Summer Experiences and Enrichment for Kids Fund

Washington Fund Opportunity for Outdoor Kids Programs

*AWC & WRPA reserves the right to revise the funding opportunity criteria or not to award any funding through the SEEK Funding program should program requirements change.

The Washington Recreation & Park Association (WRPA), in collaboration with the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), is excited and proud to announce a $12 million funding program. This program is made possible by federal COVID-19 relief funds provided to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and it will enable local parks and recreation agencies throughout our state to expand summer outdoor education programs offered to school-aged kids!

The purpose of the SEEK Fund is to increase access to quality, outdoor summer programming for youth and communities who have historically been underserved and who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are looking to address students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs through a combination of activities that include strong partnerships with community-based organizations and other summer providers, including summer camps. We are also striving to create partnerships to help support and sustain summer programs, especially those in rural and remote communities.

We encourage all local park agencies* to prepare to submit your application today!

*Only one application per agency allowed. 

Meet the Partners

Fund Details  |  Information Video  |  Fund Eligibility  |  How to Apply  |  Fund Evaluation
Receiving Funds  |  Fund Accessibility  |  Federal Guidance

SEEK Fund Details

The newly created, WRPA SEEK (Summer Experiences & Enrichment for Kids) Fund Program will provide local parks and recreation agencies with funding for youth-focused summer programming. 

The WRPA SEEK Fund is designed to aid in funding summer outdoor programs serving school-aged youth (ages 4-21). The focus will be on providing enhanced and quality outdoor opportunities for those youth who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and those who are under-served when it comes to quality outdoor recreational opportunities.

This fund program intends to support youth in Washington State with quality outdoor summer enrichment experiences. It also further empowers local communities to engage youth, particularly those impacted by the pandemic, in outdoor education and recreation, focusing on quality and quantity of time spent outdoors, the number of youth served, and accessible recreation opportunities to underserved populations. Recipients must prioritize activities or programs that promote social connection, encourage physical activity, and support families who are struggling with childcare needs.

The SEEK Fund Program will enable your agency to apply for funds of up to $250,000, funded on a similar reimbursement basis that is standard for other funding programs run by the state. The funding can be used for summer outdoor programs this year, beginning July 15, 2021 (based on contract timing and the beginning of the state’s fiscal biennium). A second application period, for 2022 funding, will be run in Fall 2021.

Fund Informational Call Video

Scroll over the time bar to navigate and jump to certain sections of the video.

Download the PowerPoint


Who Is Eligible for a SEEK Fund

Eligible applicants include Washington State government parks and recreation agencies (city and county parks and recreation agencies; metropolitan park districts; park and recreation districts). Only one application per agency will be allowed, though applications can reflect your overall summer programing or a specific program or project.

This funding is focused on summer programming only. It is our hope that this funding will help agencies to expand programming to serve more kids in the summer of 2021. We want to encourage agencies with existing programs to apply, though the creation of new programs is also welcome.

There will be two funding cycles. The 2021 cycle has closed and the 2022 fund cycle will be opening in the Fall of 2021.


How to Apply for a SEEK Fund

Visit the 2021 SEEK Fund Application page to prepare your application and review deadlines.

2021 Fund Application Information


Receiving SEEK Fund Monies

All funds will be distributed on a reimbursement basis. Fund awardees will only be able to request reimbursement after they have paid their employees and vendors and reported on their use of funds. When a project/program is completed, awardees must submit the final bill, final report, and supporting documents needed to close out the project as specified in the agreement. 

More information about the reporting structure coming soon!

Applicants should bear in mind that 2021 funding will be based on 1½ months of programming (half of July, August), with sufficient funding reserved for a more full Summer 2022 fund round. Applications for Summer 2022 will open in the fall of 2021.


SEEK Fund Evaluation Process

Applications will be evaluated and scored alongside other similar population range applicants. An advisory committee will evaluate and score all applications to determine which projects will be recommended for funding. Scores will be based on each applicant's response to evaluation questions. 

  • After application deadline has passed, 5:00 PM | Friday, July 2, 2021
  • The SEEK Advisory Committee will be reviewing and scoring each submission.
  • Committee members will have access to the proposals to score them individually based on the below criteria and point system and return their scores to WRPA for tabulation, and to develop a results list from highest to lowest.
  • Proposals will be scored and evaluated with similar population range applicants. Scores will be based on each applicant's response to evaluation questions. 
  • The committee will then convene together with Tiffany Hanzo Martin, Jennifer Papich, and Doug Levy to go over the results and top scores, the dollar amount each top scorer requested, and then establish funding.
  • Recommended list of proposed organization will be sent to OSPI for approval.
  • Once all decisions are made, WRPA will be notified and will notify awardees.
  • AWC will then connect with awardees about the funding and reporting requirements and award contract.

Applications will be scored and evaluated with similar population range applicants. Scores will be based on each applicant's response to evaluation questions.

Below is a list of the 2021 SEEK Fund Advisory Committee Members:

Evaluation Criteria & Point Values

  • Program Design: 1-5 points (x2)
    Prioritize activities or programs that promote; social connection, encourage physical activity and are affordable and accessible to all.

  • Youth Served: 1-5 points (x3)
    Providing direct services resulting in engagement and involvement of school-aged youth who are; underserved and disproportionately impacted by COIVD-19.  Emphasis on equity and access for those who have previously had a more difficult time participating due to lower income levels, language barriers communities of color etc.

  • Outdoor Engagement/Enrichment: 1-5 points
    Evaluate the quality and quantity of evidence based outdoor education and recreation focus.

  • Assisting COVID-impacted students, families: 1-5 points.
    Connecting to families who are struggling with childcare needs coming out of the pandemic, so they can return to the work force and have a safe, enriching place for their children to be. Emphasis on supporting the social & emotional wellbeing of youth participants.


SEEK Fund Accessibility

WRPA is committed to ensuring these funds are put to use, geographically spread throughout the state, and granted to a broad cross-section of agencies. Agencies will be evaluated and grouped based on the size of their service areas. WRPA, overseeing applications and selections, and AWC, acting as a fiscal agent for the fund, will need to retain a small percentage of funding to cover the costs of administering the program.


Important Guidance on the Federal Funds Being Offered

Funding must be used to prioritize activities or programs that serve school-aged kids who have been impacted by COVID-19 and “Promote students connecting socially with their classmates, Encourage students to engage in physical activity, and Support families who have struggled with childcare needs.” 

Officials with OSPI have encouraged us to strive to use funding to reach school-aged kids who have not traditionally had opportunities and access to these summer outdoor education programs in the past. As an example, the federal legislation calls out major racial and ethnic groups; economically disadvantaged students; children with disabilities; children with limited English proficiency; immigrant students; students experiencing homelessness; and children/youth in foster care. Applicants will be encouraged to list ways in which their programs will remove institutional and systemic barriers to participation.

1) All records relevant to projects funded must be on file and are subject to audit and inspection by the state and potentially federal agencies. If the auditor's inspection of the records discloses any charges incorrectly claimed and reimbursed, the awardee may be responsible for repayment. (Agencies with greater than $750,000 in federal funding from all sources will be subject to a single audit.)

2) The total funding available for both Summer 2021 and 2022 is about $12 million. There will be a separate application cycle in Fall 2021 for Summer 2022 programs.

For more information about the WRPA SEEK Fund contact the WRPA office at (206)361-8869 or [email protected]