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



In This Issue...


Photo of the Month

It’s a Beautiful Morning

The November 
Photo of the Month comes to us from Jason Osborn with the City of Sammamish Parks and Recreation.

Jason captured this beautiful photo at the 83-acre Beaver Lake Park one morning during work. What a beautiful and peaceful way to start the day.


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

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How Do You Recreate?

Ice Skating in Olympia, WA

The City of Olympia Parks, Arts, and Recreation has recently made improvements to the new Isthmus Park in downtown Olympia. This park had been sitting vacant since derelict buildings were demolished in 2015. This open space park will host Olympia’s first seasonal ice rink, Oly on Ice, opening in November 2018!

Would you like to join fellow Washingtonians for a little fun on the ice? This rink opens on November 16, 2018. For more information about this project, visit

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

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Sylvana Niehuser
Parks Operation & Maintenance Manager
City of Olympia

Spotlight Professional

City of Olympia’s recently-appointed Parks Operation and Maintenance Manager, Sylvana Niehuser began her career with the City of Olympia in the police department, where she developed a passion to serve the public. After some time with the police department, she made a career move into the parks department where she continues to grow her passion for serving her community.

“Learn about who you can look up to, tap into the Parks and Recreation networks, and open your mind! 
Once I reached out and engaged with other professionals, I gained a lot of resources, broadened my network, and my career
really took off."

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WRPA Has Updated Our Membership Structure

Membership Is Now Easier Than Ever

WRPA is excited to announce our recent updates to the WRPA Agency Membership and the addition of a new Emerging Professional Membership. We are proud to say that these new options will provide even more recreation and park professionals with access to WRPA's education, networking, and training opportunities. 

No Need to Pick & Choose

WRPA has decided to combine the Gold and Platinum Agency Memberships. This new Agency Membership structure has eight membership levels and is still based on operating budget. Agencies can now say goodbye to limiting which of your employees can receive WRPA discounts and benefits; our new Agency Membership option allows ALL of your employees to join WRPA and claim full member benefits.

New! Professional Memberships

Can't afford an agency membership? New to the industry? WRPA has made adjustments to our individual Professional Memberships. There are now three levels for professional memberships, including two salary-based levels and an emerging professional membership for students and new WRPA members. 

If you have questions, we encourage you to review our FAQ page that addresses the transition. Further questions can be directed to board member, Kevin Witte at [email protected]. 

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Boost Your Resume with the CPSI Certification

November 27–29, 2018 | Kitsap Sun Pavillion

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

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 in the recreation and parks industry to new heights. Register today!

Registration will close at noon on Friday, November 23. Remember, you can
sign up now and select the "invoice me option" to pay later.  

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Washington Maintenance Conference and Rodeo

January 30–31, 2019 | Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center

Join Kitsap County for the Washington Maintenance Conference and Rodeo. Each day will consist of three training sessions in the morning—your choice from four offerings. 

There will be a variety of topics covered, including:

  • Turf management best practices
  • Pruning and trimming essentials
  • Irrigation best practices
  • Extending synthetic turf life through proper maintenance practices
  • Principles of concrete work
  • Creating an annual maintenance plan

Lunch will be provided along with sponsor exhibits. The afternoon will consist of a fun competitive rodeo, testing skills such as backing a truck and trailer, nailing, plant identification, mower obstacle course, backpack blower obstacle course.

Registration is $75 for individuals and $200 for a team of four.

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Early Registration Is Now Open for the 2019 Conference & Tradeshow

Join Us to Collaborate on the Columbia

2019 gives us the chance to celebrate another great year for the recreation and parks industry. WRPA is excited to invite YOU to join us in Vancouver, WA, for a chance to Collaborate on the Columbia. This is a unique opportunity to network with your peers and participate in relevant educational courses.

Secure your spot at the 2019 Conference & Tradeshow today by taking advantage of the early bird rates. Early bird rates end February 8, 2018.


Sponsorships and exhibit booths are filling up quickly!
Sign up today so you can be sure you reserve your space at the 2019 tradeshow.

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WRPA Legislative Priorities & 2019 Legislative Day

February 7, 2019 | 7:00 AM–5:00 PM | Woman's Club of Olympia

Do you love to venture around Washington? The ability to explore new (and old) trails, parks, forests, and farms is one of the best parts of living in this beautiful state.

That's why we need your support on Legislative Day 2019—so we can protect these places for you (and your kids) to keep exploring! Your voice will go a long way with our elected officials. Tell them how much these lands matter to you, and why they should support Washington's number one outdoor recreation and conservation program, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP). For more information, check out the event page and RSVP Today.

WRPA has been hard at work and has compiled the top legislative items we want to focus on in 2019. Some of the key items include:

  • Enact 2017–2019 capital budget—including key funding targets for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), the Youth Athletics Facilities (YAF) program, and the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA)
  • Protect funding for dedicated accounts within the capital budget
  • And more

To learn more on our full list of legislative priorities and remember to join us for Legislative Day! 

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Submit a WRPA Award Nomination Today

WRPA is proud to celebrate professionals, parks, and programs with our Annual Awards Program. This is our own version of the Golden Globes, honoring individuals and organizations for their contributions to the field of recreation and parks in Washington State.

We have three major categories that we recognize:

Time is running out for you to nominate yourself, your colleagues, and/or your organization. The nominations window will close in February of 2019, so learn more about the process and submit your nominations today.

Submit a Nomination Button

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NRPA Highlight: Innovative Dog Parks

"Designing and Managing Innovative Dog Parks"
By: Richard J. Dolesh

“Off-leash dog parks are one of the fastest growing types of parks in cities across the nation,” according to The Trust for Public Land. Many people think you have to have a large piece of land to have a great dog park; however, that’s just one criterion. There are many factors that go into designing and maintaining a high-quality dog park such as planning and maintenance. In fact, this month’s NRPA article highlights Washington’s off-leash dog park at Marymoor Park in King County, and even references to it as the “Disneyland of Dog Parks”.

Learn more about Marymoor Park and new perspectives on how to design and manage innovative dog parks. 

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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:
November 27–29
Certified Playground Safety Inspector Course Kitsap Sun Pavilion
December 1721 ARC Lifeguard Training Class/Blended Learning Mountlake Terrace Pool
 December 2223 ARC Lifeguard Review Mountlake Terrace Pool


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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