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Keeping Youth Safe Playing the Sports They Love – BIAWA’s Connection to Parks & Recreation

Guest Post by the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington

By Suzette Hart, Marketing & Development Director, Brain Injury Alliance of Washington

Youth sports create a direct connection between the parks and recreation field and the work of the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington (BIAWA). WRPA members organize and administer sports leagues and/or coordinate with sports leagues that use public facilities. BIAWA fully embraces the importance of play, participation, and engagement in sports. That said, BIAWA also recognizes the possibility that injuries can and do occur during play.

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TREAD | Trails for All

TREAD

About T.R.E.A.D

Most of us love our Region’s outstanding systems. These trails provide exercise, escape, and enjoyment. We understand that it’s vital to take care of the system that has quickly become one of the most recognized assets of our community. And visitors are discovering and enjoying our trails, too.

TREAD is leading a project called TREAD Map. This comprehensive trail mapping app allows locals and visitors to plan the next outing, share experiences and conditions out on the trails or water, create connections with other trail enthusiasts and provide all the various land managers with a portal to create two-way communication with user groups and individuals.

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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: 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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Congrats Parks & Recreation Professionals

You Have Helped Make this Year So Much Better

WRPA is so proud of the hard work you and your team have put in this year. We know that 2020 has given us many challenges to overcome, but we wanted to take a moment to congratulate and thank all of the parks and recreation professionals out there who have worked so hard. Just look at all the ways you have made this year better. Check out some of the big wins we have recognized this year, and share your own big wins in comments on the blog and on social media (be sure to tag WRPA)!

Also, be sure to catch up on the latest blog posts and the success stories that are being submitted by WRPA members. 

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WRPA 2021 Conference: We Need Your Opinion!

WRPA 2021 Conference

In-Person or Virtual

As we all continue to navigate the unknown and start planning for 2021, WRPA wants to make sure our members and Recreation & Parks professionals have a voice. You may have already taken our questionnaire back in September but most of our results stated they would know more in November/December 2020. The WRPA 2021 Annual Conference & Tradeshow is still currently set to take place April 28 - 30, 2021 in Spokane, WA. 

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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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WWRC - Celebration of Community & Conservation

Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition’s (WWRC) Celebration of Community & Conservation

The celebration kicks off in TWO WEEKS. We are excited to celebrate with WRPA members again this year.   

As with all events and activities happening in 2020, WWRC is doing a few things differently this year.   In the past we have held an annual breakfast fundraising event which featured amazing speakers, inspiring award winners and statewide trail updates.   WRPA has always had a big presence at this event so we will want to get the word out so WRPA members can still participate in whatever way works best.   This year, from Monday, Sept 21 – Saturday, Sept 26, WRPA members can check the WWRC website here to watch daily videos and meet some amazing individuals dedicated to preserving Washington’s open space areas.    Also, instead of breakfast – a live interactive “happy hour” will be held - and you know that WRPA members love a happy hour!   The Virtual Happy Hour will be held Wednesday, September 23, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.  Online via Zoom (register in advance to receive access link)

A Message from NCSI: WRPA Affinity Partner

Returning Safely to Play

A Message from NCSI

As a valued NCSI Affinity Partner, we would like to share some new resources we’ve put together for you and your Washington Recreation and Park Association members. We know how important the programs that you run through WRPA are to the families across Washington. 


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Letter From the WRPA President: Responding to the Current Social Injustices

All Black Lives Matter

A Message from Paul Simmons, WRPA President

Dear WRPA Members and Supporters, 

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#RecreateResponsibly

Share on Your Social Media How to #RecreateResponsibly 

A Message from Mountain to Sound Greenway

During this public health crisis, spending time outdoors has become a lifeline for many Americans. Yet these unusual circumstances mean that all of us, from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local park for the first time, could use a little guidance. We hope you’ll join us in sharing the #RecreateResponsibly toolkit (English and Spanish) and message with your own audience.

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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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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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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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Legislate Day Recap

  

On a wet day in early February, 130 advocates descended on Olympia to speak up for our outdoors. Folks from Manson near Lake Chelan to Longview on the Columbia River committed their time and energy to tell lawmakers why the outdoors matters. Their voices made an impact with legislators, and we’re so thankful for the support of so many passionate outdoor advocates from across the state.

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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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