Catch up on the latest news and happenings around the state.



In this Issue...

Note from the Communications Committee

We know this pandemic is impacting you in a variety of ways, affecting your communities, your families, and your work. Your own health and wellbeing, and that of those you love, should be your top concern right now. Like you, we are adjusting to our new reality. WRPA wants to remind you that we are a resource for you, and though we are not able to meet together face-to-face, we are exploring new ways that we can continue to provide you with value.

The WRPA Communications Committee and the WRPA office will continue to bring you news and information about the association and about the industry. We want this to be a way to continue to connect with our peers and share resources.

If you have something you would like to share with WRPA and our members/supporters please email us at [email protected].

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Photo of the Month — Share Your Photos Too!

Goats on the Go!

Thank you Anita Eylar from the City of Liberty Lake for this issue of Photo of the Month. This picture, taken at Rocky Hill Park, shows some of its city employees doing a little weed eating. You heard that right, the City of Liberty Lake “employs” goats to help with weed eradication around their parks. Over the years these goats have become a pseudo mascot for the City. P.S. The citizens absolutely adore them. 

Do you have a must-see photo? WRPA would love to share your work from home photos and cool images taken at your parks and facilities. Submit your photos via email to [email protected].

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How Do You Recreate? How Is COVID-19 Changing Your Recreation?

Equines in Pines

Forget a bird's eye view, it's all about the horse's back view. Thanks to parkgoer Christine Suydam for sharing her view from King County’s very own Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Did you know in addition to increasing feelings of relaxation, recreational horseback riding can improve a riders’ mental state. Horseback riding is believed to raise levels of the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin (sometimes called “the happy chemical").

Share your recent recreation photos with WRPA. Please submit it to [email protected].

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Spotlight Professional: Doug Nelson
Executive Director of Peninsula Metropolitan Park District

Doug Nelson has spent the last 26 years providing recreational opportunities for the greater Puget Sound area. He has worked his way up from a Fitness Coordinator with Tacoma Metro Parks, to a Recreation/Community Center Manager with the City of Federal Way, and is currently the Executive Director of the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District. Doug states that his jobs during his younger years helped him learn “the value of hard work, passion, dedication, and building relationships.”

Doug also shared with WRPA what PenMet is doing in light of COVID-19. Read more.

Advice from Doug

"Build relationships with your co-workers and customers, find ways to get involved with as many aspects of the field as you can, and feed your quest for learning early and often..."

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WRPA Conference & Tradeshow Cancelled, Now What?
What is next for providing members with time together?

The WRPA Board of Directors made the difficult decision in March to cancel the WRPA Annual Conference scheduled in Tacoma, Washington, 21 April – 24 April 2020. The Board reached this difficult decision after concluding that it would be impossible to hold the conference as planned at a later date, but we have been hard at work preparing new opportunities for members.

Recourses & Upcoming Opportunities:

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Risk Management School Follow Up
February 3 – 4, 2020 | Renton Community Center


This program consisted of two days of networking, quality education, and professional development. This training is specifically designed for parks and recreation administrators, managers and supervisors. The curriculum also is appropriate for public works professionals, attorneys, school district personnel and risk managers, as well as port districts, public utility districts, YMCA and other non-profit organizations and related fields.

Read more about the event and see more photos.

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Recreation & Conservation Office Application Extension: June 1

Dear Recreation, Conservation, and Salmon Recovery Partners:

First and foremost, we hope you and your family and friends are safe and doing well in these uncertain times. At RCO, [our] staff made the transition to working from home and are fully operational and ready to continue our role as an exemplary partner, helping to recover salmon and protect habitats and develop special places to play.

We are operating in difficult times and we realize that our potential grant applicants may need more time and understanding in completing our grant application process. I would like to take a moment to update you on how we are preparing for, and changing, our grants cycle in light of COVID-19...

Read the full message from Kaleen Cottingham, Director of RCO on the WRPA Blog.

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NRPA Parks & Recreation Magazine Highlight
"Keeping the Hearth of Parks and Recreation
Glowing Through Mentorship"
February 20, 2020, by Jennifer Filcher

When Emma Aumiller started up her computer on Oct. 28 and navigated to the Women in Parks in Recreation Facebook group webpage, she only hoped to find someone else attending the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association conference. However, she ended up discovering something much more valuable: a mentor.

Read the full NRPA article to learn more.

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WWRC/WRPA /Legislative Day Recap
February 6, 2020 | Woman's Club of Olympia

On a wet day in early February, 130 advocates descended on Olympia to speak up for our outdoors. Folks from Manson near Lake Chelan to Longview on the Columbia River committed their time and energy to tell lawmakers why the outdoors matters. Their voices made an impact with legislators, and we’re so thankful for the support of so many passionate outdoor advocates from across the state.

To read more about the 2020 WWRC/WRPA Legislative Day.

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2020 Skills Development Webinar Program
New State Association Partnership

This year WRPA is partnering with The Illinois Park and Recreation Association to offer 11 training webinars as part of their 2020 Skills Development Webinar Series running from February through December 2020.

As part of this partnership, WRPA members will receive the same member pricing as IPRA members and WRPA will also earn a commission of $25 for each registration.

Registration Rates for the Entire Series:
WRPA Member Price: $250
Non-Member Price: $350

The series is approved for a total of 1.1 CEUs, or 0.1 per month. CEUs are provided for all who attend, and CEU forms are delivered directly to participants upon IPRA’s receipt of webinar sign-in sheets.

Have questions?
Contact IPRA Education Director Duane Smith at [email protected] | 708-588-2288.

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Members on the Move

  • Brett Carter, City of Puyallup Recreation Specialist — Previously a Master’s student at Central Washington University

  • Leif Ellsworth, City of Federal Way Community Center Manager — Previously with Metro Parks Tacoma

Did we forget someone? Are you a Member on the Move? Email us at [email protected]

We Want Your News!

Do you have news to share with your WRPA colleagues? Send any updates, photos, happenings, and socials to WRPA, so that we can feature your article in the next WRPAToday e-newsletter!

Send Us Your News Now!

Recent Job Postings


See what new opportunities await you in the field of recreation and parks by checking out WRPA's Job Board!

Visit the WRPA Job Board Today!

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WRPA Event Calendar
Date Event Location
April 20, 2020 Network Meeting: Administration Free Online
April 21, 2020 WRPA 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting Free Online for Members
April 22, 2020 Network Meetings: Aquatics, Park Resources, Park Rangers Free Online
April 23, 2020 Network Meetings: Athletic/Fitness, Facilities/ Rentals/ Marketing Free Online
April 24, 2020 Network Meetings: Programmers, Golf Free Online
September 28–29, 2020 Aquatics Network Conference McMenamins Anderson School
October 14, 2020 WRPA 2020 Fall Summit Lynnwood Convention Center

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WRPA Volunteer Opportunities

Thank You, 2020 Sponsors!

WRPA is membership-driven. We achieve only what we ourselves commit to doing. By sharing your energy and expertise, you will make WRPA an even more effective professional resource.

In fact, without you, we would not be able to offer any programs! Consider volunteering and helping our organization grow. Learn more about opportunities that have recently become available!

Join a WRPA Network

  • Administrative
  • Aquatics
  • Athletics & Fitness
  • Climate Change
  • Park Resources
  • Park Rangers
  • Facilities/Rentals/Marketing
  • Programmers
  • Event Management Software (EMS)
  • Student Connection Committee

Annual Platinum Sponsor

Annual Gold Sponsor

Annual Silver Sponsors

Affinity Partner Sponsors

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Washington Recreation and Park Association

[email protected] | Tel: (888) 459-0009 |

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