September 2018 Print


James “Jim” Perdue, Assistant Director of Park Operations
Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation, Virginia

Robert “Bob” Smet, Assistant Director of Recreation Services
Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation, Virginia

Stuart Connock, Jr., Assistant Director of Planning and Construction
Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation, Virginia

Doug Blount, Director
Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Virginia

Jeff Stewart, Deputy Director
Johnson County Park & Recreation District, Kansas

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Seeking examples of multi-jurisdictional trail sign plans

I am working in two counties in Minnesota where we are trying to develop wayfinding signage for our trails. This includes an effort to have a signage system that is very user-friendly, and compatible across jurisdictions (municipal trails intersecting with county or regional trails, state trails, etc.).

Can point us to places in the United States with intersecting multi-jurisdictional trail systems, where they have effectively established a system of compatible wayfinding signage.

Patrick Stieg
Carver County Government Center, Minnesota

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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Accessibility improvements coming to Metro parks
Courtesy of Oregon Metro

From rugged coastline and salmon-filled rivers to the majestic peaks and valleys in between, Oregon offers endless opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

But not everyone can easily access parks and nature. Approximately 15 percent of Oregonians live with some type of disability, such as mobility and cognitive disabilities, according to the 2016 US Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Metro is taking steps to ensure that people of all abilities feel welcome and safe in public spaces and enjoy access to programs and facilities. The Parks and Nature Department is working to develop and implement a transition plan that would bring parks into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Attend the NRPA Annual Conference Virtually

Even though we wish every single person who wanted to could join us at the NRPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis this year, we know that sometimes you just can't make it. To help remedy that situation, we're offering NRPA Live with nine full education sessions and three speed sessions from the 2018 Annual Conference in Indianapolis, September 25-27. This is your opportunity to virtually attend a curated set of sessions live from your computer. Each session allows for direct interaction with the speakers, continued access to the session archive and the opportunity to gain up to 2.0 CEUs if you purchase the Complete Conference Package.

For more information:


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NOHVCC 2018 Annual Conference Presentations Available Online
Courtesy of NOHVCC

The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council had a great slate of presenters at our Conference this year! While it is always best to come see them in person, if you had to skip the Conference here is your chance to see what you missed. Of course, if you were there, here are most of the presentations to augment your notes.

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Building More Inclusive, Healthy Places
Courtesy of NRPA

By Stephanie Gidigbi

We know that place matters and can have long-term effects on the well-being and health of a person, shaping his or her life expectancy and social economic mobility. The intentionality of how you plan, design and measure for these outcomes is critical for building more inclusive and healthy places.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Gehl Institute have partnered to develop a framework for considering inclusion and health in the design and programing of public spaces. The framework is a comprehensive guide that includes a set of measurable indicators centered around four central principles of inclusion and health equity within the context of public space. These principles focus on community context, the process that shapes public spaces, design and program, and how to sustain the dynamic and interconnected drivers that impact communities. The framework supports a working definition of inclusion as an outcome, a process and a tool for change.

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The Airbnb of camping comes to Oregon
Courtesy of

By Caleb Diehl

On Tuesday, Hipcamp, the San Francisco-based platform, officially launched in Oregon. Private landowners, largely in rural areas, are offering everything from heated cabins to patches of grass. Think Airbnb with tents instead of houses.

The high-priced sites on Hipcamp are symptomatic of overcrowding on Oregon’s public recreation lands. But the site’s more reasonable listings, as low as $10, could provide the cure.

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Interior Secretary Orders Bureaus To Defer Wildlife/Fisheries Issues To States
Courtesy of National Parks Traveler

By Kurt Repanshek

Though the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 clearly directs the National Park Service to "conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein," Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has directed the agencies under his purview to defer wildlife and fisheries matters to states.

In a memo sent Monday, September 10th, the secretary wrote that he "reaffirms" a 1983 policy that gives the states the authority "to exercise their broad trustee and police powers as stewards of the Nation's fish and wildlife species on public lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the Department."

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Houston council OKs request for funds to buy out flood-prone properties
Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle

By Jasper Scherer

TEXAS - The Houston housing department is set to ask the state for $23.5 million in federal disaster recovery funding to buy out properties that repeatedly flooded in 2016, allowing for more green space in the floodplain.

City Council on Wednesday approved a grant submission that will allow Housing Director Tom McCasland to request funds from the Texas General Land Office, which administers funds allocated to Texas through a U.S. Housing and Urban Development block grant program.

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Conservation Lands as Critical Public Infrastructure
Courtesy of NRPA

By Robert Smet

VIRGINIA - Mark Battista, a naturalist with the Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Department in Virginia, tops off his water bottle before moving out into the thick summer heat. Battista has been asked to explore and catalog unique ecosystems and document any rare, threatened or endangered species existing on a tract of land the county is considering purchasing. Such evaluations are part of the park design process the agency uses to make decisions about future public facility development within the region.

Undeveloped land typically has a much lower tax value when compared to improved property. Conventional economic development practices seek to maximize the value of raw land through its conversion to housing, retail or some other profitable use. This change in use results in increased income for real estate professionals, construction companies and material suppliers, while also generating tax revenue for the local government. Property development is usually supported by elected officials and many in the business community due to those anticipated economic benefits.

Such a narrowly focused definition of value discounts the worth of open space and woodlands within a community. Parks and conservation areas directly contribute to the health of municipalities through improvements in air and water quality, ecological diversity, aesthetics and increased recreation opportunities. Yet, there remains a tendency to look at parks, conservation areas and wildlands as desirable amenities, rather than as critical public infrastructure.

This mindset contradicts countless studies conducted since the mid-1970s, highlighting the importance of humans spending time outdoors. Assigning a monetary value to the improved emotional and physical well-being of people who spend time in nature is difficult, but such contributions must be considered in resource allocation decisions. While private foundations and other non- governmental organizations play a role in land conservation, local governments, specifically parks and recreation agencies, are best positioned to acquire and maintain these critical ecological repositories.

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Secretary Zinke and the Great Public Lands Wholesale
Courtesy of Outside Online

By Christopher Solomon

The United States is now likely the world’s largest oil producer. Even so, the Trump administration continues its sprint to lease the nation’s public lands to energy companies.

From September through the end of the year, the Bureau of Land Management will offer leases for oil and gas drilling on nearly 3 million acres of public lands, according to government statistics compiled by the Wilderness Society and Center for Western Priorities. That would mean, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, that for the entire year the administration will have offered for lease almost 4 million acres in the Lower 48 alone.

That’s a nearly four-fold increase over 2016, the last year of the Obama administration. And that doesn’t include lease sales in Alaska and in public waters such as the Gulf of Mexico, where Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has vigorously pushed leasing as part of the administration’s policy of energy dominance.

To that end, Zinke has directed BLM offices, which oversee the public’s oil and gas deposits, to hold lease sales every quarter. Master leasing plans, or broader planning for the landscape, have been scuttled. Opportunities for the public to comment have been shortened, or dispensed with altogether. The energy industry has cheered these changes, saying the old ways were sclerotic and discouraged sensible development.

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Webinar: Common Trail Design Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
Courtesy of the Federal Lands Transportation Institute Training Newsletter

Date: Thursday, September 20, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Cost: $19 members/$39 non-members
Organization: American Trails

The goal of this webinar is to teach planners, landscape architects, engineers and trail committee volunteers a variety of best practices for trail design. Hard surfaced trails are not as easy to design as they seem. Details that can make trails safer, more user-friendly and more accessible are often overlooked. Cost overruns, project delays, permitting problems, construction "surprises" and maintenance headaches can often be avoided by employing better planning approaches & design techniques.

The presenter has distilled 20+ years of trail planning experience and added advice collected from a dozen trail designers and managers into a set of best practices on trail planning & design. You'll view good and bad design examples on over 20 topics, such as: boardwalks, tunnels, trailheads, environmental planning, wetlands, accessibility details, wayfinding and more. Information will be presented in an easy-to understand, non-technical format with photos and drawings from around the U.S.

This webinar is designed for professionals who have a novice to intermediate level of trail planning or design experience. It focuses on new construction or rehabilitation of hard surface trails (asphalt, concrete, crushed stone, etc.) for bicycling, walking, ADA accessibility or multiple uses. However, many of the design techniques discussed also apply to natural surface trails.

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Webinar: Understanding Economic Impact Studies
Courtesy of SORP

Date: Wednesday, September 26, 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

Economic impact studies offer a valuable approach to quantifying how and why outdoor recreation matter to local/state economies. These studies are revolutionizing how outdoor recreation organizations explain why public lands matter to government officials and are a critical part of supporting outdoor recreation developments. SORP has assembled two unique professionals with extensive experience in economic impact analysis in outdoor recreation. These professionals will present on:

1. Learning the basics of understanding an economic impact report
2. Learn best practices in economic impact analysis
3. When, where, and how should economic impact studies be used in practice

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Director of Parks and Recreation
Santa Clara County Parks
Posted July 31, 2018. Open until filled. First review of resumes Monday, August 27, 2018.

Executive Director
Channahon Park District, Illinois
Posted August 31, 2018. Closes September 28, 2018.

Executive Director
Addison Park District, Illinois
Posted August 31, 2018. Closes September 21, 2018

Regional Park Supervisor
Whatcom County Parks & Recreation, Washington
Posted August 31, 2018. Closes October 31, 2018.

For more information:


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