Park Season Opens to Growing Demand

Park Season Opens to Growing Demand

May 27, 2016

Memorial Day kicks off what we like to call “Park Season,” which means that it’s time for cookouts, hiking, biking, fishing and enjoying your local park. This summer, you are not alone. A recently released national report compiled researchers at NC State confirms the significant contribution of state parks in American life. Last year, 759 million state park visits were recorded across the country.

The visitation, which would equate to an average of 2.4 visits by each American, represents an increase of 20 million visits, or 2.7 percent, from the year before. During this same period, day use increased by 18 million visits (2.8 percent) and overnight use grew by 700,00 visits (1.5 percent). These are the highest increases in park usage since 2006.

“This increase illustrates the growing demands of the American public for outdoor recreation and the multitude of benefits it affords,” said Dr. Yu-Fai Leung, project leader and Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management professor. “Such high levels of participation contribute significantly to our nation’s economy, but also challenges our state park officials to manage natural and cultural resources and the infrastructure sustainably.”

As the nation gets ready to celebrate the traditional start of the busiest season for state parks across the country, Lewis Ledford, National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) executive director, said parks are a tonic for the mind body and spirit. He emphasizes three key reasons why the nation supports state parks and why policy makers should also support them:

  • State parks provide an outstanding return on investment to the nation’s economy – more than $20 billion in economic impact created by outdoor recreation and tourism spending by state park visitors with just over a $1 billion in tax supported funding – a 20-fold return on operating investment.
  • State Parks contribute significantly to a healthy, active lifestyle so critical in the fight against physical inactivity, attention disorders and type 2 diabetes that represent an epidemic in American society that impacts the cost of health care that burdens America.
  • With over 18 million acres of state park lands across the country, America’s State Parks represent natural and cultural treasures where our rich history is preserved and flora and fauna thrive. Rare, threatened and endangered specials are conserved and natural communities are kept intact for the benefit of our lands, water and air that support a healthy ecology and nation.

Leung, Dr. Anna Miller, project associate at NC State, and Dr. Jordan Smith, assistant professor and project co-PI in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University, completed the Annual Information Exchange (AIX) Report, which tabulates the data on state park operations for the NASPD.

Researchers at NC State, Utah State, and other institutions conduct statistical analyses on the AIX data to identify patterns and trends about state park use and operations. They found that state parks nationally generate significant return on their annual operating investment during economic recovery times. According to the AIX report, the total operating expenditures for state parks from all sources was $2.46 billion, 42.5 percent was generated by park revenue and 31.2 percent were contributed by state general funds.

This means that state park systems across the country have experienced sluggish growth in general fund support of operating expenditures in the past few years since the big declines in the aftermath of recent economic downturns.

“This combination – increased visitation and relatively flat operational support – stretches state park staff and resources for maintenance and programs,” said Lewis Ledford, NASPD executive director. “State park visitors expect clean, safe and well maintained facilities as well as first rate interpretive, educational and entertaining programs. The visitation document shows increases in the public’s interest and appreciation.”

The importance of state parks and their growing attendance is recognized by many state legislatures, with the total capital expenditures for state park operations increased by 25.3 percent, or $159 million. This increase in awareness is a result of increased general funds, dedicated funds and bonds, thanks to the recovering economy.

The 10,251 state parks and related units, such as recreation areas and natural areas, more than 42,000 miles of trails, and 220,000 campsites, provide diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation that enhance physical health and emotional well-being, nature learning and appreciation that creates awareness of the need for environmental stewards, and family and social bonding important to our quality of life. State parks are an essential component of the nation’s outdoor recreation resources and a healthy, active lifestyle.

Job Opportunity – WA, Region Manager, SW Region

May 26, 2016

Region Manager – SW Region (WMS Band 2)
Salary: $70,699.00 – $94,270.00 Annually
Location: Tumwater
Recruitment: 05702
Closes: June 10, 2016

For further information on location, duties, and how to apply, please click on the following link: SW Region Manager

Kayci Brand
Human Resource Consultant
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
cid:image007.png@01D0F53F.1C130E20Embrace your nature 2985 blue (3)

Job Opportunity – AZ, Chief of Operations

Arizona State Parks protects and preserves 30 State Parks and Natural Areas. The agency also includes the State Trails Program, outdoor-related Grants Program, the State Historic Preservation Office, as well as the Off-Highway Vehicle Program, and more. Arizona State Parks provides over 1,400 camping and RV sites throughout the parks and manages 8 of the top 25 most visited natural attractions in Arizona.

Arizona State Parks Mission Statement: Managing and conserving Arizona’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people both in our parks and through our partners. To learn more about Arizona State Parks, visit our web site at

Chief of Operations
$65,160 to $117,998

Arizona State Parks Phoenix Office
23751 N. 23rd Avenue #190
Phoenix, AZ 85085

We are looking for someone who can:
• Oversee, guide and direct the operations of all the State Parks and their programs.
• Continually review and improve park operations
• Generate revenue through new properties, programs, and property enhancements
• Establish and keep current Park Management Plans
• Work with partners and concessionaires
• Manage the agency gift shop program and other revenue generating fee programs
• Manage the Operations section volunteer and special events programs
• Set policy and formulate procedures for park operations
• Demonstrate leadership and excellent customer service
• Produce results
Must have considerable knowledge of:
• Park and gift shop operations
• Park concessionaires and Friends Groups
• Best practices in administering volunteer programs
• Best practices in meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
• Interpretive educations programs, special event production/management and resource protection.
• Procurement and purchasing policies.
Must have skills in:
• Organizing and operating effective staff meetings and training.
• Skills in strategic planning
• Interpersonal communications and building partners
• Public speaking
• Writing reports, articles and publications
• Park development and construction
Must have the ability to:
• To collaborate and build relationships with partners including federal, state, local and community organizations
• Analyze situations and problems and make sound judgments, taking appropriate action
• Research, analyze and incorporate into the organization accepted industry best practices
• Prioritize tasks and delegate as required ·
• Mentor staff and develop staff
• Communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing
• Mediate various issues with agency staff, agency support organizations, other agencies and organizations · Travel statewide · Ability to obtain and maintain Arizona Driver License.
The Preferred Candidate will have:
• A Master’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree in parks administration, resource management or related field
• Three or more years of increasingly responsible experience in parks and recreation or similar
• Three or more years of Supervisor Experience

Ability to obtain and maintain a current Class D Arizona Driver’s License. Employees who drive on state business are subject to driver’s license record checks, must maintain acceptable driving records and must complete any required driver training (see Arizona Administrative Code R2-10-207.12.)

The State of Arizona offers an outstanding comprehensive benefits package including:
• Affordable medical, dental, life, and short-term disability insurance plans
• Top-ranked retirement and long-term disability plans
• Accrued vacation pay and sick days
• 10 paid holidays per year
• Deferred compensation plan
• Wellness plans

All newly hired employees will be subject to the E-Verify Employment Eligibility Verification Program.
Arizona State Government is an EOE/ADA Reasonable Accommodation Employer

Vicki Adney, SHRM-CP, PHR
Human Resources Manager

Phone: (602) 542-6919

Job Opportunity – MD, Program Manager II

Two (2) vacancies: Regional Park Manager Central and Western Regions

Recruitment #16-005477-0014

DEPARTMENT DNR – Maryland Park Service – State Wide Operation
DATE OPENED 5/23/2016 9:31:00 AM
FILING DEADLINE 6/6/2016 11:59:00 PM
SALARY $56,743.00 – $91,107.00/year
HR ANALYST Charles Hecker


This is a position specific recruitment for the Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Park Service- Annapolis, MD. This recruitment will be used to fill current and future vacancies for this position/function only. The resulting eligible list will be maintained for one year. Persons interested in future vacancies within this classification must re-apply at that time. The resulting certified eligible list for this recruitment may be used for similar positions in this or other State agencies.


Annapolis, MD (Anne Arundel County) with frequent travel through the Central and Western Regions of Maryland and throughout the state
Main Purpose Of Job

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Maryland Park Service (MPS), is currently accepting applications for two Program Manager II positions, which serve as the Central and Western Regional Managers. The offices for these positions will be in the Tawes State Office Building in Annapolis, Maryland. Duties require routine and consistent travel through the Central and Western Regions of Maryland and throughout the state. These positions serve under the managerial supervision of the Deputy Superintendent of the MPS and are responsible for overseeing the visitor services management, natural and historical resource management, personnel management, equipment and facility management, interpretive services management, budget management, maintenance and protection of Central and Western Region State Parks.

The selected candidates develop and implement strategies to address a wide variety of operational issues and to support and enhance park programs and operations, maximize revenues and meet visitor expectations for quality resource-based recreation and interpretive services. These incumbents represent the Maryland Park Service to park visitors, stakeholders, press, elected officials, park volunteers and “Friends” groups, and review documents, publications and other information for the public. The selected candidates are responsible for ensuring proper allocation and use of MPS resources such as personnel, equipment and funding. Duties also include the review, evaluation and support of public safety and emergency response capabilities and plans for visitor services, resource protection and employee safety activities in the Central and Western Regions designed to safeguard visitors, critical maintenance and capital improvement projects, land management and use proposals through the internal review process, land acquisition opportunities, personnel and resources. These positions represent the MPS with other DNR units, and represent DNR as a liaison with allied state agencies, local governments, businesses and community groups. Duties also include collaboration with the Natural Resources Police and allied law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of DNR regulations and policies to ensure public safety, as well as the protection of Maryland’s natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources.


Education: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the field of forestry, forest management, natural resources management, parks and recreation, business administration, or a related natural science.

Experience: Eight years of experiencein forest/park administration and/or operations or a related field. Five years of experience must have been in a supervisory capacity over full time personnel engaged in forest/park operations work.


1. Candidates may substitute graduate education for the required general experience at the rate of one year of education to one year of experience, for up to two years of the required education.

2. Candidates may subsitute graduate education for the required general experience at the rate of one year of education to one year of experience, for up to two years of the required general experience.

3. Employees in this classification will be assigned duties that require the routine and consistent operation of a motor vehicle. Employees assigned such duties will be required to possess and maintain a valid Maryland driver’s license.

*For education obtained outside of the U.S., you will be required to provide proof of the equivalent American education as determined by a foreign credential evaluation service. If you possess a degree obtained outside of the United States, please submit a detailed, course-by-course evaluation report from one of the U.S. equivalency evaluating members identified at


Strong preference will be given to applicants that possess the following. Include clear and specific information on your application regarding the qualification(s).

Three years of professional experience in managing park operations and supervising employees in a Maryland State Park is preferred.

Five years of professional field-level experience working in a park setting is preferred.

Three years of experience of experience managing budgets and personnel, managing and maintaining park facilities/grounds, and environmental education programs is preferred.

Three years of experience working with community and government agency partners to provide public safety, resource protection and other government services is preferred.


Please make sure that you provide sufficient information on your application to show that you meet the qualifications for this recruitment, and report all experience and education that is related to this position. You will be required to complete a supplemental questionnaire. Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will proceed to the next phase of evaluation.

Please note: Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of completing the application. Supporting documents such as transcripts, resumes, or journal publications etc. are not used during the screening process, therefore, it is not necessary to forward them.




Online application is STRONGLY preferred. If online access is unavailable, you may submit a paper application to:

Department of Natural Resources

Human Resources

580 Taylor Avenue, C-3

Annapolis, MD 21401

Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be accepted. The Human Resource Department is not responsible for applications sent to any other address.

Specific inquiries regarding this recruitment can be directed to Charles Hecker at (410) 260-8087

TTY Users: call via Maryland Relay.

We thank our Veterans for their service to our country, and encourage them to apply.

Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply.

As an equal opportunity employer Maryland is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting employees who are reflective of the State’s diversity.

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Click on a link below to apply for this position:
Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet. Apply Online
View and print the Supplemental Questionnaire. This recruitment requires completion of a supplemental questionnaire. You may view and print the supplemental questionnaire here.
Apply via Paper Application. You may also download and complete the Paper Application here.

Job Opportunity – Operations Manager – Tumwater, Washington

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We are currently seeking a talented Operations Manager to join our team in Tumwater, Washington!
Are you a coaching and mentoring expert who’s proficient in state and federal regulations concerning park operations?

Do you have excellent communication and coordination skills as well as the ability to negotiate and interact with all types of people and staff?

Then you might consider establishing a lasting and meaningful career with Washington State Parks where you’re part of a team who’s responsible for preserving and enhancing our Washington State Parks and natural resources.

This recruitment is for a full-time Operations Manager (WMS Band 3) at Parks headquarters, located in Tumwater, Washington. This position is part of the Washington Management Service (WMS) – Band 3.

For more information about the Washington State Parks system, click here.

If you have questions regarding this recruitment, please contact the manager listed in the “Supplemental Information” section of this publication.

The range of consideration for this position is $78,480 – $98,988. Actual compensation will be commensurate with experience.

This posting will remain open until filled. It is in the candidate’s best interest to apply before May 25, 2016 when a first review of applicants will be completed. The hiring authority reserves the right to fill this position at any time after that date without notice.



Who We Are and What We Do
The Washington state parks system is one of the largest, most diverse – and most beautiful – in the country.  It is comprised of more than 120,000 acres, with 124 developed parks, including 19 marine parks, 11 historical parks, 35 heritage sites and 13 interpretive centers and nearly 500 miles of long-distance recreation trails. There are state parks in nearly every county in the state and within an hour’s drive of almost all Washingtonians.  Parks lie along rivers, freshwater lakes and Puget Sound shorelines.  State Parks-managed lands cover the Pacific Ocean seashore; Central Washington’s deserts, shrub-steppes and river gorges; and Eastern Washington’s channeled scablands, river corridors and Selkirk mountains.
State parks receive an estimated 30 to 35 million visits a year and generate annually an estimated $1.1 billion of overall economic contributions to the state and $34 million in state general fund tax receipts.
The state park system is managed by a seven-member citizen commission from various parts of the state, appointed by the governor to serve staggered six-year terms. The Commission sets policy for the system and hires an agency director, who in turn manages the operations, stewardship and development arms of the agency.
Washington State Parks’ expertise is in providing sites where people can enjoy a broad array of healthy outdoor recreation activities.  Year-round activities include camping, hiking, mountain and trail biking and horseback riding; and winter recreation activities include down-hill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow-joring, dog-sledding and snowmobiling. Over the years, Washington’s state parks have become known as world-class locations for recreation enthusiasts pursuing activities such as long-distance kayaking, windsurfing and wind-sailing, diving, paragliding and rock climbing. As new trends develop, State Parks strives to meet the needs of recreation enthusiasts while ensuring protection of natural and cultural resources.
The agency also manages statewide recreation programs that are not limited to agency- managed lands.  This responsibility includes management of the federally funded Boating Safety Program and the fee-supported Winter Recreation program.  The agency also approves the design of ski lifts and carries out regular inspections to assure public safety.

Mission & Vision
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission cares for Washington’s most treasured lands, waters, and historic places. State parks connect all Washingtonians to their diverse natural and cultural heritage and provide memorable recreational and educational experiences that enhance their lives.

Washington’s state parks will be cherished destinations with natural, cultural, recreational, artistic, and interpretive experiences that all Washingtonians enjoy, appreciate, and proudly support.

How State Parks does its work matters.
In interacting with one another, the Commission, staff, partners, supporters and volunteers foster a collaborative culture in which people:
·         Maintain a working environment to nurture innovation
·         Encourage risk-taking and accept responsibility for outcomes
·         Respectfully challenge assumptions and traditions
·         Give and accept constructive criticism
·         Adopt a ‘yes, and’ approach in discussions
·         Accept conflict between ideas as a necessary step toward finding solutions
·         Act with civic courage and the highest ethical standards
·         Invest in training and professional and personal development
·         Take pride in the work, mission and resources they steward

The State Parks and Recreation Commission, its staff, partners, supporters and volunteers share core values that demonstrate a commitment to:
·         Stewardship that preserves the state’s natural and cultural heritage in perpetuity.
·         Universal access to recreational, educational, artistic, and cultural opportunities in state parks.
·         Meaningful public engagement and participation in developing and operating the state park system.
·         Supporting one another by working together to achieve the agency’s mission.
·         Quality and value in all work done.

The Operations Manager reports to the Assistant Director (AD) of Operations and is responsible for direct supervision and oversight of agency region and field operations; implementation of the division budget; and development of strategies, policies and procedures to optimize effectiveness and efficiency of park operations. This position works with the Assistant Director to develop operational priorities and annual division direction; establishes monitoring standards for performance improvement implementation plans and strategies, and participates in the management of change within statewide park operations to achieve agency strategic goals.

This position directly supervises six (6) Regional Managers (positions are also part of Washington State’s Management Service) who in turn supervise all Park Area Managers. The position also supervises the agency’s Health and Safety ( H & S) Program Manager and provides direction to the statewide H & S program.  The position sets priorities, expectations and division direction for field operations.  Other key responsibilities include:

  • Reviews and analyzes Operations’ performance in order to develop strategies for optimizing effectiveness and efficiency.  Reports to the Assistant Director of Operations, the Director, the Commission, and management team on results of analysis.
  • Ensures that Operations’ resources are directed to optimize direct public service and stewardship of statewide natural, cultural, historic and built resources.
  • Works with the AD and the Operations Support Manager to develop budget strategy, packages and needs.  This includes efforts to develop efficiencies, enhance standards, and make use of best practices for program activities, policies, and revenue generating operations.
  • Recommends changes to internal processes and provides advice to agency leadership on potential agency wide performance improvement.
  • This position is critical to influencing standards-based operation and the development of an agency culture of data-based decision making.   Such an approach is essential in the agency’s efforts to balance responsibilities as a public land steward serving all Washingtonians with the need to operate like a business and earning the majority of budget through fees and donations.
  • Coordinates cross-divisional work groups to oversee the implementation of process improvement recommendations.

The Operations Manager works independently with extensive latitude, initiative and judgment.  They work directly with field staff to observe the quality of work and understand operational issues.  Building and maintaining strong working relationships with key constituents, program personnel, and other significant contacts for the agency is critical to the success of this position.