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



In This Issue...


2018 Annual Conference—What a Ride!

If you didn't take your turn on the mechanical bull at this year's Annual WRPA Conference & Tradeshow, then you missed out! Pictured above (left to right), are WRPA members, Brian DuboisRecreation Supervisor for the City of Ephrata Parks and Recreation, Alice BuschTherapeutic Recreation Supervisor for the City of Spokane, and Roland Gonzales, Park Superintendent for the City of Moses Lake Parks & Recreation.

Do you have a must-see photo you want featured as the photo of the month? Submit your photos to [email protected].

How Do You Recreate?: Unplug & Bond


Mara Swensen (pictured), Facilities Scheduler for the City of Issaquah Parks and Recreation and her son at Snoqualmie Falls.

"My son and I absolutely developed a love for hiking! Hiking gives us a chance to get out of the house, unplug and bond naturally. Living where I do, I'm blessed to have an unlimited amount of trails to wander on to!"

WRPA wants to see how you recreate. Submit your photo to [email protected].



WRPA Conference & Tradeshow
What a Success!

There were so many exciting activities and opportunities for this year's three-day WRPA Conference &Tradeshow event, including more than 45 unique educational sessions, hot topic discussions, and speed sessions; two exciting socials; the annual golf tournament; and a tradeshow with more than 50 innovative industry vendors. See a few photos from the event below.

The WRPA Conference & Tradeshow is one of the largest conferences dedicated to recreation and park professionals in Washington State. WRPA is proud to host this event and we are so thankful to the Conference Committee, all onsite volunteers, and to the attendees for making this event so much fun.

Want to see more photos? Check out WRPA's Facebook Page

2018 Aquatics Conference

September 24 & 25 | 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM | Great Wolf Lodge
Early Bird Rates: WRPA Members $199 | Non-Members $239

Join us at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, WA this year for the Pacific NW Aquatics Conference. This two-day event is planned and hosted by the WRPA Aquatics Network.

Speakers will Include:

  • George Deines, Counsilman-Hunsaker Aquatics Consultants
  • Matt Haynes, American Red Cross
  • Bill O'Melia, Drennen's Dreams Foundation
  • Jim Wheeler, San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department

Early Registration Is Open for WRPA's Fall Leadership Summit

October 9 | 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM | Lynnwood Convention Center
Early Bird Rates: WRPA Members $199 | Non-Members $299

Keynote Speakers

Rachelle Strawther, M.A. 
Director of Leadership Training and Development 
President, Staff Assembly

Gonzaga University

Breece Robertson VP
Director of Planning and GIS

Trust for Public Land Fellow

Featured Tracks

Leadership Development Track: Supervisors, managers, and aspiring leaders are invited to spend the day strengthening their emotional intelligence, courageously have difficult conversations, and build stronger teams.

Executive Track: Agency executives, directors, and senior planners are invited to explore the world of data and discuss its impact, so they can better understand their community and build stronger stories to support their departments.

NRPA Magazine Highlight: Does Your Park Offer Free Wifi?


Bridging the Digital Divide — Free Wifi in Parks
Article By Mark Saferstein

Summary: More often than not, we find ourselves anticipating restaurants, coffee shops, and other public hangouts to supply us with free wifi. Who remembers having to be a paying customer in order to get wifi passwords? Free internet wasn't always the case, and as technology continues to advance at incredible rates and with its' users following close behind, the world is starting to classify its' need a little differently. In fact, "In 2016, The Human Rights Council of the United Nations declared connectivity to the internet to be a basic human right," and places like New York—and some 70 nations—have endorsed the resolution. Close to 95% of millennials between the ages of 18 and 29 own a smartphone. However, low income, older adults, Hispanic, and African-Americans are less likely to own a smartphone and show similar statistics for home internet access. Cities like New York are teaming up with other agencies to help create funding sources to help supply their parks with free wifi.

Read more about agencies who are bridging the digital gap by offering free wifi in parks on page 48 in the May issue of NRPA Magazine.

Relevant Research for Practice 2017: Focus on Conservation and Resiliency

This 2017 NRPA summary report "is intended to help bridge the current research–practice gap for practitioners in the field and their decision makers by identifying peer-reviewed published research articles from 2015 to 2017 that provide an evidence base and/or could have a potential impact on the practice of P&R. A thematic literature search conducted in Spring 2017 focused on the broad category of NRPA’s Conservation Pillar (of course, the Conservation Pillar interacts with the other two NRPA Pillars: Health and Wellness, and Social Equity). The summary content provided includes references [to] 33 articles. They included both review articles and empirical research articles that effectively illustrate relevant themes, organized under the following key conservation topics and keywords."

Read the entire report to learn more today.

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 Career Center Today!

 2018 Calendar of Events
 Date:  Event:  Location:
September 24–25
2018 Aquatics Conference
Great Wolf Lodge
September 27 Marketing & Facilities Training TBD
October 9
Fall Leadership Summit Lynnwood Convention Center
November 27–29
Certified Playground Safety Inspector Course Kitsap Sun Pavilion


WRPA Volunteer Opportunities


Thank You, 2018 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
  • 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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