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WA State Parks: Equity & Inclusion in WA Outdoor Spaces

Washington has an abundance of natural beauty and a rich tradition of outdoor recreation. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent social and political unrest across the nation have simultaneously shined a spotlight on the high-value people place on outdoor spaces and the inequities that exist within them. 

A recent national survey found that 70% of city-dwelling Americans agree that parks are critical to preserving an individual’s physical and mental health amid today’s challenges. Yet, as the demographics of our state change, historically and currently marginalized communities still do not have the same opportunities as their non-marginalized counterparts across nearly every measure including education, poverty, employment, health and more. Inequities based on race, ethnicity, gender and other characteristics continue to be deep, pervasive and persistent; coming at a great economic and social cost. 

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Fire Restrictions and Park Closures—Effective: August 12, 2021

Washington State Parks

Fire Restrictions and Park Closures—Effective August 12, 20201

Washington State Parks is working with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to identify wildfire high-risk areas and taking steps to mitigate those risks while closely coordinating with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Governor’s Office on closure planning.

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Enumclaw to Open New Outdoor Fitness Feature

The Fitness Court® Opens August 11, All Welcome at Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

New, State-of-the-Art Facility Made Possible with Grant from the National Fitness Campaign

Outdoor fitness court featuring metal bars and rings, as well as concrete platforms of various heights

In 2020, the City of Enumclaw was awarded a $30,000 grant from the National Fitness Campaign (NFC) as part of its annual grant program in the 2020 Healthy Cities Campaign. Additional funding for the project was made possible by the City and local businesses, both financially and in-kind.

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Northwest Region Meets to Talk Membership

Regional Meetings Move Back to In-Person

Current Members Reconnect and Talk Member Benefits with Newcomers

The Northwest Region had a great in-person gathering on Thursday, July 22 at Farmstrong Brewing Co.. Everyone who attended really enjoyed reconnecting! The Northwest Region is looking to continue connecting this fall. Much of the conversation revolved around what WRPA has to offer to members. The Northwest Region hopes to gain some new members following these conversations.

Thank you to all who showed up to connect. Here are a few photos from the event!

Three men standing together in front of a wooden fence. One is wearing a pale orange shirt, sunglasses, and a baseball cap. One is wearing a blue button down shirt and has sunglasses on his head. The third is wearing a dark blue button down shirt.   Four people standing together outside and smiling.
A man in a blue button-down shirt and a woman in a sleeveless salmon-colored top standing together outside.   Six men standing together outside, in front of a wooden picnic table.

Opinion Piece: Importance of Urban Park Land

Puget Sound Parks Should Be Protected and Preserved

Port Ludlow Resident Shares Opinion in Seattle Time Article

The following article, "Protect the legacy of our urban parks, a classic public good," was posted to the Seattle Times on July 22, 2021 and was written by Lee Springgate.

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Make a Difference in the Outdoors

Join a Volunteer Advisory Committee

Help improve and protect Washington's outdoors for years to come. Join a Recreation and Conservation Office advisory committee.

You can make a difference. 

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$2,523,416 Awarded by the 2021 SEEK Program

By Jennifer Papich, 2021–2022 WRPA President

Happy Monday, everyone!

SEEK Fund LogoLast week, individual agencies that applied and were awarded SEEK (Summer Enrichment Experiences for Kids) funds through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and in coordination with the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) were notified of this most exciting opportunity.

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Keeping Youth Safe Playing the Sports They Love – BIAWA’s Connection to Parks & Recreation

Guest Post by the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington

By Suzette Hart, Marketing & Development Director, Brain Injury Alliance of Washington

Youth sports create a direct connection between the parks and recreation field and the work of the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington (BIAWA). WRPA members organize and administer sports leagues and/or coordinate with sports leagues that use public facilities. BIAWA fully embraces the importance of play, participation, and engagement in sports. That said, BIAWA also recognizes the possibility that injuries can and do occur during play.

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TREAD | Trails for All

TREAD

About T.R.E.A.D

Most of us love our Region’s outstanding systems. These trails provide exercise, escape, and enjoyment. We understand that it’s vital to take care of the system that has quickly become one of the most recognized assets of our community. And visitors are discovering and enjoying our trails, too.

TREAD is leading a project called TREAD Map. This comprehensive trail mapping app allows locals and visitors to plan the next outing, share experiences and conditions out on the trails or water, create connections with other trail enthusiasts and provide all the various land managers with a portal to create two-way communication with user groups and individuals.

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Force Majeure on Select Chemicals to Affect Aquatics Industry

Update for All Aquatics Professionals

Force Majeure on Select Chemicals

Westlake Chemical issued a statement on June 9, notifying customers of an electrical equipment failure that is affecting their chlor-alki production.

"Effective immediately, Westlake Vinyls, Inc. ("Westlake") and Axiall, LLC ("Axiall") are declaring a force majeure condition for chlorine, hydrochloric acid, and caustic soda manufactured and shipped from its Longview, Washington manufacturing facility.

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2020 & 2021 WRPA Awards

Congratulations, 2020 & 2021 Award Recipients!

This spring, we want to honor the amazing people, parks, and programs that received an award at the awards ceremony during the 74th Annual WRPA Conference, our first-ever virtual 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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2021 Legislative Webinar Series Recordings Now Available

Watch the Recordings Now

In 2021 offered several educational legislative webinars to help members and supporters better understand some of WRPA's 2021 legislative priorities. These webinars were free and recordings of these events are now available for you to view.

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2021 Legislative Day Recap

In Partnership with the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition: Advocating for All WA Recreation & Parks Professionals

A Message from Roxanne Miles, WRPA Legislative Committee Chair

Once again WRPA partnered with the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition to host a Great Outdoors & Parks Legislative Day on February 4, 2021.

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The Results Are In!

Washington Parks and Recreation Statewide Survey

Executive Summary & Highlights

New study findings reveal that local park & recreation agencies provide an estimated 300,000 acres of park lands and support nearly 100 million users annually!

During the Fall of 2020, the Washington Recreation & Parks Association, Washington State Association of Counties, Association of Washington Cities, and Metro Parks Tacoma collaborated on a statewide survey to gather data on service demand and operational challenges facing local parks agencies, both preceding and as a result of COVID-19 through August 2020. The survey was the most comprehensive one of its kind to compile data on issues and challenges facing local parks and recreation agencies throughout the State of Washington.

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Legislative Action In Motion

Learn About How to Support Senate Bill 5006 & House Bill 1025

A Message from WRPA Lobbyist Doug Levey

Good afternoon and Happy New Year, all:

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Inslee Announces Changes to the Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery

Washington State COVID-19 Updates In the News

This week Governor Inslee announced updates to the Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery. Learn more by reviewing the highlights below and the articles from Medium.com and the Seattle Times.

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2020 Success Story: Pierce County Parks - Specialized Recreation

Specialized Recreation

A message from the Pierce County Parks

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2020 Success Story: Outdoors for All - Bikes to You

Adapting Outdoor Recreation

A Message from Ed Bronsdon, Executive Director, Outdoors for All Foundation

In a world turned upside down by the pandemic, many people are struggling to connect with others, get exercise, and find ways to increase their mental and physical fitness. The Outdoors for All Foundation is a Seattle Seahawks Spirit of 12 program charity that continues to help people with disabilities to adapt and enrich their lives despite the pandemic.

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2020 Success Story: City of Olympia - Working Hard Through the Pandemic

Adapting & Evolving on the Fly

Testimonials from the City of Olympia's Community Members

The City of Olympia’s Recreation Department has worked hard since spring to adapt and evolve on the fly. By focusing on what we do best and following best practices for the new health and safety guidelines, we've been able to successfully serve our community during a really tough time. Here are just a few customer testimonials:

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2020 Success Story: Kirkland’s Treasured Past

Scavenger Hunt for Fun!

A message from the City of Kirkland

Recreation in Kirkland Parks and Community Services changed after April 1, 2020. We had to put the brakes on traditional programming and pivot to virtual programs and programs that provided social distancing. We excelled in providing physical recreation opportunities and were now challenged to find ways to connect with our community and to keep them engaged and active. 

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