December 2018 Print


Greetings NACPRO Members,

This will be our last newsletter for the year. Looking ahead to 2019, we plan on opening award nominations in early January with the deadline at the end of February. Our summer meeting will be in Castle Rock, Colorado from June 7-10, 2019, where we will host our county park tour and awards banquet.

We would like to express our sincerest appreciation for the trust you have placed in us and best wishes for the holidays.

Brenda Adams-Weyant
Executive Director


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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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315-mile trail loop around Maricopa County completed
Courtesy of AZ Central

ARIZONA - Nearly 20 years after the idea was born and 15 years after development began, Maricopa County has finished a 315-mile trail that circles the entire county.

The last leg of the Maricopa Trail, which links10 of the county's regional parks, was completed this fall when the county finally acquired four small sections of state trust land.

The pieces of trail were "somewhat insignificant in the grand scheme of things," but essential to complete the mission the county had set out to accomplish decades ago, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director R.J. Cardin said.

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Cuyahoga River Water Trail Open House
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

An open house has been scheduled at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio to discuss the Cuyahoga River Water Trail project and provide input towards its creation.

The effort to create the CRWT along the entire 100 miles of the Cuyahoga River has been under way since 2011 by the CRWT Partners - a team of leaders from park systems, county and regional agencies, municipalities and non-profit groups. The team has been working to restore and protect the Cuyahoga River as a healthy waterway and robust recreational resource.

The goal of the CRWT Partners is to create the CRWT and secure designation as an Ohio Water Trail by June 2019 for the 50th Anniversary of the last burning of the river.

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County officials and residents recount first hours of deadliest fire in California history

By Mary Ann Barton

CALIFORNIA - The first inkling that Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter had of the Camp Fire was seeing “whole black leaves, about the size of quarters, falling from the sky.” Gale-force winds were blowing that day at about 50 MPH in some areas.

The morning the fire started, before it ripped through the town of Paradise, Teeter’s wife took their children to school; shortly after, he received an evacuation notice on his phone. Soon, they were both heeding the warning. Teeter, a longtime resident of Paradise, sent his wife ahead to go pick up their children; he later jumped in the family’s second car. But soon, he was stuck in a traffic jam with other drivers also trying to escape the blaze. He left his car on the side of the road with plans to run on foot back home to hop on his motorcycle.

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2019 Achievement Award Applications Now Open!

Does your county have an innovative program to spotlight that is modernizing and improving county government? For 49 years, the NACo Achievement Awards program has been recognizing initiatives nationwide in categories such as health, civic education, public safety and more. Winners will be recognized at NACo's Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

For more information:


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LWCF Reauthorization Update

Kyle Simpson, NRPA's Senior Government Affairs Manager, shared some good news with NACPRO on December 3:

The four senior House and Senate lawmakers over LWCF met on November 29th:  House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop and ranking member Raúl Grijalva met with Senate Energy Chairman Lisa Murkowski and Cantwell.

Kyle spoke with Chairman Bishop's staff on Friday, November 30th. They said the agreement with the 4 leaders included LWCF. There would be a floor of 40% for the stateside program and a permanent authorization. No mandatory funding but that was always going to be the hardest sell.


Funding for Youth Mentoring is Worth Saving

The Youth Mentoring Grant Program is at risk of losing funding in the FY2019 Congressional spending bill.

This federal grant program is used by park and recreation agencies to provide critical mentoring programs to at-risk youth. Mentorship for these youths can be the difference between success and failure in their lives.

The Youth Mentoring Grant Program must be annually appropriated (funded) by Congress. Currently the appropriations amount has not yet been finalized for this fiscal year. Join us in asking Congress to fund this critical program at $100 million in the final FY2019 spending bill before the budget deadline on December 21.

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Apply Now for the Doppelt Fund Grants
Courtesy of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

We’re pleased to announce the opening of the 2019 Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund application process. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is awarding a total of $105,000 to organizations and local communities that are working to improve and connect multiuse trails across the country.

Applications are now being accepted. Visit our website to learn more about the grant categories, view the eligibility requirements and submit your application.

Eligible applicants include trail managers, trail advocates, community-based groups, nonprofits and public agencies. Eligible projects include open (existing) multiuse trails and multiuse trails in various stages of planning.

The application period closes on January 31, 2019.

For more information:


IMBA’s Trail Accelerator Grant
Courtesy of the International Mountain Bicycling Association

Catalyzing more trails close to home is critical to IMBA's mission, and we wish to accelerate the pace of trail building in the U.S. Many communities have the interest and political support to develop mountain bike facilities and trail systems, but lack funding and/or knowledge to jump-start efforts. IMBA’s new Trail Accelerator Grant will support communities with visions for model trails in typically under-served states.

Applicants must be in one of the following states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

The application period closes on January 30, 2019.

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Headwaters Economics - Great resources for parks

Trails Toolkit: Helping Communities Invest Wisely

Communities and local leaders can utilize this trails toolkit to better understand whether and how trails can accomplish local goals, along with the cost and benefits of proposed projects.

County Payments

The federal government compensates counties for the tax-exempt status of federal lands within their boundaries. For rural counties, particularly those with extensive public land ownership, these payments often constitute a significant portion of county and school budgets, and influence economic development opportunities.

Trends & Performance

Understanding major drivers of economic change–such as shifts in migration, non-labor income, and industry concentrations–is critical to making sound decisions about how to improve economic performance.

For more information:


2019 NOHVCC to Webinar Series
Courtesy of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council

NOHVCC will begin a series of free webinars in 2019. The webinars will be designed to deliver quality and helpful information on OHV safety, education, management and other issues related to motorized recreation.

The series will kick off in January 2019 with a presentation titled What is NOHVCC? This initial webinar will be useful for those who are unfamiliar with NOHVCC, its projects and its mission. It will also be useful for those more familiar with NOHVCC but who want to expand their knowledge about specific NOHVCC programs or projects.

Future webinars will likely focus on creating and sustaining OHV clubs and associations, mapping, engaging land managers, effective OHV websites, and more!

Please keep an eye on NOHVCC’s website as we will be providing more information as the first webinar draws near.

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Recommendations from the National Study of Neighborhood Parks
Courtesy of NRPA

By Catherine Nagel

It is time to rethink neighborhood parks from top to bottom — how they’re designed, what programming is offered and even how America’s great untapped recreational resource is branded and marketed.

The National Study of Neighborhood Parks was a two-year examination of park use and design at 174 neighborhood parks in 25 cities across the country. City Parks Alliance and the RAND Corporation led the research with help from The Trust for Public Land and funding from the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. For this study, neighborhood parks were defined as being between 2 and 20 acres and intended to serve residents living within a 1-mile radius of the parks. Researchers documented the age, gender and relative level of physical activity of park users, and they matched those factors against park characteristics, amenities and conditions. More importantly, the research team also collected the perceptions of those parks by those who used them.

All that data was then distilled into key recommendations for turning America’s great neighborhood parks into part of the solution to America’s ongoing health crisis. The recommendations fall in four major categories: programming, design, outreach and measurement. And Active Parks, Healthy Cities includes multiple case studies for each from cities large and small and diverse geographies from desert to waterfront. It is a trove of ideas and options for building better neighborhood parks.

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Why Certain Parks Gentrify Surrounding Neighborhoods And What We Can Do About It
Courtesy of Science Trends

By Alessandro Rigolon and Jeremy Németh

Urban parks, trails, and other green spaces are vital amenities for city dwellers. Research consistently shows they bring a number of health, social, and economic benefits to residents. These public green spaces are particularly beneficial to low-income people, children, and older adults who might not be able to afford private gyms or lack the means to access distant destinations like national parks.

But new parks can also bring negative consequences to low-income communities; when parks come in, so do more affluent residents, often resulting in the displacement of the very low-income people the park was intended to serve. This process has been called environmental or green gentrification.

In our recent study titled “’We’re not in the business of housing:’ Environmental gentrification and the nonprofitization of green infrastructure projects,” published in the journal Cities, we examined the planning efforts that led to the construction of The 606, a 2.7-mile elevated urban trail that opened in Chicago in 2015 and has been compared to New York’s famous High Line project. Community-based organizations were the initial proponents of this project, which was intended to add much-needed green spaces in some of Chicago’s most park-poor neighborhoods. But well-intended efforts to do so backfired, as The 606 led to significant increases in home sale prices and the eventual displacement of many long-term, low-income residents from the Logan Square and Humboldt Park neighborhoods.

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Drones in Parks: It’s All About Perspective
Courtesy of NRPA

By Courtney Wootton, Michael J. Bradley and Ray Neal

Because of the popularity of drones, park agencies will face increasing public pressure to look at allowing hobbyist flights and commercial-use drones in parks There may be revenue potential in charging for a “day permit” to fly, but more importantly, permitting drone takeoffs and landings in park areas shows that the park system accepts drone flying as a legitimate form of recreation. Day or season permits would also help filter out less savvy or unsafe drone pilots with the requirement to show FAA registration and limited takeoff and landing space would additionally help park staff supervise flying.

By creating stronger guidelines and policies about how to fly drones in parks instead of adopting blanket restrictions, parks can give people an outlet and place to fly recreationally. New programming and events can be planned around drones, bringing in visitors and related businesses that benefit the parks. The popularity of drones will continue to climb. The opportunity is here for park and recreation professionals to accept drone flying and keep it focused on safety and respect for all parties. Such acceptance will protect the public and park resources and enable an exciting new form of recreation to take place.

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Measuring Conservation Progress in North America
Courtesy of the Center for American Progress

The amount of US land conserved or protected has increased since 1992, but last year saw protections reduced or removed for more than 3 million acres of federal land, according to a study of North American conservation by the Center for American Progress. Private land represents only 3.3% of the nearly 285 million acres of protected areas in the US.

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Presents for Park Nerds: 2018 Edition
Courtesy of UrbDeZine Los Angeles

By Clement Lau

Let me begin with a confession. I almost decided not to continue my annual update of Presents for Park Nerds which I started in 2013. As my family knows, I have never been much of a shopper, but I thought it would be fun to compile a list of gift ideas for my fellow planners and those who may want to give us presents for Christmas. So I updated the list in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. But as December approached this year, I just did not feel an urge to provide a 2018 update. I was disturbed by images and stories of shoppers fighting over on-sale items on Black Fridays and also wondered whether I should be promoting online shopping after reading about the wastes it generates. Thus I have decided to take a different approach this year. As a park planner, I want to encourage everyone to enjoy and experience the great outdoors, i.e. the wonderful local, state, and national parks and trails we have across the U.S. Provided below is a list of park and recreation-related gift ideas.

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House Natural Resources Committee to Take More Proactive Oversight of Interior Dept.
Courtesy pf the National Parks Traveler

By Kurt Repanshek

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, in line to become chair of the House Natural Resources Committee in January, hopes to set a new tone and attitude with the committee in its oversight work involving the Interior Department and its many bureaus.

“We don’t want the suppression of science-based decision-making to be taken completely out of the process, the legislative process, the oversight process," the Arizona Democrat said Friday during a wide-ranging conversation. "And so the priorities for us are to reintroduce facts and fact-based science into the process. No. 2, shed some daylight on the consequences of an extraction-only agenda. We want to talk about the impacts on people’s quality of life, who recreate, who uses the public lands. It’s a public accountability issue. And who's really winning from an extraction only agenda."

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The new park for the Trinity is revealed, and with it a new beginning for Dallas
Courtesy of the Dallas News

By Mark Lamster

TEXAS - Described as a "first look," the presentation is open to the public, and will include the park's landscape architect, Michael Van Valkenburgh, and Brent Brown, the chief executive and president of the Trinity Park Conservancy, the nonprofit authority commissioned last May by the city to build the park.

"Dallas for a very long time has heard ideas for a park on this site and there's been a rolling collection of proposals," says Van Valkenburgh. "I hope this one seems exciting and the city gets behind it. I hope they find the thinking to be credible from a technical perspective, but this will change the way you live in Dallas."

The proposal deserves the city's full support, and in Van Valkenburgh it has a figure with credibility certified by a series of major urban waterfront park projects. In the last year, his firm, MVVA, has opened the 64-acre Gathering Place in Tulsa and the 91-acre Gateway Arch park in St. Louis, both to critical and popular acclaim. The firm, moreover, has a long history of working in spaces prone to inundation, including Allegheny Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh and Mill Race Park in Columbus, Ind.

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Cost of keeping Asian carp from Great Lakes nearly triples to $778 million
Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

By John Flesher

Fortifying an Illinois waterway to prevent invasive carp from using it as a path to Lake Michigan could cost nearly three times as much as federal planners previously thought, according to an updated report.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week released a final strategy plan for upgrading the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, which experts consider a good location to block upstream movement of Asian carp that have infested the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

Scientists warn that if the voracious carp become established in the Great Lakes, they could out-compete native species and harm the region's $7 billion fishing industry.

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How Florida Counties Dealt With the Red Tide’s Stinking Mess
Courtesy of City Lab

By Leslie Nemo

FLORIDA - When the red tide started washing dead fish onto Lee County’s beaches in southwest Florida earlier this year, the parks department met the waste like it always has: by having employees scoop it into dumpsters.

But then the toxic algae bloom got worse. The department hired extra day laborers, and when they still couldn’t keep up with the rancid waste on the county’s 50 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline (including Fort Myers and Sanibel beaches), Lee hired a private contractor to help hoist the fish into dumpsters and the county incinerator.

All told, Lee County required 39,069 labor hours to scoop 4 million pounds of marine debris off its beaches, thanks to the algae bloom. In the 28 years Dave Harner, the Lee County assistant manager, has worked in the area, he’s never seen a red tide this lethal and long-lasting. Nor has he seen the red-tide fund depleted—but that changed this year, too. The county spent $2.55 million hoisting the reeking mess off its property. “We had a plan in place, but I don’t think anyone ever expected something of this magnitude,” he said.

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Montgomery County’s 1,100-mile bicycle master plan raises the bar. Now it needs funding.
Courtesy of Greater Greater Washington

By David Cranor

MARYLAND - At the end of last month, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to approve a new Bicycle Master Plan. It calls for more than 1,000 miles of trails, paths, and separated bike lanes; expanded bicycle parking near transit and in commercial areas; and bicycle-supportive programs and policies.

“This plan raises the bar for bicycle infrastructure planning and design in North America,” Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson said in a press release. “It positions Montgomery County to be among the leading bicycling communities in the country.”

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The New Graffiti: Parks Fight Stone Stackers
Courtesy of Take Part

By John R. Platt

Does a stack of rocks in the forest amount to little more than a hill of beans, or do small actions like picking up stones add up to a mountainous impact?

That debate comes as the National Park Service on Thursday celebrated its 100th anniversary. This week Utah’s Zion National Park shared a photo on Facebook of a shoreline littered with dozens of human-made stacks of rocks, often called cairns. Zion, on the other hand, called these stacks “rock graffiti” and “vandalism.” The park added that the rocks can have an ecological impact far beyond what many visitors realize.

“If you look in places like the Southwest, Zion being one of them, it’s just hundreds of cairns everywhere,” said Wesley Trimble, communications manager for the American Hiking Society, which supports the “leave no trace behind” philosophy of enjoying nature. “It really is detracting from the natural beauty of the place to see all these man-made cairns in an otherwise untouched environment.”

Beyond disturbing natural beauty, the cairns also have an effect on the environment. Experts have said that digging rocks from the ground can promote erosion, which can in turn threaten rivers or plants. “In mountain areas, visitors often remove rocks from the soil, which disturbs habitat, and we lose the plants anchored there—and the soil too, which is already thin,” Jacobi said. “Some of these plants are rare, and this habitat is fragile for sure.”

Removing rocks from rivers can be just as problematic. Waters said many aquatic invertebrates rely on river rocks for shelter or breeding. “If you take them out of the water, anything that’s alive on that rock and exposed is going to be killed,” she said. Salamanders or other aquatic life at other parks also rely on the rocks.

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2019 National Planning Conference
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

San Francisco, California -  April 13-16, 2019

Want to move to the forefront of planning? Attend NPC19 and pack learning, sharing, connecting, and fun into four exciting days. NPC19's robust educational program covers emerging issues, new trends, and best practices in planning.

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2019 International Trails Symposium
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Syracuse, New York -  April 28 to May 1, 2019

This biennial event hosts leaders in the trails industry from across North America and around the world. American Trails hosts this exciting event because they believe that trails, more than any other public amenity, have the ability to strengthen communities and connect us all to our happiest and healthiest selves. Through direct engagement, cooperation, and conversation with our fellow trail leaders, we can realize the value of trails to the human experience.

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2019 National Outdoor Recreation Conference
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Rapid City, South Dakota - May 6-9, 2019

The National Outdoor Recreation Conference, hosted each year by the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP), showcases innovative and creative approaches to outdoor recreation research, planning, and management.

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Save the Date - 2019 NOHVCC Annual Conference
Courtesy of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council

Reno, Nevada - October 15-20, 2019

Planning has already begun for the mobile workshop and other aspects of the conference you have all experienced before.

Please keep an eye on NOHVCC’s website for updates over the coming months.

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Director of Recreation, Parks and Forestry
University City, Missouri
Posted December 6, 2018. Closes January 14, 2019.

Business Development Manager
Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois
Posted December 3, 2018. Closes December 30, 2018.

Human Resources Analyst
Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois
Posted December 3, 2018. Closes December 30, 2018.

Resource Technician
Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois
Posted December 3, 2018. Closes December 30, 2018.

Permit Assistant
Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois
Posted December 3, 2018. Closes December 30, 2018.

Recreation Aide
Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois
Posted December 3, 2018. Closes December 30, 2018.

District Superintendent I - Oceano Dunes
California State Parks
Posted October 16, 2018. Open until filled.

For more information:


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