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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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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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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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2020 Success Story: Burien Channel 21

A Successful New Program Delivery

A message from the City of Burien 

Like many parks departments across the state and country, Burien Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services (PaRCS) had to dramatically shift its program delivery model in order to help maintain mental and physical health during this stressful time. Staff worked hard to set up and offer virtual classes and, once restrictions were lifted, limited on-site programs with lots of safety precautions, like mask and contact tracing mandates, health, and temperature checks, and routine room and equipment cleaning, in place.

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Support Eastern Washington University Parks & Recreation Programs!

Industry Alert!

The Eastern Washington University RCLS Programs (Outdoor Recreation Leadership, Recreation and Tourism Management, and Therapeutic Recreation) are on a list of proposed programs to be cut at the end of this academic year. The University is facing historic budget cuts as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The EWU Division of Academic Affairs has been asked to cut $16 million dollars from a $55 million dollar budget. As a result, a good number of campus programs are under consideration for discontinuance. The university has already begun the review process that will extend through most of this academic year and expects to make final decisions by June of 2021.


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2020 WRPA Virtual Fall Summit Wrap Up

Thriving in the New Normal

Just like many other professional development events, the 2020 WRPA Fall Summit went virtual! Traditionally, the WRPA Fall Summit is held as a one-day event in Lynnwood, WA. However, this year it was broken up into two half-day virtual events (Wednesday, October 14, 2020, & Thursday, October 15, 2020). More than 70 parks and recreation professionals joined us for this year’s two-day virtual event.

 

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“Hot-Off-The-Press” Good News From the Recreation & Conservation Funding Board (RCFB)

Funding for Key Programs!

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist 

The RCFB voted unanimously to recommend a $140 million funding level for the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP); with only one dissenting vote to recommend $11.3 million for the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) program; and unanimously to recommend $9.1 million for the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA). These funding recommendations are in synch with what WRPA’s leadership pushed for in a letter signed by President, Paul Simmons, Executive Director, Tiffany Hanzo Martin, and Legislative Steering Committee Chair, Roxanne Miles

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Outdoor Parks & Rec Guidance, 1% Property Tax, New 'Framework' on Gatherings, and Vashon Park District Bill

We Want Your Support

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist 

Friday, May 29, 2020

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RCO Grant Application Deadline is Fast Approaching

RCO Grant Applications Extended to June 1, 2020

A message from Marguerite Austin, Recreation and Conservation Grants Section

Applications for Recreation and Conservation Funding Board grants are due on Monday, June 1st, by 11:59 p.m. If you have started an application or are thinking of applying for a grant for your recreation or conservation project – there’s not much time left.

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Scholarship Opportunity: Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals

Enhance Your Agencies Recreational Assets or Programs

Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP) has opened its next round of the Christopher K. Jarvi Scholarship to Advance Partnerships. This scholarship fund was created to help dedicated professionals explore ways to integrate more partnerships into their work to benefit and bring value to parks, public lands, and the communities that host them. The scholarships are meant for professionals focused on enhancing recreational assets or programs and should be focused on training that can enhance the partnership potential of the individual.

Chris Jarvi was active in leadership with prominent organizations working to support recreation and parks professionals. At his request, this scholarship was created to encourage parks and recreation professionals to continue to explore how partnering efforts can help them to achieve parks, recreation, and community goals. Scholarships range from $500-$1,500 and may be used over the 18 months following the award. Based upon the current COVID-19 situation, SORP recommends a primary focus for this round on:

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ACTION NEEDED: A Message From NRPA

Greetings Special Park District Leaders,

I hope this email finds you healthy and well during this difficult time.  We have heard from many of you about the extraordinary work you are doing on behalf of your community.    We know that special park districts are in a difficult place with respect to the ability to receive funding while still facing the challenges that COVID-19 has brought. 

NRPA has drafted a memo that will provide you additional information about the federal response along with a letter that we plan to send to federal leaders on behalf of special park districts.  This letter asks for equitable treatment when funding is provided.   

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WRPA Presents Virtual Network Meetings

Connect with Your Industry Peers Online
April 20 - 24, 2020

Now more than ever is the time for the membership to connect, collaborate, and share resources. In order to bring the organization together, we are offering virtual WRPA Network meetings during the week that we otherwise would have had the conference, April 20 - 24, 2020.

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What WRPA Can Do For Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A Message from the WRPA President

We know the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting you in a variety of ways, affecting your communities, your families, and your work. With that in mind, we simply wanted to reach out to let you know we are thinking of you. Your own health and wellbeing, and of those you love, should be your top concern right now.

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What WRPA Can Do For Non-Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A Message from the WRPA President

We know the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting you in a variety of ways, affecting your communities, your families, and your work. With that in mind, we simply wanted to reach out to let you know we are thinking of you. Your own health and wellbeing, and of those you love, should be your top concern right now.

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RCO: Match Reduction in Response to the Pandemic

Request for Public Comment

If your agency is currently or past the point of contact for a parks and recreation grant or if your agency is interested in RCO's programs, please review the below:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic RCO is proposing reducing an applicant’s match for 2020 parks and recreation grants from a 50% contribution to 25%:

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Connect With Our Preferred Background Screening Provider

We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, endorsing the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) as our preferred background screening provider. NCSI is a youth safety advocacy group and leading background screening provider. Their comprehensive background screenings uncover pivotal information other screening services may miss.

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WRPA 2020 Conference: COVID-19 Updates & Resources

COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Last Updated March 16, 2020

We have received some inquiries from conference registrants and sponsors/exhibitors about how our plans are evolving in light of the emerging public health concerns posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  WRPA is closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the situation in communities where cases of the virus have been confirmed. 

We are currently in the process of planning for a future date, however, nothing has yet been confirmed. At this time, our cancellation policy still stands (April 1, 2020, minus a $20 fee). WRPA will not be issuing refunds until a new date is set. For our vendor-partners, in particular, cancellations will be assessed on a case by case basis. We request all current attendees, speakers, and partners to stay tuned for additional communication before making the decision to cancel. Thank you for your support during this time.

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