June 2018 Print


Mrs. Beahta Davis, Director
San Bernardino County Regional Parks, California

Mr. Gary Minor, Executive Director
Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority, Alabama

Mr. Darren McGee, Director of Business Operations
Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority, Alabama


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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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7 Street-Level Solutions for Safer Cycling
Courtesy of AARP

By Jay Walljasper and Melissa Stanton

"The key to a good network is to put bicycle lanes where people want to go, not just where it's easy to build them," says Jon Orcutt, a former policy director of the New York City Department of Transportation and the current advocacy director at TransitCenter.

Ideally, transportation planners of the past would have planned for pedestrians and bicyclists when creating roadways for cars and other motorized vehicles. In communities that now have Complete Streets policies in which the needs of all roadway users are considered, such forward thinking is happening. But creative street-level solutions are available for places where the infrastructure is pretty much set in stone. Here are a few:

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GP RED Think Tank

The GP RED Think Tank is a national gathering of thought leaders to discuss innovations, best practices, and collaboration among health, recreation, design, planning, education, research and land management professionals

Professionals in the fields of public parks and recreation, public health, transportation, academia, and professional design and planning can struggle to integrate their work due, in part, to lack of a common language. Emerging research, innovative technologies, and best practices are ever-evolving. GP RED aims to foster exchange and facilitate consensus by hosting multi-disciplinary conversations that matter. The purpose of the Think Tank is to improve multi-sector, knowledge transfer, connection, education, communication, and information sharing.

Participation is limited to 100 invited great minds from a variety of disciplines. Apply by June 30 to be considered.

For more information:


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These Are the Most Bikeable Cities in America
Courtesy of Next City

By Rachel Kaufman

Minneapolis once again rules as the most bikeable city in America, according to an analysis by real estate company Redfin and its Bike Score tool.

Locations rated by Bike Score are scored on hilliness, connectivity and access to bike lanes, paths and sharrows. It also includes data on how many people are already biking, because, Bike Score says, “The ‘safety in numbers’ research indicates that more bikers on the road makes drivers more aware of bikers — and more drivers have had the experience of biking.” On those metrics, Minneapolis earned a score of 81.9 out of 100, making it the country’s most bikeable city.

Following closely behind in the rankings is Portland, Oregon, which climbed into second place with a score of 81.2 (9.2 points higher than its score in Bike Score’s last city-by-city rankings, in 2015). Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle follow, with scores in the low 70s. Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Sacramento round out the top-ten list.

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New ParkScore Rankings Show How Cities Stack up for Green Space
Courtesy of Next City

By Rachel Kaufman

Minneapolis, Minnesota, has the best park system in a major city in the U.S. for the third year running, according to the Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore index, released Tuesday.

It outscored rival city St. Paul by just a few points, ranking higher on both park access (the percentage of residents within a 10-minute walk of a park) and park acreage (the percentage of city area dedicated to parks). St. Paul outscored Minneapolis on amenities but it wasn’t enough to push it to first.

Close behind the Twin Cities were Washington, D.C., in third place, and Arlington, Virginia, in fourth.

At the bottom of the list was Charlotte, North Carolina, where despite its boomtown growth only about 30 percent of the population has close access to a park. Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana, which tied for last place in the ParkScore 2017 rankings, “declined to participate” this year and were not ranked, TPL said.

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A “loop and a stitch” across St. Louis’s divide
Courtesy of Landscape Architecture Magazine

By Zach Mortice

MISSOURI - The Chouteau Greenway (pronounced “show-toe”), which is planned to run about five miles from Forest Park on St. Louis’s western edge to the newly rejuvenated Gateway Arch National Park at the Mississippi River, is not a park. It’s not even a park system. It’s a landscape-driven development strategy for an entire swath of the city. Its goal is to break down the city’s stark north-south racial divide by attracting St. Louisans from across a socioeconomic spectrum toward a corridor defined by a tangle of transit infrastructure. Along the way are some of the region’s most eminent education, medical, and cultural institutions.

The plan is led by the Great Rivers Greenway, a public agency that works to connect the city’s three rivers with a network of greenway trails (which currently measures 117 miles). It envisions these often desolate and transit-scaled corridors as a series of parks, memorials, trails, and art spaces that tell the cultural history of the city. The proposed greenway could put St. Louis’s two premier urban landscapes—and the city itself—on a new pedestal. But inspiration for the winning plan from the Great Rivers Greenway’s design competition, concluded earlier this month, draws from subtle histories.

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What Can Bees Teach Us About Building Better Urban Ecosystems?
Courtesy of Next City

By Jen Kinney

Last summer, Paul Maeillo had to clear a vacant lot in North Philadelphia, and he wasn’t happy about it. He’d done it plenty of times before, as part of the Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s LandCare program, which hires local contractors to maintain the neighborhood’s many abandoned parcels. But on this day the lot was full of wildflowers — and wildlife. In fact, it wasn’t vacant at all. He saw snakes and mice and many, many bees, gathering nectar and pollen from the untamed flora. “Just teeming,” Maeillo remembers. “It was kind of wild.”

Groups of entomologists in the U.S. and abroad have increasingly come to the same conclusion: Bees may actually prefer cities. Bee diversity is much higher in St. Louis than in surrounding rural areas; the same goes for cities in the U.K. At a time when pollinators the world over are struggling, it’s a heartening development, though it comes with a twist. Cities plant pollinator gardens and sign pledges to protect honeybees, and that’s great. But some evidence suggests a surprising environmental correlation to urban pollinators’ health: neglect of land. Bees thrive in cities such as St. Louis and Detroit, which have large tracts of vacant land owing to a steep and steady population decline — a drop of more than 50 percent over the past 60 years.

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The Places in the U.S. Where Disaster Strikes Again and Again
Courtesy of the New York Times

By Sahil Chinoy

In the last 16 years, parts of Louisiana have been struck by six hurricanes. Areas near San Diego were devastated by three particularly vicious wildfire seasons. And a town in eastern Kentucky has been pummeled by at least nine storms severe enough to warrant federal assistance.

About 90 percent of the total losses across the United States occurred in ZIP codes that contain less than 20 percent of the national population, according to an analysis of data from the Small Business Administration.

The federal government, through disaster relief programs and flood insurance, subsidizes the cost of rebuilding in areas hit repeatedly by storms, floods and fires. Critics say that encourages too much development in those regions, wasting tens of billions of dollars in tax money and endangering lives.

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NPS Report—Gasp!—Acknowledges Climate Change
Courtesy of Outside Online

By Jake Bullinger

Sea level rise, caused primarily by human-induced climate change, will pose a challenge to national parks on America’s coasts.

After months of controversy, the National Park Service last week finally released a report that said as much. To many, that’s an unenjoyable but logical statement. But in the age of Trump, getting that “human-induced” part into a government report was a hard-won battle. Though the report’s conclusions might not be shocking, its very publication is groundbreaking in an administration that has routinely denied climate change exists, let alone that it’s caused by our own actions.

The report examined how rising oceans will affect 118 park units, and it’s clear that low-lying East Coast and Gulf of Mexico parks will be most affected. Unless efforts to curtail greenhouse gases take place, coasts outside the nation’s capital will see a 2.6-foot rise in sea levels by 2100, high enough that storm surges could flood the National Mall.

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Fears Grow That Interior Secretary Zinke Will End Every Kid A Park Program
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

By Kurt Repanshek

A program that has sent millions of fourth graders and their families to national parks and other public lands since 2015, when the Every Kid In A Park program was launched by the Obama administration, could be ended by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, according to an organization that views the initiative as crucial to teaching youth the wonders of the outdoors and building tomorrow's public lands advocates and stewards.

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Webinar: Overview of Interagency Visitor Use Management Council
Courtesy of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals

Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2018
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

The Interagency Visitor Use Management Council (IVUMC) Visitor Use Management framework is a planning process for visitor use management that can be incorporated into existing agency planning and decision-making processes. It is applicable across a wide spectrum of situations that vary in spatial extent and complexity from site-specific decisions to large-scale, comprehensive management plans. The IVUMC is drafting the Visitor Capacity and Monitoring Guidebooks that provide specific guidance for identifying and implementing visitor capacity that can be incorporated into existing agency planning and decision-making processes. 

For more information: https://www.recpro.org/webinars


Trail Nation Summit - Livestreaming
Courtesy of Rails to Trails Conservancy

The Trail Nation Summit will bring together local partners to share best practices and the real-world challenges they face in their work to connect trails nationwide. We’ll also hear from national experts who are leading the way in connecting the country by trail.

Join us live this week as we stream our plenary sessions at the Summit in Milwaukee.

1. The TrailNation Playbook, June 6 at 8:00 a.m. (CDT) An exploration of the country’s most innovative trail network projects that are tackling issues related to the economy, health and mobility.

2. Disruption, Mobility and the Built Environment, June 6 at 12:45 p.m. (CDT) Leading national voices will tackle the challenges that communities face as they plan to address changing technology and transportation landscapes at the intersection of trails, the sharing economy and autonomous vehicles.

3. Planning for Equity, June 7 at 8:30 a.m. (CDT) This panel will explore new approaches to planning, community building and development with the intention of righting wrongs of structural racism and economic barriers to equitable transportation.

4. Trails Are the Solution, June 7 at 12:45 p.m. (CDT) This panel will offer a comprehensive discussion of the transformative power of trail networks to address challenges that every community in America is facing: chronic disease, mobility, social equity and economic growth.

Go to www.railstotrails.org/summit for connection information.


National ADA Symposium

Date: June 17-20, 2018
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Organization: ADA National Network

The National ADA Symposium is an annual conference on the Americans with Disabilities Act. This four day event is made up of pre-conference session options, keynote, break-out sessions, advanced discussion groups, exhibits, and hands-on learning activities.

For more information: http://www.adasymposium.org/


Webinar: Leveraging People and Places: Trails as Economic Development
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: June 28, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm ET
Cost: $19 members/$39 non-members
Organization: American Trails

Towns and cities are capitalizing on their trail networks to forge stronger ties to their pasts as well as to stimulate their local economies looking ahead. Trails that intersect downtowns offer unique opportunities for reinvention as former industrial areas are becoming increasingly attractive for redevelopment given their proximity to adjoining neighborhoods and community assets. However, urban trails also pose specific challenges as they relate to history, gentrification and addressing issues of environmental contamination. This session brings together a city planner, landscape architect and architect to talk about trails in the urban context and what cities in the United States are doing to facilitate connectivity and provide economic development opportunities for the properties that lie along former industrial corridors.

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Parks and Recreation Director
Fairfield, Ohio
Posted May 8, 2018. Closes June 9, 2018.

Manager of Ecological Restoration
Lake County Forest Preserves, Illinois
Posted May 18, 2018. Closes June 22, 2018.

Executive Director
Missouri Park and Recreation Association
Posted May 24, 2018. Closes June 24, 2018.

Director of Parks & Recreation
City of Santa Cruz, California
Posted May 30, 2018. Closes June 24, 2018.

Regional Parks Operations Chief
San Bernardino County Regional Parks, California
Posted May 30, 2018. Closes June 22, 2018.

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


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