$2,523,416 Awarded by the 2021 SEEK Program

By Jennifer Papich, 2021–2022 WRPA President

Happy Monday, everyone!

SEEK Fund LogoLast week, individual agencies that applied and were awarded SEEK (Summer Enrichment Experiences for Kids) funds through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and in coordination with the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) were notified of this most exciting opportunity.

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

WRPA’s SEEK Fund was designed to aid in funding summer outdoor programs serving school-aged youth. We focused on providing enhanced and quality outdoor opportunities for those who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and those who are under-served when it comes to quality outdoor recreational access.

In a little over two short months, I’m proud that three organizations worked diligently toward a common goal of awarding funds starting this summer. It is truly remarkable the amount of work, communication, and collaboration that took place to make this a reality.

I want to sincerely thank the following individuals for their tireless work moving this effort forward:

From Association of Washington Cities
   Candice Bock – Director of Government Relations & Jacob Ewing – Legislative and Policy Analyst.

From Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
   Jenny Plaja – Assistant Director of Government Relations

From Washington Recreation and Parks Association
   Tiffany Hanzo – Executive Director
   Doug Levy – Lobbyist
   Paul Simmons – Past President
   Dave Johnson - President-Elect
   Jennifer Wills – Vice President
   Shanyanika McElroy – King County Regional Director & EIB Co-Chair

I also want to recognize and give gratitude to the SEEK Advisory Committee (review panel) of esteemed emeritus WRPA members, who enthusiastically gave their time to evaluate and score the applicants (over the Fourth of July Holiday I might add):

Dr. Barb Brock
Al Frank
Dennis Higashiyama
Terry Higashiyama
Larry Otos

Candice Bock from AWC shared that she loves working with parks and recreation professionals because we have such positive can-do attitudes and we always figure out a way to make things happen. That is so true and speaks to who we all are, especially in the face of the past year’s challenges. I could not be more proud to work with such remarkable individuals.

From the start, WRPA, AWC, and OSPI were committed to ensuring that these funds would be geographically spread throughout the state and granted to a broad cross-section of agencies. For this first round funding cycle, I would say “mission accomplished.”

We were blown away by the response and are honored to CONGRATULATE all of you who applied for this summer and received a total of $2,523,416!

With the extremely short turnaround for application submissions during the height of summer programming, we didn’t know what to expect. We were blown away by the response and are honored to CONGRATULATE all of you who applied for this summer and received a total of $2,523,416! We look forward to hearing how these dollars positively impact youth in your community.

We also hope those of you who did not have the chance to apply for funding this summer will work on getting your submission for the 2022 SEEK Fund application window! Information on the opening of the second round of funding will come out in late Fall 2021.

The 36 Agencies Receiving Funding this Summer Through the SEEK Program

  • Aberdeen Parks and Recreation
  • Airway Heights Parks & Recreation
  • Anderson Island Park and Recreation District
  • Asotin County
  • Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation
  • Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District
  • Bellevue Parks & Community Services
  • Buckley Youth Activity Center
  • City of Burien Parks Department
  • Central Klickitat County Parks and Recreation District
  • City of Cheney Parks & Recreation Department
  • City of Colville
  • City of DuPont
  • Eastmont Metropolitan Park District
  • City of Federal Way
  • City of Issaquah Parks & Community Services
  • City of Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services
  • Longview Parks and Recreation
  • Manson Park & Recreation District
  • Metro Parks Tacoma
  • City of Moses Lake Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department
  • Olympia Parks, Arts & Registration
  • Peninsula Metropolitan Park District (PenMet Parks)
  • Point Roberts Park and Recreation District No. 1
  • City of Raymond
  • City of Renton - Recreation & Neighborhoods Division
  • City of SeaTac
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation
  • Skagit County Parks, Recreation & Fair
  • City of Bellingham's Parks and Recreation Department
  • City of Mountlake Terrace
  • Town of Steilacoom
  • Tukwila Parks & Recreation
  • City of Vancouver
  • City of Waitsburg
  • City of Yakima Parks and Recreation


Thanks again, and congratulations again, to all of you.

Jennifer PapichSincerely,

Jennifer Papich

2021–2022 WRPA President



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