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



In This Issue...

Photo of the Month

2019 Legislative Day

Our Photo of the Month comes to us from WRPA board member Sylvana Niehuser who joined other board members, as well as members of the association, members of WWRC, and members of the public for the 2019 Parks and Great Outdoors Legislative Day on February 7.

Do you have a must-see photo? Submit your photos via email to [email protected].

Jonathon Turlove, Paul Simmons, Laura Keehan, Sylvana Niehuser

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How Do You Recreate?

The PNW's Winter Is Slowly Coming to an End

Are you taking advantage of the last days of winter weather? WRPA member Mike Baker from Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation Department, along with his brother and nephew, took advantage of the excellent snow conditions and hit the slopes for some outdoor fun! 

Do you have a "how do you recreate photo"? Submit your photo to [email protected].

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Spotlight Professional: Kelly Ashe
Learn more about the City of Cheney's Recreation Director!

Kelly is very passionate about parks and recreation. She believes, "we build people up and we create friendships and families and opportunities to really connect. We bring people together. We provide something for everyone. Everyone is welcome and everyone is wanted. I can’t think of a better place to be. "

Kelly started her recreation career at Indiana University where she graduated with a BS in recreation. She has been a community events supervisor, a programs coordinator, a youth sports director, and more. Kelly has also traveled the US, working in Indiana, Vermont, South Carolina, and Washington. Read more about Kelly.

Lesson's Learned from Kelly Ashe

"The biggest thing I learned was to be flexible. This is a fast-paced environment and no matter what you do to plan ahead, something will always change. Keep an open
mind and be willing to laugh when it’s all over."

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2019 WRPA Conference & Tradeshow Highlights
Join Us to Collaborate on the Columbia
April 9–12, 2019

The 2019 WRPA Conference & Tradeshow is just around the corner. Catch up on the latest highlights for this exciting event.

Online Registration Closes April 2: Take advantage of this opportunity to meet up with more than 400 recreation and park professionals for the chance to network, learn, and celebrate the recreation and parks industry.

Check Out the Conference Schedule: Did you know that attendees get to choose from more than 45 educational sessions based on plenty of different topics including aquatics, management, leadership, equity, programming, customer service, risk management, and finance?

Download the Conference App: Search for “WRPA Conference 2019” in the App Store or on Google Play and download the app to personalize your session calendar, connect with attendees, post to the forum, and more.

Socials & Activities: The WRPA Conference is a great time to catch up with old friends, network with other cities, and learn. Be sure to check out the exciting list of social events and activities we have planned.

Online registration will close on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at 11:59 PM.

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Wrap Up on Washington Maintenance Conference & Rodeo

The WRPA Maintenance Network recently put on the Washington Maintenance Conference & Rodeo. Catch up on some of the highlights:

  • There were more than 65 attendees from all over Washington State. Maintenance workers joined us from cities like Bellingham, Maple Valley, Olympia, Port Townsend, Tumwater, Federal Way, Tacoma, and more.
  • Training Included invasive Weed Control, Stream Stewardship, Sheet Rock Repair, and Concrete Fundamentals.
  • Rodeo Events Included a mower obstacle course, backpack blower obstacle course, and more.

Read the full event report to learn more about this exciting event and check out the other WRPA Networks.

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WRPA Election Results
Congratulations to our new board members.


Thank you to all of the WRPA members that voted in the 2019 election. Here are the official results as determined by the WRPA Elections Subcommittee of WRPA Members, Al Vorderbrueggen, Carl Strong, and Josh Oakes:

  • Vice President - Jennifer Papich
  • Western Washington Director - Carrie Hoiness
  • King County Director - Shanyanika (Shan) McElroy

These new members will assume office at the Annual Meeting at the 2019 WRPA Conference & Tradeshow. View the current list of WRPA's Board of Directors.

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Registration Is Open for WRPA's Spring CPSI Course & Exam
May 8–10, 2019 | Auburn Community & Events Center

The Certified Playground Safety Inspector course is the most comprehensive, nationally recognized training program for playground safety and risk management.

Course & Test: $585 Member | $649 Non-members
Course Only: $479 Member | $519 Non-members
Test Only $199 Member | $249 Non-Members

Taking the course teaches you about playground design and installation, running playground audits and inspections, understanding playground maintenance, risk management, documentation, and reporting.

Adding this certification to your resume can boost your career and help keep the kids in your community safe. Register today!

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In Memory of Judy Quinlivan
October 5, 1950 – February 7, 2019

Judy Quinlivan passed away on February 7, 2019 after a year-long battle with cancer. She was born and raised in Glasgow, Montana, where she went on to earn degrees in Sociology and an MBA from Gonzaga University. "Judy loved life, wine, and especially her many, many friends."

Judy was the division manager of riverfront park at the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation Department. She worked with the city from 1977 to 2002. A celebration of life was held on Friday, February 15, at Barrister Winery in Spokane, WA.

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NRPA Highlight: Robert W. Crawford Young Professional Award
Jeff Ozimek, Bainbridge Island, WA

The National Recreation and Park Association recently announced the winners of their 2018 awards. One of those winners is WRPA member Jeff Ozimek of Bainbridge Island, WA.

Jeff won the Robert W. Crawford Young Professional Award, which is presented to an individual who has shown qualities and skills needed to attain positions of leadership through their contributions to advancing the field, their creativity in creating or managing programs, and their participation in professional organizations, such as NRPA.

Congratulations Jeff! Read more about this awesome outdoor programs manager on the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District website.

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NRPA Opportunites: Meet Me at the Park

Our friends at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) have once again teamed up with the Walt Disney Company to help increase access to play spaces in local parks to kids and families across the nation through their Meet Me at the Park Program. Nearly $1 million in grant funding is available to 25 communities across the nation to increase physical activity in under-served areas.

Of those 25 grants, 15 will be given in pre-determined markets including here in Washington. Pre-determined market eligibility is determined by zip code. All agencies are eligible to apply, however, as long as they meet all other criteria. Previously, this grant program has created inclusive play spaces like the mobile Tiny House in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and the community-inspired Tike Track in Port Huron, Michigan.

Applications are due April 12, 2019. For more details and to apply, please visit the NRPA website.

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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!

WRPA Event Calendar
Date: Event: Location:
April 9–12
WRPA Conference & Tradeshow Vancouver Hilton
May 8–10
Certified Playground Safety Inspector Course Auburn Community & Events Center
June 8 Aquatics Skill Builder: Not on Your Watch & Training Better Trainers Henry Moses Aquatic Center, Maple Valley
October 22 WRPA Fall Summit Lynnwood Convention Center

WRPA Volunteer Opportunities

Thank You, 2019 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!

Volunteers are needed for the:

Join a WRPA Network Circle

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

Learn More



Washington Recreation and Park Association

[email protected] | Tel: (206) 361-8869 |


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