending Report
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

The 2016 Transportation Enhancements and Alternatives Spending Report is here and ready for download. The report analyzes states’ use of federal transportation funding from 1992 through 2016, allowing you to view how your state stacks up.

Both the Spending Report and online project database, published by the Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange @ Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, also enable anyone to see the impact that transportation enhancements/alternatives have had in communities across the country. This transparency sets a standard of accountability that is exemplary for all transportation programs.

Download the report: http://trade.railstotrails.org/action/document/download?document_id=884

 

Nominate the 2017 Rail-Trail Champion
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

Do you know someone who has led the charge for the trails, walking and biking movement? Someone who has been instrumental in advancing active transportation projects or policy? Or a valiant trail volunteer who deserves to be honored? We are currently accepting nominations for our next Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champion—and we want to hear from you!

For more information: http://tinyurl.com/yd74o26n

 

Apply now for Rural Impact County Challenge (RICC) Community Coaching
Courtesy of NACo

By Daniel Nugent

Selected counties will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with coaches for a year to support local efforts to improve community health and combat poverty. The counties will also be able to connect with each other and form a close network of rural counties who are carrying out similar work. Applications are due November 3, 2017.

For more information:
http://www.naco.org/blog/apply-now-rural-impact-county-challenge-ricc-community-coaching

 

Back to top

IN THE NEWS

Cleanup of dumping at West Hills County Park to begin next month
Courtesy of newsday.com

By Rick Brand

NEW YORK - Suffolk’s top parks official said the cleanup of illegal dumping at West Hills County Park will begin next month, but that the $750,000 being sought from the county legislature will only be a small part of the total cleanup bill.

County parks officials say the dumping site totals more than 3.5 acres and District Attorney Thomas Spota last October estimated that hundreds of truckloads of semi-volatile organic compounds, asbestos and metals as well as pesticides banned since the 1960s were found on 8.5 acres that had been leased from the county by Sweet Hills Riding Center. Spota said the finely pulverized material was found at depths from 3.5 to 6 feet and is more toxic than what was found earlier at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood.

Read more: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/cleanup-of-dumping-at-west-hills-county-park-to-begin-next-month-1.14100699

 

Why the Bundy crew keeps winning in court
Courtesy of the High Country News

By Tay Wiles

Last week a Las Vegas jury acquitted two men — Ricky Lovelien of Montana and Steven Stewart of Idaho — for their parts in the 2014 armed standoff between the federal government and supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy. The jury found co-defendants Eric Parker and Scott Drexler not guilty of most charges but deadlocked on some. When it comes to trying the Bundys and their supporters, federal prosecutors now have a terrible record, winning just two convictions after two trials of six defendants in Nevada this year. Last fall, Bundy’s sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy and five others were acquitted for leading an armed takeover of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in early 2016.

The recent acquittals in the Nevada case raise big questions for prosecutors. Some legal experts say the nation’s current political climate, characterized by distrust of federal authorities, may help explain the acquittals. In some ways, the government itself, alongside the defendants, went on trial in the Las Vegas courtroom.

In 2014 a court had ordered the federal government to round up Bundy’s cattle, which were illegally grazing on federal land near Bunkerville, Nevada. Bundy, who holds a fringe belief that the federal government has no Constitutional authority to own land, felt the feds were overreaching. In the tense faceoff that ensued, hundreds of armed supporters forced Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service employees to abandon their jobs for fear of violence.

Read more: http://www.hcn.org/articles/cliven-bundy-why-the-bundy-crowd-keeps-winning-in-court

 

A Storm Forces Houston, the Limitless City, to Consider Its Limits
Courtesy of the New York Times

By Manny Fernandez and Richard Fausset

HOUSTON — Not long after a pair of New York real estate speculators founded this city on the banks of a torpid bayou in the 1830s, every home and every business flooded. Though settlers tried draining their humid, swampy, sweltering surroundings, the inundations came again and again, with 16 major floods in the city’s first century.

And yet somehow, improbably, Houston not only survived but prospered — and it sprawled omnivorously, becoming the nation’s fourth-largest city and perhaps its purest model of untrammeled growth.

The result has been a uniquely American success story, the capital of the world’s petroleum industry, and the place that sent a man to the moon, built the world’s biggest medical center and became a model of dizzying multiculturalism, with 145 languages spoken.

Though its breakneck development culture and lax regulatory environment have been lauded for giving working people affordable housing — and thus a shot at the American dream — many experts and residents say that the developers’ encroachment into the wetlands and prairies that used to serve Houston as natural sponges has inevitably exacerbated the misery that the city is suffering today.

Read more: http://tinyurl.com/y9ak2wkz

 

Back to top

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Playground Maintenance Technician Program
Courtesy of the Eppley Institute

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.

Act now - the Playground Maintenance Technician Program sells out fast.

Florida School Plant Management Association
September 18 – 19, 2017; Orlando, FL

Sitelines Park and Playground Products
October 2-3, 2017; Spokane Valley, WA

Oregon Recreation and Park Association
October 5-6, 2017; Springfield, OR

Washington Schools Risk Management Pool
October 24 – 25, 2017; Anacortes, WA

Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation
October 26 – 27, 2017; Carmel, IN

Midwest Public Risk
October 31 – November 1, 2017; Independence, MO (Greater Kansas City Metro Area)

Tennessee Recreation and Park Association
November 15-16, 2017; Murfreesboro, TN

Naperville Park District
December 6-7, 2017; Naperville, IL

No trainings near you?

Contact the Program Coordinator, Sally Pelto-Wheeler at 812-856-1446 or sjpelto@indiana.edu, to schedule a PMT training in your area in Spring 2018!

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

 

Parks and Recreation Facility Management - Online Certificate Program
Courtesy of the Eppley Institute

When it comes to facility management, you fight the good fight, a never-ending battle to keep all facilities under your care in good order. Are you ready to get ahead of the curve and increase your capability? The Facility Management Certificate is an asset-based approach, that provides the tools and strategies needed to leverage data-driven decision making to assess and offset deferred maintenance backlogs, understand conditions of your entire asset portfolio, and set a prioritization matrix to use in maintenance planning and long-term budget forecasting.

Sound complicated? Not necessarily, it has proven effective across multiple industries, at the National Park Service, and several municipal park agencies. It is time to become strategic about our assets! The Facility Management certificate is designed as a compilation of skills and resources to maximize your effectiveness.

Certificate Program Highlights:

- Five on-line courses make up the certificate program.
- Apply the Asset Management Process to your park's facilities and lands.
- Create an Asset Priority Index and Facility Condition Index.
- Conduct the Annual Condition Assessment process.
- Create a scope of work for a project.
- Apply the cost estimation process.

Certificate Program Fee: $350

Register by September 30th and receive 10% off. To receive discount, use code FMTEN when registering for the certificate program (also good on the individual facility management courses.)

For more information: http://provalenslearning.com/certificate-programs/facility-management-program

 

Sustainable Trails for All Workshop
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: October 11-12, 2017
Location: Greenfield, NH
Organization: Crotched Mountain Foundation

This two-day, in-depth, field-oriented workshop will provide you with information on the Federal Trail Accessibility Guidelines that were released in September of 2013.This workshop will help you understand the guidelines and will provide an overview of the techniques and hands-on skills needed to build sustainable hiking trails that provide enjoyment for all.

For more information: http://atfiles.org/files/pdf/Sustainable-Trails-Crotched-Mtn.pdf

 

Back to top

JOB ANNOUNCEMENTS

Trails & Parks Millage Coordinator
Ingham County, Michigan
Posted August 23, 2017. Closes September, 15, 2017 at 11:59 PM.

Natural and Cultural Resources Manager
Gwinnett County, Georgia
Posted August 23, 2017. Closes September 17, 2017.

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.

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

 

Back to top