January President's Message



Good afternoon WRPA members,

First, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope your 2017 is off to a positive start. As we leave 2016, I have been reflecting on our many accomplishments, as well as the work that lays ahead of us in 2017. Last year, we made important strides toward financial stability and had record attendance at our professional development and training programs. This year, we will be implementing an action plan focusing on membership networks and will be incorporating those elements in our annual conference.

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PNW-ISA ATC 2017 Request for Presentation Proposals

The Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (PNW-ISA) is looking forward to featuring a multitude of informative and provocative presentations, inspiring plenary speakers, and unlimited networking opportunities complementing the conference theme “People and Trees: Adapting to Change”.  Please visit this link to learn more about what types of presentations are in demand (along with submission details and requirements).  For further questions, contact Christina Pfeiffer via e-mail or by phone at 206.954.0690 or Bess Bronstein via e-mail or by phone at 360.265.1886.  Proposals are due by February 20, 2017!

Conference Promotional Video

Thank you to the City of Spokane for this incredible video to promote the WRPA Annual Conference & Tradeshow.

Add to your social media, send to your boss or colleagues and help gain some excitement for this exciting event!

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Legislative Updates from WRPA Lobbyist: 01/30/2017

LAST CALLIf you have not yet registered for the annual “Great Outdoors Day” co-sponsored by WRPA and the WWRC, and scheduled for Feb. 13, it’s getting down to crunch time!  We will have a morning briefing, noon-hour speakers (all four confirmed), and an evening reception at the Governor’s Mansion.  You also will have a chance to meet with your lawmakers and cover key priority issues for WRPA and your organization.

The State Senate played the role of scene stealer in Week 3 of the 2017 Session.  At the start of the week, Republican Majority Senator (Sen. Brian Dansel, R-Ferry County/7th Dist.) resigned to take a Trump Administration job, leaving the Senate effectively in a 24-24 tie until a replacement is appointed.  By mid-week, another Senator (Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale/42nd Dist.) had accepted a Communications Director job tied to the revamping of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  And by Friday morning, Senate Republicans had rolled out their proposed education funding plan and queued it up for a Monday afternoon hearing.  Hours later, with one Senate Republican permanently gone and another bound to be gone often, Senate Democrats tried to set the wheels in motion on a takeover of the Senate Floor.

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Board of Director Nominations

We are excited to announce that the call for nominations is now open for the Washington Recreation and Park Association. The following three Board positions are up for election:

  • Office of Vice President
  • Board of Director At-Large position
  • Board of Director for Southwest WA Region

All three positions are 3-year terms. The Vice President position moves into President Elect, then President, for a total of three years. After confirmation by the Board, a slate of candidates will be voted on by the WRPA membership in March 2017.

Review the WRPA Bylaws to read the description for each position. Consider nominating a peer or submit yourself! The deadline to complete the nomination form (we need to create a new nomination form for 2017) is Friday, February 3rd.

Should you have any questions regarding the nomination or election process, please feel free to contact Al Vorderbrueggen, Spokane Parks and Recreation or Eric Friedli, Shoreline Parks and Recreation.

Legislative Updates from WRPA Lobbyist: 01/22/2017

The 2017 session of the Washington State Legislature is off and running!

Legislative Work Sessions

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Legislative Updates from WRPA Lobbyist: 01/23/2017

REMINDERThere’s still time to register for the annual “Great Outdoors Day” co-sponsored by WRPA and the WWRC, and scheduled for Feb. 13.  We will have a morning briefing, noon-hour speakers (three of four confirmed), and an evening reception at the Governor’s Mansion.  And of course, you’ll have a chance to meet with your lawmakers and cover key priority issues for WRPA and your organization!

Week 2 of the Session began with a large rally on K-12 education funding, which, of course, was not as multiple-city in reach or as massive in size as the national marches for women that closed the week.  Still, it cast an even brighter spotlight on education funding and intensified the questions and interest from the media and the public.

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Are crumb-rubber fields safe?

Are crumb-rubber fields safe? Report of blood cancer for soccer players led to investigation

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NCLI Letter to Governer Jay Inslee

November 4, 2016

The Honorable Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504


Dear Governor Inslee,

Thank you for your strong support of the No Child Left Inside grant program, which is
helping young people from 11 districts (2, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 20, 35, 39, 42) across the
state participate in outdoor education and recreation programs this year. We
appreciate all of your efforts to help young people connect with the natural world.
While we anticipated strong demand for funding this past grant cycle, we were
astonished by the enormous response to the program’s first year of operation in nearly
a decade. Applicants from 17 districts (2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 24, 35, 39,
40, 42) submitted over 120 proposals, requesting more than $5 million. With $1 million
awarded and over $6 million in matching funds, this is clearly a community priority

Given the strong need and community support for the program, as well all the proven
benefits of getting children outdoors, we enthusiastically support State Parks request
for $2 million in funding in the upcoming biennium. We recognize the budget
challenges facing the state, but investing in No Child Left Inside is an investment in the
future of our children and our State.

Here are just a few reasons this funding program is so important now and for the future:
• Research shows outdoor education improves academic outcomes, fosters
healthy lifestyles, and results in stewardship behaviors.

• This program levels the playing field for economically disadvantaged youth.
Many of the 19 organizations receiving grant funding are serving those who may
have little or no access to outdoor recreation or learning opportunities.

• More than 120 organizations applied for No Child Left Inside grant funding. This
demand clearly highlights the need for additional funds to connect young
people and their families to the outdoors.

• This program provides Washington State the opportunity to asses emerging
best practices for outdoor education and recreation programs.

• No Child Left Inside positively impacts Washington State’s $21.6 billion outdoor
recreation industry, and connects more young people to our State Parks.
The first round of the No Child Left Inside grant program has shown the tremendous
need to connect youth to the outdoors and the positive impact on our community.
With your visionary leadership, we can do more to meet the need and expand this
impact. For all these reasons, we respectfully request you include $2 million in funding
for No Child Left Inside in your proposed biennial budget.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish
Cascadia Conservation District
Chimacum Middle School
City of Covington
City of Longview Parks and
Recreation Classroom in Bloom
Community Boating Center
East Central Community Center
Eastern Washington University
ESD 113
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance
Feet First
Friends of North Creek Forest Highline
Public Schools
Hood Canal School District No. 404
Horn Of Africa Services
Lopez Island Family Resource Center
Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
Nature Bridge
NEW Outward Bound
North Cascades Institute
cc: Don Hoch, State Parks Director
Kaleen Cottingham, RCO Director
Jim Cahill, Sr Budget Assistant
Jon Snyder, Policy Advisor
Orcas Island Youth Conservation
Corps Outdoors for All Foundation
Pacific Science Center
Port Townsend Marine Science Center
Salish Sea Expeditions
Sound Salmon Solutions
Tacoma Rescue Mission
The Lower Columbia Estuary
The Service Board
The Wilderness Society
Town of Concrete
Washington Outdoor School
Washington State Parks
Washington Trails Association
Wenatchee River Institute
West Central Community Center West
Valley School District
Western Wildlife Outreach
WSU Lewis County Extension
WSU Lincoln County Extension
Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic
YMCA Bold and Gold
YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties
YMCA of the Inland Northwest

Download the full letter here.

Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) competitive grant program update

                                                                                                         November 22, 2016

The Honorable Jay Inslee

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Openings on Recreation and Conservation Funding Board (RCFB)

Openings on Recreation and Conservation Funding Board (RCFB): 

The Governor is looking for people to serve on the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, a statewide board that awards grants to create recreation opportunities and conserve wildlife habitat, and working farms and forests. If you are interested or know someone who would make a great board member, please see details for how to apply here:  Recreation and Conservation Funding Board Member Recruitment.

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Survey for WA Recreation Boating Program

Help the WA Recreation Boating Program


The Washington State Parks Recreational Boating Program is working to partner with county and city Parks and Recreation Departments as we strive to build a culture of safety and increase boating participation. Paddlesports (canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and rowboat) have been growing in both popularity and numbers, leading the Boating Program to focus on how we can help make paddlesports safer in Washington State. As we work to gather more information, we would like to learn more about the involvement of local parks and recreation programs with paddlesports. We have created a Washington Parks and Recreation Paddlesport survey and would appreciate you taking the time to fill it out: Washington Parks and Recreation Paddlesport Survey

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Alert: Critical Upcoming Letter of Intent Process for YAF Grant Program


Upcoming Letter of Intent Process for 2017 Supplemental Grant Round for Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) Program

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NAYS Youth Sports Congress Giveaway

Enter to win a free trip to NAYS Youth Sports Congress in Orlando this November. The Youth Sports Congress is a four-day comprehensive educational conference for youth sports administrators, park and recreation professionals, military youth sports directors, representatives from YMCA/YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, private leagues and others to discuss cutting edge topics in the field of youth sports. Prize includes full conference registration, three (3) nights in a conference hotel, $300 airfare or travel reimbursement, and $45 per day for meals and other expenses. Contest ends August 31. Entry form:

Free Webinar: Developing the Character of Our Youth Through Competition

The National Alliance for Youth Sports invites you to join former Green Bay Packer linebacker and Super Bowl champion Brady Poppinga, author of The True Spirit of Competition, for a fascinating FREE webinar on August 30 from 8-9 p.m. EST. In Developing the Character of Our Youth Through Competition Poppinga, a father of four, will talk about creating teachable moments; handling the big wins and crushing losses; process-based coaching; and so much more. Plus, you'll have an opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion of his presentation. This webinar is open to the public. Space is limited so register today to reserve your spot.


Please help us spread the word by sharing with your membership via social media and email. Feel free to contact me by phone (1-800-688-5437 ext. 220) or email

RCO is accepting grant applications!

RCO is accepting grant applications!

The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is accepting grant applications through PRISM Online for trails, boating facilities, and shooting ranges. These grant programs are the largest source of state funding for many of Washington's outdoor recreation experiences.

Wondering which grants are available this year and which programs will work for you? Check out our Web site and contact an RCO grants manager who can help you decide.

Read More is Live!

Swim Washington is Live! is live and our Facebook and radio campaign begins July 26th. Please go to and list your pool, lessons and other programs today! There is no cost! It is a free listing.

It will also help our campaign if you ask your staff to like:

Dane Wolfrom
Metro Parks Swim Teams (Metro Aquatics)
Metro Parks Tacoma

Important Funding News Regarding the WWRP and YAF

WWRP: On Wednesday, the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board (RCFB) voted unanimously to forward to the Governor’s Office and OFM a $120 million recommendation for the 2017-19 WWRP funding level. The Coalition did a very good job of bring Board Members to the meeting to testify in strong support and speak to indicators such as population growth, construction activity, the strength of the outdoor recreation economy, etc. Vice-Chair Deborah Jensen (former Woodland Park Zoo CEO), State Policy Chair Marc Berejka (REI), Hannah Clark (WA Association of Land Trusts), and Tom Bugert (The Nature Conservancy) all testified. I put in a supportive plug for the $120M figure as well in our testimony, after we got through our YAF presentation. Board Members all felt like $120M was a fair and representative ‘ask’ to aspire to in light of the indicators. While it likely will be very difficult to hold this $120M level in the Governor’s Budget, but the $120M figure helps drive up the expectation for the Governor’s proposal and helps position all of us in a positive way on WWRP.

YAF: On Wednesday, the RCFB – though not w/o some discussion and concern – voted unanimously to forward to the Governor’s Office and OFM a $12 million recommendation for the 2017-19 YAF funding level. Particularly instrumental on this one was Board Member Pete Mayer, who made the motion and recommendation to go to $12M. New Board Member Michael Shiosaki also made excellent comments in support, as did the Board Chair, Ted Willhite. We had met with and/or communicated by phone with all five (5) Board Members (the others are Mike Deller, retired bank and Port executive and Board Member with the Trust for Public Land; and Betsy Bloomfield who is Executive Director of the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy). Folks, this represents a HUGE commitment by the Board especially considering that in the May 2016 competitive grant round there were only 22 YAF applications covering $4.7M worth of ‘asks.’ We spent a significant part of our testimony taking on the “elephant in the room” and discussing why that happened, the reasons and why a $12M funding recommendation made sense – drawing on the rationale from our Board letter to Kaleen Cottingham (ATTACHED). I also brought up feedback from our Board and LEG Committee Members – perhaps looking at $500K allowable max vs. $250K, the difficulty of the May 2016 application window on this one, and the restriction on allowable uses (existing vs. anything new). Eric Friedli did an excellent job of speaking to this from a Park Director’s perspective – population growth, field demand, new sports leagues/organizations vying for field space, cost and expense of building year-round fields, etc. As the Board discussed our request, they talked about understanding the overall need albeit with worries about how few applications were submitted. Betsy Bloomfield at one point suggested perhaps a $10M funding level to match what was in the 2015-17 Capital Budget. Kaleen Cottingham did an excellent job helping the discussion along and proposing with input from her staff, that a supplemental grant round could be held, preceded by a binding “Letter of Intent” process to get an eligible and committed pool of applicants. In the end, the vote was guided by Pete Mayer’s motion, Michael Shiosaki’s second of the motion, and some comments by the Board Chair that he was comfortable with the $12M figure.

While this is absolutely terrific news on both the WWRP and YAF fronts, folks, I cannot emphasize enough that we have a lot of work to do over the next several months, and important work to do. The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board went out on a limb on our request, and is showing confidence that there WILL be a fuller pool of applicants to fill out a $12M grant-funding pool if indeed the Governor recommends that level and the 2017 Legislature does the same in its 2017-19 budget. For the credibility of our organization and the future of the YAF program, it is going to be very, very important that we deliver on this.

--Doug Levy

Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) Advisory Committee Recruitment Underway

Volunteers Needed to Evaluate Grants for Boating, Shooting Ranges and Trails


OLYMPIA –The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is looking for volunteers to evaluate grant proposals for boating, shooting facilities and backcountry trails.

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RCO - Your Comments Needed

RCO - Your Comments Needed

The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board would like your comments on the proposed changes to policies, which will affect projects funded in the Nonhighway and Off-road Vehicle Account (NOVA) and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) in 2017.

1) Proposed policy changes for the NOVA program consist of the following:

  • Grant (Request) Limits
    • Raise the maximum grant limits from $100,000 to $200,000 for all project types in the Nonhighway Road and Nonmotorized Categories
    • Remove the annual $50,000 spending maximum for maintenance and operations projects.
  • NOVA Project Technical Review
    • Consider changes to the NOVA Advisory Committee application technical review process.
  • Applicant and Project Eligibility
    • Create eligibility criteria for a “non-profit off-road vehicle organization.”
    • Define “publicly-owned lands,” as it appears in Revised Code of Washington 46.09.530.
    • Establish control and tenure requirements for project proposals submitted by eligible nonprofits.

2) Proposed policy changes to the NOVA and RTP consist of the following:

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