Legislative Update! August 2017


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Legislative Update!

There are currently three proposed changes that have been set forth by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. These changes could impact the funding, performance, and decision making of WA State park and recreation departments.

Take this opportunity to learn more and provide comments on these proposed changes.

  1. WA State Outdoor Recreation Plan
  2. Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Match Waiver
  3. WRPA's Prepared Comment for the Youth Athletic Facilities Grant Program

RCO Seeks Comment on Outdoor Recreation Plan

Olympia – The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board wants to know what you think the priorities should be for outdoor recreation.

The board has a draft statewide recreation and conservation plan that is meant to be a guide for decision-makers when they prioritize recreation and conservation efforts for the next 5 years. The plan includes specific priorities and actions to meet the outdoor recreation needs of Washington residents.

The public can view the draft plan online at www.rco.wa.gov/StateRecPlans/ 

Comments can be submitted directly from the website, by e-mailing policychanges@rco.wa.gov, or mailing them to Recreation and Conservation Office, P.O. Box 40917, Olympia, WA 98504.

Comments are due September 10, 2017.

SUBMIT A COMMENT

“This plan was based on a new survey of Washingtonians. We asked residents what they liked to do outdoors,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, which supports the board and administers state recreation and conservation grant funds. “We know that funding is limited and we want to ensure that we make the most strategic investments possible.”

Specifically, the plan calls for the following:

  • Sustain and grow the legacy of parks, trails and conservation lands. This priority includes five recommendations to sustain existing parks, trails and conservation lands. It also addresses the need to expand opportunities to keep up with the outdoor needs of an increasing population.
  • Improve equity of parks, trail and conservation lands. There are four recommendations to address the needs of traditionally underserved populations as well as a focus on providing opportunities that are in high demand and located where people like to go most.
  • Meet the needs of youth. Providing recreation facilities and programming for youth is the focus of this priority.
  • Plan for culturally relevant parks and trails to meet changing demographics. The demographics of Washington State are changing and the types of recreation activities also are changing. This priority addresses the need to shift resources based on these changing demographics.
  • Position outdoor recreation and conservation as a vital public service. To compete with limited funding, this priority identifies ways to position outdoor recreation and conservation as a service that is on par with other public services like roads, water, sewer, and health.

Staff will analyze the comments and make recommendations for changes to the draft plan at the funding board’s October meeting in Olympia. Email your comments to policychanges@rco.wa.gov


Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Match Waiver

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board is proposing changes to policies that will affect the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program’s Local Parks, Trails, and Water Access Categories. The board is seeking comments on four policy proposals providing four unique “pathways” many local governments (cities, towns, counties, tribes, special purpose districts) to provide less than the current 50 percent minimum required match.

How to Comment

Read a memo on the proposed changes and view proposed policies.

Submit comments to policychanges@rco.wa.gov with the subject line “WWRP Match Waiver Comments” or mail a letter to the Recreation and Conservation Office, ATTN: Adam Cole, P.O. Box 40917, Olympia, WA 98504-0917.

Comments are due by midnight August 30, 2017.

What is Next?

Recreation and Conservation Office staff will review comments received, potentially make revisions to the proposed policies, and prepare final recommendations for the board to consider at its October 11-12, 2017 meeting. In-person public comments are welcome at the meeting.

Questions?

Contact Adam Cole, Natural Resource Policy Specialist, (360) 725-3939, adam.cole@rco.wa.gov
TDD (360) 902-1992

SUBMIT A COMMENT


Proposed Changes to the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) Grant Program

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board is proposing changes to policies that will affect Youth Athletic Facilities project proposals in 2018 and beyond. The board is requesting comments on the items below. Read a memo on the proposed changes.

  • Eligible Projects.  Adding “New” projects (current policy allows only “Renovation” projects).
  • Adding a “Small Grants Category” for smaller projects submitted by smaller agencies.
  • Raising grant request limits from $250,000 to $350,000.
  • Changing the match reduction and waiver policy.
  • Non-substantive, grammatical changes to the evaluation criteria language depending on the adoption of the above policies.

VIEW WRPA'S COMMENT 


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wrpa@wrpatoday.org  |  Tel: (888) 459-0009  |   www.wrpatoday.org

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