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



In this Issue...

Photo of the Month

Softball During a 
Beautiful Fall Sunset 

Thank you to Carl Strong, Assistant Division Manager of Spokane Parks & Recreation for sending in this month's photo.

This bright and stunning photograph was taken at Dwight Merkel Sports Complex last fall.

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

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How Do You Recreate?

Getting Dressed Up & Having Fun
Christmas in October

Milissa Ching, office manager at the City of Issaquah's Park & Recreation Department, celebrated her Halloween at Seabrook with her son Bodi (age 3).

Bodi is a little Christmas obsessed and went as Santa and while Milissa went as his helper elf.

"He insisted that he wanted to be 'Christmas' for Halloween which easily made this my favorite Halloween of all time!"  –Milissa

If you have a photo to share, please submit it to [email protected].

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Spotlight Professional: Rick Scott, CPRP
Learn more about the City of Des Moines Recreation Manager 

Rick’s passion for parks and recreation comes from "the sense of community and togetherness that we as parks and recreation professionals have the ability to provide our constituents. The feeling you get when you see a child smile while at an activity, watching parents forge friendships during events, volunteer commitments made for the betterment of the community, the diversity of our participants and the multitude of people from all around that attend our special events is amazing."

Rick started his recreation career at the age of 16 working at an RV campground and golf course. He now works for the City of Des Moines as a Recreation Manager. Rick is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional and continuously pushes staff and colleagues to take advantage of continuing education opportunities. Read more about Rick. Read more about Rick.

Advice from Rick Scott

"Work hard, take advantage of any continuing education opportunities provided, take the time to build relationships with fellow parks and recreation professionals, you are going to make mistakes (learn from them) and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone to try new things."

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Risk Management School 2020 Schedule-At-A-Glance
February 3 - 4, 2020 | Renton Community Center

Join us Risk Management School (RMS) for two days of networking, quality education, and professional development. This program 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.

WRPA has just released the 2020 RMS Schedule-at-a-Glance. Review the sessions and learn more about this year's topics including Program Administration, Staff Training, Legal & Insurance, Emergency & Crisis Response, and Events.

 WRPA Member Rates
$295 Thru December 16
After December 16

Non-Member Rates
$339 Flat Rate

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Early Registration Is Now Open for Conference
Join Us in Tacoma as We Embrace Equity!

2020 gives us the chance to celebrate another great year for the recreation and parks industry. WRPA is excited to invite YOU to join us at the 2020 Conference & Tradeshow in Tacoma, WA, to help up in our goal of Embracing Equity.

This is a unique opportunity to network with your peers and participate in educational courses. Secure your spot today by taking advantage of the early bird rates.

Registration Pricing
  Early Bird
 One Day
Banquet Only
Member Rate
$320 $190 $60
Member Rate - Agency
$310 $190 $60
Member Rate - Student
$35 $35 $60
First Time Attendee $220 n/a $60
Non-Member Rate $410 $210 $60

You can register today and pay later with our "invoice me" option.

2020 Skills Development Webinar Program
New State Association Partnership

This year WRPA will be 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.

RCO Volunteers Wanted:
Help Rank Investments in Washington’s Outdoors!

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is looking for 50 volunteers to serve on its advisory committees, which help determine what new projects will happen around the state. The advisory committees evaluate grant proposals for parks, boating amenities, working farms and forests, and habitat conservation statewide. There’s a committee for just about any outdoor activity you’re passionate about.

As an advisory committee member, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Learn and grow professionally while enhancing your resume
  • Get the inside scoop on how we’re investing in preserving and enhancing parks, trails, and outdoor spaces in communities across Washington State
  • Network among a community of like-minded people in the outdoor and environmental industries that truly care about making Washington a better place to live, play, and grow
  • Understand what makes a good project and how to score well in future evaluations

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NRPA Parks & Recreation Magazine Highlight
"How Parks and Recreation Can Support Mental Health Initiatives"
October 31, 2019, by Barbara Heller and Molly Young 

In the United States, more than 46 million people live with mental health illnesses, according to 2017 data from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). What’s more, mental health concerns increase during the holidays, as part of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This disorder is a form of depression that recurs regularly, mostly from late fall or winter and lasting through spring. Some studies suggest that up to 20 percent of people are affected by a mild form of the disorder, which scientists believe is caused by a biochemical change in the brain, triggered by shorter days and reduced sunlight. Couple this with additional holiday stresses, and the opportunity for mental health illnesses increase for many people.

Read the full NRPA article to learn more.


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Members on the Move

  • Jim Ballew, City of Marysville’s Parks Culture and Recreation Director — retired after 31 years

  • Brian Dubois, Town of Berthoud Co. Recreation Coordinator — previously City of Ephrata Recreation Supervisor

  • Jennifer Firess, City of Marysville Athletic Supervisor  previously in the aerospace industry

  • Randy Gomez, City of Othello Recreation Coordinator— previously with Simplot Grower Solutions, Othello

  • Dave Hall, City of Marysville promoted to Assistant Director — previously Athletic Supervisor 

  • Tara Mizell, City of Marysville promoted to Parks, Culture and Recreation Director  previously Assistant Recreation Director

  • Morgan Rauch, City of Wall Walla Recreation Coordinator, Aquatics – previously with Lake Oswego School District

  • Chris Taylor, City of Marysville Cultural Arts Supervisor – previously with Northwest College of Art and Design

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

Share Your Skills; Volunteer with WRPA

WRPA is looking for you! We are looking for motivated volunteers to join our committees. This is a chance to broaden your sense of WRPA, build your resume and professional career while networking with professionals alike across the state.

Learn more about these leadership positions:

Learn more about these different positions on the Volunteer Opportunities page.

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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:
February 3–4, 2020 Risk Management School Renton Community Center
April 21–24, 2020 WRPA Annual Conference & Tradeshow Tacoma Convention Center
September 28–29, 2020 Aquatics Network Conference McMenamins Anderson School

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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

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

Learn More

Annual Platinum Sponsor


Annual Gold Sponsor

Become a WRPA Gold Sponsor today. 

Annual Silver Sponsors


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Washington Recreation and Park Association

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

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