April 2018 Print


NACPRO Seeking your Policies and Expertise - e-bikes & drones

Have you had success managing e-bikes or drones? Or learned a valuable lesson along the way? Managing e-bikes and drones are challenging management issues.

NACPRO wants to help by collecting policies, lessons learned, and other resources from our members. We will use this information, as well as resources we collect ourselves, to develop a library that can help you navigate these tough issues.

If you have some experience to share, a valuable resource or know a subject matter specialist, please email them to brenda@nacpro.org.



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What is the danger of utilizing a “low cost” database background check to screen volunteers?
Courtesy of SSCI

There has been an increasing need to conduct background screening within organizations that utilize adult volunteers to work with our children, the elderly or the disabled.

The more reputable and trustworthy background screening companies conduct local county court searches based on address history, which is still the most reliable and due diligent search available. Most all of the crimes that we uncover (60-70%) are located in the county level search by physically searching court house records.

Read more:

Connect with SSCI at these upcoming conferences

Maryland MRPA Conference: April 10-12
Tennessee TRPA East Conference: April 25
Washington WRPA Conference: May 1-3


Taylor Studios Announces New Modular Exhibit System

RANTOUL, Ill. —Taylor Studios announced a new product launch that will provide affordable, semi-custom exhibits. The modular system–named “Shave Your Alpaca Exhibits”–offers a museum-grade displays system for museums, interpretive centers, nature centers, state parks, universities and more who want a customizable display system without the costly or lengthy commitment of a custom renovation. The system offers six finish options, fifteen components, countless configurations, and can be updated, added-to, and changed over time with little effort.

This semi-customizable exhibit line is unrivalled in quality and affordability. Tradeshow firms and art-display merchants offer only flimsy, temporary display systems that don’t hold up in a museum environment that requires exhibit durability and longevity.

"In over 27 years of business we’ve honed many tried-and-true exhibits that show up time and time again in our custom design-build projects. I am thrilled that we can now offer these most popular components in a plug-and-play format for folks that don’t need our full scope of services, are limited on funds, or just want to do it themselves. A line like this will not only help large park systems unify their brand and aesthetic, but also helps “mom and pop” nature centers and smaller entities have a bigger presence and impact in their communities."
–Betty Brennan, President

For more information: https://www.taylorstudios.com/blog/shave-alpaca-conquer-struggles/


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Maricopa County Park’s Roadway System Standards
Shared by RJ Cardin, Director of Maricopa County Parks

The initial "Standards for Maricopa County Parks' Roadway System" were adapted from "Park Roads Standards" developed by the National Park Service, United States Department of Interior. The Standards were a joint effort of the then Highway Department and the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department.

The purpose of this document and these standards for the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Roadway System are to set standards for the varied requirements of the Park Road System and to accommodate current or planned park road use, while continuing to preserve the natural and cultural values of the County Park system. This document is also intended to provide more detailed standards for managers, planners, and designers involved in the planning, design and construction of park roads.



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


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Howard Marsh Metropark: A Marsh and So Much More
Courtesy of NRPA

By Scott Carpenter

OHIO - When Howard Marsh Metropark opens later this month, 1,000 acres of critically important habitat will return to the Lake Erie shore, and Metroparks Toledo will be a step closer to fulfilling its promise of a park within 5 miles of every home in Lucas County, Ohio.

The property, known historically as Howard Farms, is the last remaining large tract of land in the Western Lake Erie marsh region. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife has been interested in the property for more than 20 years, but was not able to come to terms with the owner.

When Metroparks successfully negotiated an agreement in 2008, the Division of Wildlife contributed half of the $6 million purchase price. Metroparks and the Division of Wildlife entered into a management agreement for fishing, hunting, trapping and wildlife recreation and conservation at the marsh. A $1.76 million grant from the Clean Ohio Fund Greenspace Conservation Program and $1.24 million from Metroparks paid for the other half of the purchase price.

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Parks and Public Health: Working Together to Advance Health and Wellness
Courtesy of NRPA

By Clement Lau, AICP

CALIFORNIA - While the field of parks and recreation is often associated with fun and games, it should also be known for how it is advancing health and wellness. After all, local park and recreation agencies, including the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) where I work, offer a variety of important health and wellness opportunities for residents in communities across the United States. As our nation continues to face serious health challenges such as increasing rates of chronic disease, a growing prevalence of sedentary lifestyles and rising healthcare costs, parks and recreation provide an effective and affordable solution.

The health benefits of parks and recreation programs are measurable, well-documented and quantified in numerous studies. Specifically, parks...

Read more: 


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House Natural Resources Committee holds hearing on NACo-supported National Park Service Legacy Act

By Jonathan Shuffield

On Tuesday, March 20, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on improving the infrastructure of the National Park Service (NPS), which included a legislative hearing on H.R. 2584, the National Park Service Legacy Act, introduced by Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX). NACo supports H.R. 2584.

H.R. 2584 would establish an NPS Legacy Restoration Fund that would allocate up to $500 million annually from unspent federal energy royalties to be used on repairs to the NPS’ deferred maintenance backlog. The bill would also give the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and NPS Director the authority to accept qualified private donations for needed repairs.

Read more:


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2018 NRPA Agency Performance Review

How does your park and recreation agency measure up in terms of providing open space, recreation opportunities and programming relative to your peer agencies? Is your agency properly staffed or sufficiently funded compared to others?

These questions and more are answered in the 2018 NRPA Agency Performance Review. This report, with its accompanying interactive online tools from NRPA Park Metrics, is the most comprehensive resource of park and recreation data and insights in the United States, and provides the data and insight you need to gain more funding support, improve operations and better serve your community.

On top of that, you also have the option to customize the data further to generate metrics from agencies similar to yours. By entering your agency's Park Metrics data through a 30 question survey, you can run customized performance reports that place your agency's data right next to that of its peers.

For more information:


Webinar: Building Healthy Communities Through Parks and Recreation

Thursday, April 12 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Join us for our upcoming webinar to hear the role parks and recreation agencies are playing in building and supporting healthy communities. Presenters will share how NRPA's health and wellness initiatives support the overall goal to increase access to healthy foods and physical activity through programs, built environments, and policy.

This webinar is part of our Premier Webinar Series. It is free to Premier Members, and $30 for all other member types.

For more information: 


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Driving Change
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

MICHIGAN - The City of Grand Rapids, MI announced receiving an award for their nationally heralded Driving Change bicycle safety education campaign. The Driving Change theme was launched in 2016 to speak to both bicyclists and motorists about their responsibilities as road users. The campaign was based on crash data analysis, community surveys, focus groups, input from community leaders and reviews of existing campaigns. It includes billboards, bus advertising, television public service announcements, radio advertising and social media.

Comparison of bike-related crashes in the greater Grand Rapids area between May and September 2015 and the same time frame in 2016 indicated that fatal or serious-injury crashes decreased by 81%– from 11 to 2. During the same five-month period in 2017, there were eight fatal or serious-injury crashes– a decrease of 27 % from 2015. The pre- and post-campaign surveys in 2016 showed a 40% increase in awareness of the 5-foot passing rule and a 13% increase in public belief that Grand Rapids is a bicycle-friendly community.

Check out their website for lots of transferable resources.

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


E-Bike Purchase Pulls People from Cars
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

Cycling Industry News reports a National Institute for Transportation and Communities study of nearly 1,800 North Americans using electric bikes found that many primarily took to pedal-assist bikes in order to help ditch their private cars: 28% said they made a purchase specifically to reduce their car reliance.

Users further reported that, without their e-Bike, 76% of their trips would have been made by car. Electric bike riders tend to use their rides more. While over 91% said they rode weekly or daily, only 55% of former pedal bike users rode this frequently before making the change.

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The benefits of bike trails
Courtesy of cnu.org

By Robert Steuteville

In an effort to make sprawling Northwest Arkansas more livable, 163 miles of bicycle paths and trails have been built in recent years—including the 37-mile Razorback Greenway that links all of the region’s significant cities.

Studies show that bicycling in general provided $137 million in health and economic benefits to the region in 2017, reports the Walton Family Foundation. The foundation provided $74 million for the construction of the trails over the last 10 years, working with municipalities that provide ongoing contributions—and use of trails rose 24 percent in the last two years.

The trail system is one layer of reforms, along with form-based development codes, revitalization of historic main streets, and investment in culture and the arts, that are designed to make this region more livable. Bicycling infrastructure is a suburban retrofit strategy in Northwest Arkansas.

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Off the Beaten Path
Courtesy of Urban Omnibus

By Claire Weisz

Over the past several years, working first on a series of designs for cabins and more recently on prototypes for “comfort stations” that feature public restrooms, Claire Weisz, together with her firm WXY, has sought to both imagine and execute spaces that are not only sustainably produced, efficiently maintained, and replicable across the system’s 180 parks, but that also more creatively address inclusivity, access, and gender diversity than such bathrooms typically have in the past. In this interview with representatives from the organizations QSPACE and QSAPP together with Intersections guest editor Jacob Moore, Weisz discusses the challenges of working on such a project, and how architecture can reinforce — or undermine — diversity in public.

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The Science Is In: The healthiest neighborhoods are both walkable and green
Courtesy of Placemakers.com

By Kaid Benfield

Most of us, most of the time, don’t make much connection between place – the neighborhoods where we live, work, and play – and our health. Not unless we’re thinking of such obvious local health concerns as an outbreak of infectious disease in the community, serious levels of pollution or toxicity nearby, or perhaps about local health care services and facilities. Absent those kinds of circumstances, we tend to take our neighborhoods for granted when it comes to health. But we shouldn’t, because there is a rapidly growing body of evidence demonstrating that the shape and character of our communities matters a great deal to our health.

But I am returning to these matters today because there is compelling new research, from a variety of medical and other scientific sources, about what makes a neighborhood healthy. And, while that research certainly reinforces what smart growth and urbanist advocates have long believed – that walkable places, in particular, make a significant contribution to human health – it also establishes strongly that, among neighborhood characteristics, walkability alone is not enough. To be truly healthy, especially in cities, we also need nature in our communities. And that is something that, in my opinion, is not commanding enough time and energy from city builders and advocates.

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SORP Announces the Christopher K. Jarvi Scholarship to Advance Partnerships

The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals was selected by the Foundation for Sustainable Park and Recreation to manage the Christopher K. Jarvi Scholarship to Advance Partnerships. This scholarship fund was created to help dedicated professionals explore ways to integrate more partnerships into their work to benefit and bring value to parks, public lands and the communities that host them.

Chris Jarvi was active in leadership with prominent organizations working to support recreation and parks professionals including the California Parks and Recreation Society and the National Recreation and Park Association. Throughout his career he viewed his job as building a stronger community rather than simply delivering services. At his request, this scholarship to encourage parks and recreation professionals to continue to explore how partnering efforts can help us achieve parks, recreation, and community goals.

Scholarships range from $500-$1,500 and in 2018, ten scholarships will be awarded. Scholarship awards may be used over the 18 months following the award. This will ensure that scholarship recipients are able to attend the training, workshop, conference, program or activity of interest and that the scholarship will fit the needs of any budgeting cycle or matching funds that may be available.

The scholarship period opens in May.

For more information: 
https://www.recpro.org/christopher-k- jarvi-scholarship


Announcing the FY 2018 Challenge Cost Share Program
Courtesy of the National Park Service

Round up some partners and grab your tools! The NPS Challenge Cost Share Program is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Trails and Wild & Scenic Rivers systems. Applications are being accepted until May 25.

Challenge Cost Share ("CCS") projects are intended to build collaboration between the National Park Service and project partners. For FY 2018, the program will provide $386,000, to be matched 1-to-1 by non-federal funds and in-kind support. We anticipate supporting approximately 20 projects.

All applications are expected to include project partners such as educational institutions, private for-profit entities, or not-for-profit organizations. Municipalities or other governmental entities also are eligible to be partners, but a primary non-governmental co-applicant is encouraged.

For more information: https://www.nps.gov/ccsp


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Interior backing away from steep fee hikes at national parks
Courtesy of the Washington Post

By Matthew Daly

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department is backing down from a plan to impose steep fee increases at popular national parks in the face of widespread opposition from elected officials and the public.

The plan would nearly triple entrance fees at 17 of the nation’s most popular parks, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion, forcing visitors to pay $70 per vehicle during the peak summer season.

While plans are still being finalized, a spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said officials have “taken the public’s suggestions seriously and have amended the plan to reflect those” comments.

The park service received more than 109,000 comments on the proposal, most of them opposed, during a two-month comment period that ended in late December.

Read more:


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Webinar: Getting the Word Out about Accessibility of Trails and Outdoor Recreation
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

Date: April 25, 2018, 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm ET
Presenter(s): Peter Axelson, Todd Ackerman & Samuel Schnorbus (Beneficial Designs, Inc.) & Mike Passo (American Trails)
Cost: $19 members / $39 nonmembers

This webinar will provide an introduction to Universal Access Information and how it provides people with information they need to determine whether an outdoor recreation environment meets their needs for accessibility and their desires for an achievable challenge.

For more information:


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Associate Superintendent
Three Rivers Park District, Minnesota
Posted March 22, 2018. Open until filled. First review of applications on April 20, 2018.

Parks & Community Services Director
City of Dublin, CA
Posted April 9, 2018. Closes Sunday, April 22, 2018.

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


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