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Passage in US House Thursday, July 23, 2020 of the Great American Outdoors Act

Assuring $900 Million per year for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist 

A quick report on a pretty historic vote in the U.S. House on Thursday, July 23, 2020—including great news for the sustainable funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). By an overwhelming 310 - 107 vote, the House approved S. 3422, known as the “Great American Outdoors Act.”  The legislation locks in a sustained $900 million per year funding level for LWCF, and additionally allocates $9.5 billion over the next five years to help address M&O backlogs on National parks and other federal lands.

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Tools for Centering Equity from NRPA

Make Equity-Based Planning Decisions and Inclusive Policies and Programs in Your Communities

A Message from Kristine Stratton, NRPA President & CEO

 

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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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Learn More About the Western States Pact

Western State Pact: Collective Recovery Plan

A Message from Peter Mayer, Metro Parks Tacoma

Good morning!  First of all, I hope this finds you healthy and rested.  I wanted to send a “shout out” of thanks and share a few developments.

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News Release: What Parks Are Opening?

Parks Announces Limited Opening For Day Use

Ocean Beach and Columbia River Gorge Parks Remain Closed

A Message from Washington State Parks

OLYMPIA – May 2, 2020

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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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Outdoor Activities Restart: Requirements & Recommendations

Hiking and Other Outdoor Activities Restart COVID-19 Requesremts and Recommendations.

This week an amendment was made to Proclamation 20-25.2. Read the full proclamation from Governor Jay Inslee and view the quick guide banner.

View the Proclamation

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ADVISORY: Inslee Press Conference on COVID-19 Monday in Olympia

Gov. Jay Inslee will address media Monday via streaming video and telephone to provide an update on the state's COVID-19 response.

The governor will be joined by Hilary Franz, commissioner of public lands, Kelly Susewind, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Don Hoch, director of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

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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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WRPA Sends Out Recovery Plan Proposal & RCO Match-Reduction Proposal

WRPA & Other Western Associations Are Advocating for Park & Rec Safety During COVID

A Message from WRPA's Lobbyist Doug Levy

On April 23, 2020, WRPA sent out a proposal outlining a framework on how public parks and recreation service providers can serve a vital role in assisting you to safely return Washingtonians to public life. On Tuesday, May 21, 2020, the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board (RCFB) voted unanimously to support an RCO staff proposal to reduce the local match requirements during the COVID-19 period. Read more below

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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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Stay at Home Extended to May 4, 2020

The one-month Stay at Home extension to May 4th the big thing by far.  Also covered:

  • Yet to see the full weight of this – epidemiological modeling at UW predicts 1000+ deaths in our state – would be worse if didn’t do this
  • Referenced a chart showing Washington’s rate of COVID-19 cases slowing considerably COMPARED to the likes of NY, New Jersey
  • Said the epidemiologists show a rate of slowing in the 80% range – 80% fewer cases than if had not acted
  • Believes in next 4 weeks could see millions of masks being produced – couldn’t tell if that was national or WA state figure
  • Mentioned an arrangement where incarcerated inmates helping with the production of masks, gowns
  • Dr. Raquel Bono, in response to questions, noted the state is confident even with an expected surge that it will have the hospital bed and ventilator capacity it needs.  She did express a concern re ICU bed capacity

On other fronts, during Q&A the Governor made it clear he will:

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RCO Application Extention

A Message from Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO)

Dear Recreation, Conservation, and Salmon Recovery Partners:

First and foremost, we hope you and your family and friends are safe and doing well in these uncertain times.  At RCO, staff made the transition to working from home and are fully operational and ready to continue our role as an exemplary partner, helping to recover salmon and protect habitats and develop special places to play. 

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Summary of “CARES” (Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security) Act

Summary of “CARES” (Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security) Act

Learn more about the following:

  • Relief to Citizens – Direct Income Assistance Payments

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Stay at Home Order: What You Need to Know

Stay at Home Order: What You Need to Know

  • No more public gatherings – things like basketball games, gatherings on the beach, even weddings, funerals. Emphasized minimizing social and physical interactions.
  • If going outside, it should be for “essential activities” like the grocery store, doctor’s office.  Clarified that you can still do a walk, ride your bike, garden at home, etc. – things that are essential for your own health.
  • Orders all non-essential businesses to close.  Businesses that will remain open have to fulfill “essential” function that is modeled after federal guidelines. Emergency services; health care; child care; critical manufacturing; grocery stores; food and agriculture; critical local governments; courts; news media.  Even those businesses remaining open must practice and implement social distancing rules.
Learn More About Essential Businesses
  • Restaurants can still do takeout as long as practice social distancing.
  • Urges people to comply voluntarily – but also stressed will be enforceable by law.
  • This is our best tool to hit back at the coronavirus and this ensures we can hit it hard.
  • Noted current data of more than 2,000 people have contracted coronavirus and over 100 have died.
  • Indicated this brings more family hardships and economic hardships – his office is continuing to search for ways to further mitigate the economic harm.
  • Emphasized we WILL get through this – there will be weddings, factories will fire back up, people will be able to celebrate the end of this at a favorite hangout.
View the Press Conference

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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Our Local Parks Funding Options Bill - DISAPPOINTING NEWS

An Update From WRPA's Lobbyist: Doug Levy

I wish I wasn’t writing this e-mail, but I need to.  Barring some unforeseen circumstances, our WRPA priority local parks funding options bill (ES HB 2625), which was tantalizingly close to passage this Session, is not going to make it up for a Floor vote by the Friday COB deadline.  The bill is in the Rules Committee – and were it to get to the Floor, the votes are there to pass it.  But we are doubtful it will get there.

What I can tell you is that we worked very hard to get this bill out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee last Friday, and had “pulls” lined up for the Senate Rules Committee both Wednesday and today to get 2625 to the Floor Calendar.  We also had strong support from the Senate Floor Leader (Sen. Liias) who spoke to the bill in the Ways & Means Caucus – and had support in that Caucus discussion from Sens. Keiser and Conway.

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Funding Options in Parks Forum

Washington Park & Recreation Leaders Collaborate

  

In advance of the 2020 Legislative day in Olympia, WA WRPA and NW Playground hosted its first Funding Options in Parks Forum at the DoubleTree Hotel. This well- attended, half-day event included presentations with the intent on having a conversation regarding funding options for park districts, cities, and counties and sharing with one another the various types of funding each agency is currently utilizing.

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