$10,107,169.42 Awarded by the 2022 SEEK Program

By Jennifer Papich, 2021– 2022 WRPA President

SEEK Fund LogoIn early 2022, a long list of Washington agencies were awarded funds from the SEEK (Summer Enrichment Experiences for Kids) funds program. This program was hosted in partnership between WRPA, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and in coordination with the Association of Washington Cities (AWC).  Last year, we had so many recipients that applied and a total of $2,523,416 was awarded by the 2021 SEEK Program. 

WRPA is so honored to have been involved in this process. It was just over a year ago that we began the conversations with OSPI and AWC that culminated with this funding opportunity for so many of you.

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Maintenance Backlog Survey

Dear WRPA,

We have a great opportunity to work with the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) on a request that could provide new funding to local parks and recreation agencies to address their maintenance backlogs – but we’ll need your help to make it happen.

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2022 WRPA Award Recipients

Congratulations, 2022 Award Recipients!

This spring, we want to honor the amazing people, parks, and programs that received an award at the awards ceremony during the 75th Annual WRPA 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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4th Annual Sponsorship Mastery Summit

Dear WRPA Members interested in Sponsorships,

I recently learned from Diane Brady from Metro Parks in Tacoma about the 4th Annual Sponsorship Mastery Summit in Seattle on September 28-30, 2022. This year it’s the only sponsorship marketing conference offered by the folks at Sponsorship Summit and is limited to 300.



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How Should We Spend $42 Million?

Good Afternoon to WRPA Executive Board, Exec Director, LEG Chair & Leg Committee, and LEG Distribution List:

I wanted to give you all a brief rundown of – and a chance to provide input on – the work that the state Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO) is doing in evaluating how to best deploy a one-time, $42 million sum of funds that is left over from a Stadium and Exhibition Center Account maintained by the state and used to pay off the bonds on the Seahawks Stadium approved by statewide voters many years ago.  By law, the excess revenues no longer needed for the stadium go into a Community Outdoor Athletic Facility fund per RCW 43.99N.060. The fund bears some similarities to the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) account we benefit from today.

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RCO and COAFF Updates

Good Friday Morning to WRPA Executive Board & Exec. Director; LEG Chair & LEG Committee Members; and full LEG Distribution List: With apologies if you’ve seen any of this – I’m catching up with week from several badly-needed post-2022 Session vacation days, and wanted to ensure you all have a few pieces of information and a link to a survey you may wish to complete. In order:

WA State Recreation & Conservation Plan Survey – RCO is updating this plan and as part and parcel of the update, an Eastern Washington University faculty member (Jeremy Jostad) is conducting a survey where people can indicate their usage of outdoor recreation facilities and spaces over the last 12 months.  In the event you wish to participate, the survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and has 75 questions and you can access it here:

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Plan Survey (surveymonkey.com)

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2022 WRPA Election Results

Welcoming New WRPA Board Members

Each year, we welcome new members to the WRPA Board of Directors at the Annual Conference & Tradeshow. The Board of Directors is the governing body of our association and is responsible for the supervision, control, and direction of WRPA. These Board members are elected by you, the members, during an annual election.

The following WRPA members have been elected to join the board.

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Public Survey: Outdoor Recreation Participation

Seeking Public Input!

 

Please help: take the survey, share the survey.

Hello Recreation and Conservation Partner Organization, 

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State Task Force Recommends Increased Sharing of School and Community Athletic Facilities

News Release from the Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office

For Release: February 8, 2022
Contact: Susan Zemek
Washington Recreation and Conservation Office
Cell:  360-764-9349

OLYMPIA–A statewide task force commissioned by the Washington State Legislature is recommending increased sharing of school and community athletic facilities as a way to increase physical activity for youth, especially those underserved.

Kids in Washington are not moving nearly enough, the task force noted in its new report. Before the pandemic, only about 24 percent of youth in sixth through twelfth grades were getting an hour of physical activity daily, the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to maintain physical and mental fitness. That percentage has remained about the same since 2012 and is slightly below the national average of 28 percent. The problem is worse for youth of color, girls, those from lower income families, immigrant youth and those with physical disabilities and long-term health problems.




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RCO Application Webinars: Learn How to Apply

RCO Application Webinars: Learn How to Apply

A message from: Recreation and Conservation (RCO)

Happy 2022! The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is kicking off its application cycle with a Webinar on February 17 from 9-10 a.m. followed by Q&A breakout sessions with grant managers from 10-10:30 a.m. You won’t want to miss it if you are thinking of applying for a grant for your outdoor recreation or habitat conservation project!

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2022 AAPRA/NRPA Mentorship Program

2022 AAPRA/NRPA Mentorship Program

A message from: National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA)

Sign Up for the Program
Register for the Webinar

Legislative Day 2022

By Sylvana Niehuser

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A New Splash Pad Surfacing Standard

Guest Post By Life Floor

 

By: Briana Massie, Marketing Manager for Life Floor ([email protected])

Playgrounds and splash pads are designed with very similar intentions in mind. Both provide play features and open spaces that encourage imaginative exploration, running, and risky play opportunities. Playgrounds feature spring riders, slides, and play panels whereas splash pads feature spray jets, dump buckets, and water slides. Where playgrounds are generally dry, splash pads feature constantly flowing water. However, where playgrounds require safety surfacing, splash pads are still being commonly surfaced with concrete, tile, or stone. If splash pads are essentially wet playgrounds (leaving visitors more prone to accident and injury), how are hard, slick surfacing options still permitted?

Why Don't We Often See Safety Surfacing at Splash Pads if They're Playgrounds too?

The aquatics industry is so accustomed to seeing concrete and other surfaces at pools that it has turned a blind eye to the problem with using it at splash pads. Many people believe that concrete isn’t an issue at all and that it’s perfectly safe for aquatic play areas. Forty years ago, concrete was considered perfectly safe for dry playgrounds too. It took 78 years from the time dry playgrounds were first introduced in 1903 for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to publish the Handbook for Public Playground Safety in 1981. 

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Increasing Play Value At Aquatic Facilities

Guest Post by Life Floor

By: Briana Massie, Marketing Manager for Life Floor ([email protected])

Everyone experiences play in different ways. It’s the reason why there isn’t just one type of spray feature or just one type of pool. Aquatic environments are always changing and adapting to new trends and regulations in the industry. Likewise, aquatic facility directors and operators are constantly evaluating updates that will deliver increased value to their guests and members. In order to provide features that appeal to a wide variety of individuals, facility staff members need to choose what combination of elements will allow for limitless play for their intended audiences.

Providing options for guests to engage with a facility in different ways is a crucial component of play value. Play value directly influences guest perception of a facility and can be a determining factor of whether or not guests will return. For example, if a child has a better experience at a park farther away, parents may be more inclined to return to that park even if it is more inconvenient. 

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2022 Supplemental Operating, Capital, and Transportation Budgets

2022 Supplemental Operating, Capital, and Transportation Budgets

Learn More About Governor Inslee's E-Memo

On Thursday, December 16, 2021, Governor Inslee released his 2022 Supplemental Operating, Capital, and Transportation budgets with a strong emphasis on investments to address climate change, housing and homelessness and poverty, salmon recovery, and transportation needs.

Building on a two-year budget of roughly $59 billion, the Governor’s supplemental Operating Budget would use the state’s robust revenues, federal infrastructure, and coronavirus relief monies, and some transfers to invest $61.79 billion. Inslee touted the additional investments as critical to addressing glaring needs while minority Republicans criticized the Governor for not looking for ways to provide funds back to taxpayers, businesses, etc. The Governor’s budget does not include new taxes and would put an additional $600 million – what his office calls the largest rainy-day fund deposit ever -- into the state’s “Budget Stabilization Account” (more commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund) in addition to $574 million already in the BSA under the enacted-two year budget.

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Ice Rink Interview with Scott River, Director of Recreation and Facilities for Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation

Written by Sylvana Niehuser, WRPA Communications Committee Member

Some of the best ideas must ripen on the shelf before they can be enjoyed. Director of Recreation and Facilities at the City of Olympia, Scott River, speaks to how Oly on Ice (a WRPA spotlight award winner in 2019) came about and what makes the seasonal ice rink successful.

The idea for an ice rink first surfaced internally 10 or more years before the doors were opened to the public. At the time, the department shelved the idea due to a lack of resources (recession cuts). Around 2015 or 2016 the idea was brought back into the light on a cold, crisp, and clear day. The vision of ice skating downtown with views of the State Capitol building on one side of you and the Puget Sound on the other side was exhilarating. Over the course of two years of planning, Oly on Ice opened in 2018 at the Isthmus Park in downtown Olympia.

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Washington Community Forestry Council (WCFC) Recruitment

Join Our Advisory Council

Support the mission of DNR's Urban & Community Forestry Program

The Washington Community Forestry Council (WCFC) is a statewide advisory council comprised of volunteer members representing diverse perspectives on urban forestry in Washington state. Their purpose is to help support the mission of DNR’s Urban & Community Forestry Program* and advise the Commissioner of Public Lands and DNR on statewide issues pertaining to urban and community forestry.

The council is currently recruiting for three positions that need to be filled by early 2022. In general, the council is seeking applicants who can represent the following interests:

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Take Our Survey: RCO Acquisition-Development Funds

RCO Acquisition-Development Funds

RCW 79A.15.050

RCO’s Outdoor Recreation Account is distributed according to RCW 79A.15.050.  We want to assess if there is interest by the WRPA membership to recommend changes to these allocations.  

Take the Survey

Outdoor recreation account—Distribution and use of moneys.

(2) Moneys appropriated beginning July 1, 2016, for this chapter to the outdoor recreation account shall be distributed in the following way:



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New! Discover Pass Free Days 2022

Discover Pass free days honor Indigenous people, Black history, mental health

A News Release from Washington State Parks

OLYMPIA – Nov. 10, 2021 – Washington State Parks has designated the free days in 2022 when visitors will not need a Discover Pass to park at state parks and on recreation lands managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

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Call for 2021 Local Success Stories

Share Your Greatest Achievements from the Past Year

WRPA is bringing back the Success Story Program.

2021 has not quite been the year we were hoping for. However, WRPA is proud to see so many professionals from our industry are who still hard at work making this pandemic a little easier for our communities.

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