Filtered by author: WRPA Office Clear Filter

Our New Lobbyist Trevor Justin 

We are excited to welcome our new lobbyist, Trevor Justin! Trevor is thrilled to begin legislative representation for the WRPA. With his love for the
outdoors and staying active, working with WRPA is a natural fit for him. He is looking forward to positively impacting parks and recreation agencies statewide so that others can enjoy the outdoors as much as he does.

Trevor is a strategic government affair professional with a proven record of navigating the complex legislative environment with integrity and success. He is a pragmatic thinker with political savvy and helps deliver client objectives through budget and public policy processes.

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Doug Levy is Saying Goodbye

This is a tale about profound gratitude, mixed emotions, evolving toward new journeys, and excitement over what lies ahead. 

But the now comes before the later, so let’s start at the beginning: This memorandum is to let you all know, officially, that I will not be seeking
a renewal of my longstanding contract with WRPA that ends on Dec. 31, 2022.

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WRPA Award Nominations Are Now Open

WRPA Award Nominations Are Now Open – I am talking to All of YOU

Jennifer Papich, WRPA Past President 

Each year it saddens me when I see the extremely small numbers of nominations we have submitted for professional and spotlight awards because I know how fantastic you all are and I know the tremendous work we all do that deserves to be celebrated, recognized, and honored.

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Support Full Funding for Washington's Great Outdoors

Want to help preserve Washington's astounding natural beauty and unparalleled quality of life? Want to ensure ALL Washingtonians have equal access to the parks, trails, and wild areas that make this such a special place?

Well, here's your chance! Join us in requesting Full Funding for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), the premier grant fund for protecting our state's natural spaces and creating recreational opportunities for all. This sign-on letter will go to the Governor and Legislature, demonstrating the public demand for outdoor recreation opportunities!

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RCO Youth Outdoor Education and Recreation Programs

Youth Outdoor Education and Recreation Programs The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) will begin accepting applications starting August 10 for grants that provide outdoor education and recreation programs for Washington youth. RCO is also hosting an Application Webinar onAugust 10 from 1:00-3:00 pm. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR, which will be recorded and posted on RCO’s website by August 12. Two grant programs will be covered during the webinar,No Child Left Inside (NCLI) and new this year, Outdoor Learning Grants. RCO strongly encourages potential applicants to attend the live webinar, which will cover information about the grants offered, eligibility requirements, deadlines, program changes, how to apply for the grants, and a Q&A session. No Child Left Inside This Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s funding program offers grants for outdoor-based education and recreation programs. The grant program intends to maximize the number of Washington youth who receive quality outdoor experiences, focusing on youth participants with the greatest need. The timeline is as follows:

  • Applications Open – August 10, 2022
  • Applications Due – November 1, 2022
  • Grants Awarded – July 1, 2023
  • Period of Performance – July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2025

For more information check out theNCLI web page and grant manual. Outdoor Learning Grants This Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s funding program provides grants for federally recognized tribes and outdoor education providers to develop and support outdoor educational experiences for students in Washington public schools. Grants are available to support existing capacity and to increase future capacity for outdoor learning experiences. Applicants must partner with a Washington State public school, state-tribal education compact school, or tribal school. Funding for this program is available now! Please notice the very tight application timeline below.

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Three Webinars for Fall RCO Grant Programs

Hello All! The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is hosting three Webinars on August 10 from 9:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. You won’t want to miss it if you are thinking of applying for a grant for your trails, shooting range, or motorized boating project! The Webinar will include information about the grants offered, eligibility requirements, deadlines, program changes for 2022, and how to apply for a grant. We will focus on the following grant programs with a November 1, 2022, due date:

  • Firearms and Archery Range Recreation Program (FARR)
  • Boating Facilities Program (BFP)
  • Nonhighway and Off-road Vehicles Activities (NOVA Education and Trails)
  • Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Register for the Webinars here: FARR,BFP,NOVA and RTP If you cannot attend the Webinar and are interested in applying for a grant, please register anyway. RCO will send you a link to the recording after it is posted on RCO’s Web site. We will open PRISM Online for applications on August 10.When you start your grant application, RCO will assign an outdoor grants manager to work with you. Click here to find your grants manager now. What’s New for 2022? Staff is updating RCO’s Web site, Applicant To-Do Lists, policy manuals, and other resources. Here are some of the changes:

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$10,107,169.42 Awarded by the 2022 SEEK Program

By Jennifer Papich, 2021– 2022 WRPA President

SEEK Fund LogoIn early 2022, a long list of Washington agencies were awarded funds from the SEEK (Summer Enrichment Experiences for Kids) funds program. This program was hosted in partnership between WRPA, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and in coordination with the Association of Washington Cities (AWC).  Last year, we had so many recipients that applied and a total of $2,523,416 was awarded by the 2021 SEEK Program. 

WRPA is so honored to have been involved in this process. It was just over a year ago that we began the conversations with OSPI and AWC that culminated with this funding opportunity for so many of you.

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Maintenance Backlog Survey

Dear WRPA,

We have a great opportunity to work with the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) on a request that could provide new funding to local parks and recreation agencies to address their maintenance backlogs – but we’ll need your help to make it happen.

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2022 WRPA Award Recipients

Congratulations, 2022 Award Recipients!

This spring, we want to honor the amazing people, parks, and programs that received an award at the awards ceremony during the 75th Annual WRPA Conference. The WRPA Awards Program honors individuals and organizations for their contributions to the field of recreation and parks in Washington State. A variety of awards were handed out to WRPA members and public citizens. 

There are three categories recognized for WRPA's Awards Program: Professional Awards, Citation of Merit Awards, and Spotlight Awards. In addition to these categories, WRPA also acknowledges Mickey Corso Leadership Grant recipients.

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4th Annual Sponsorship Mastery Summit

Dear WRPA Members interested in Sponsorships,

I recently learned from Diane Brady from Metro Parks in Tacoma about the 4th Annual Sponsorship Mastery Summit in Seattle on September 28-30, 2022. This year it’s the only sponsorship marketing conference offered by the folks at Sponsorship Summit and is limited to 300.



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How Should We Spend $42 Million?

Good Afternoon to WRPA Executive Board, Exec Director, LEG Chair & Leg Committee, and LEG Distribution List:

I wanted to give you all a brief rundown of – and a chance to provide input on – the work that the state Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO) is doing in evaluating how to best deploy a one-time, $42 million sum of funds that is left over from a Stadium and Exhibition Center Account maintained by the state and used to pay off the bonds on the Seahawks Stadium approved by statewide voters many years ago.  By law, the excess revenues no longer needed for the stadium go into a Community Outdoor Athletic Facility fund per RCW 43.99N.060. The fund bears some similarities to the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) account we benefit from today.

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RCO and COAFF Updates

Good Friday Morning to WRPA Executive Board & Exec. Director; LEG Chair & LEG Committee Members; and full LEG Distribution List: With apologies if you’ve seen any of this – I’m catching up with week from several badly-needed post-2022 Session vacation days, and wanted to ensure you all have a few pieces of information and a link to a survey you may wish to complete. In order:

WA State Recreation & Conservation Plan Survey – RCO is updating this plan and as part and parcel of the update, an Eastern Washington University faculty member (Jeremy Jostad) is conducting a survey where people can indicate their usage of outdoor recreation facilities and spaces over the last 12 months.  In the event you wish to participate, the survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and has 75 questions and you can access it here:

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Plan Survey (surveymonkey.com)

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2022 WRPA Election Results

Welcoming New WRPA Board Members

Each year, we welcome new members to the WRPA Board of Directors at the Annual Conference & Tradeshow. The Board of Directors is the governing body of our association and is responsible for the supervision, control, and direction of WRPA. These Board members are elected by you, the members, during an annual election.

The following WRPA members have been elected to join the board.

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Public Survey: Outdoor Recreation Participation

Seeking Public Input!

 

Please help: take the survey, share the survey.

Hello Recreation and Conservation Partner Organization, 

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State Task Force Recommends Increased Sharing of School and Community Athletic Facilities

News Release from the Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office

For Release: February 8, 2022
Contact: Susan Zemek
Washington Recreation and Conservation Office
Cell:  360-764-9349

OLYMPIA–A statewide task force commissioned by the Washington State Legislature is recommending increased sharing of school and community athletic facilities as a way to increase physical activity for youth, especially those underserved.

Kids in Washington are not moving nearly enough, the task force noted in its new report. Before the pandemic, only about 24 percent of youth in sixth through twelfth grades were getting an hour of physical activity daily, the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to maintain physical and mental fitness. That percentage has remained about the same since 2012 and is slightly below the national average of 28 percent. The problem is worse for youth of color, girls, those from lower income families, immigrant youth and those with physical disabilities and long-term health problems.




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RCO Application Webinars: Learn How to Apply

RCO Application Webinars: Learn How to Apply

A message from: Recreation and Conservation (RCO)

Happy 2022! The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is kicking off its application cycle with a Webinar on February 17 from 9-10 a.m. followed by Q&A breakout sessions with grant managers from 10-10:30 a.m. You won’t want to miss it if you are thinking of applying for a grant for your outdoor recreation or habitat conservation project!

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2022 AAPRA/NRPA Mentorship Program

2022 AAPRA/NRPA Mentorship Program

A message from: National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA)

Sign Up for the Program
Register for the Webinar

Legislative Day 2022

By Sylvana Niehuser

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A New Splash Pad Surfacing Standard

Guest Post By Life Floor

 

By: Briana Massie, Marketing Manager for Life Floor ([email protected])

Playgrounds and splash pads are designed with very similar intentions in mind. Both provide play features and open spaces that encourage imaginative exploration, running, and risky play opportunities. Playgrounds feature spring riders, slides, and play panels whereas splash pads feature spray jets, dump buckets, and water slides. Where playgrounds are generally dry, splash pads feature constantly flowing water. However, where playgrounds require safety surfacing, splash pads are still being commonly surfaced with concrete, tile, or stone. If splash pads are essentially wet playgrounds (leaving visitors more prone to accident and injury), how are hard, slick surfacing options still permitted?

Why Don't We Often See Safety Surfacing at Splash Pads if They're Playgrounds too?

The aquatics industry is so accustomed to seeing concrete and other surfaces at pools that it has turned a blind eye to the problem with using it at splash pads. Many people believe that concrete isn’t an issue at all and that it’s perfectly safe for aquatic play areas. Forty years ago, concrete was considered perfectly safe for dry playgrounds too. It took 78 years from the time dry playgrounds were first introduced in 1903 for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to publish the Handbook for Public Playground Safety in 1981. 

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Increasing Play Value At Aquatic Facilities

Guest Post by Life Floor

By: Briana Massie, Marketing Manager for Life Floor ([email protected]m)

Everyone experiences play in different ways. It’s the reason why there isn’t just one type of spray feature or just one type of pool. Aquatic environments are always changing and adapting to new trends and regulations in the industry. Likewise, aquatic facility directors and operators are constantly evaluating updates that will deliver increased value to their guests and members. In order to provide features that appeal to a wide variety of individuals, facility staff members need to choose what combination of elements will allow for limitless play for their intended audiences.

Providing options for guests to engage with a facility in different ways is a crucial component of play value. Play value directly influences guest perception of a facility and can be a determining factor of whether or not guests will return. For example, if a child has a better experience at a park farther away, parents may be more inclined to return to that park even if it is more inconvenient. 

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