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2021 Legislative Day Recap

In Partnership with the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition: Advocating for All WA Recreation & Parks Professionals

A Message from Roxanne Miles, WRPA Legislative Committee Chair

Once again WRPA partnered with the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition to host a Great Outdoors & Parks Legislative Day on February 4, 2021.

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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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Legislative Action In Motion

Learn About How to Support Senate Bill 5006 & House Bill 1025

A Message from WRPA Lobbyist Doug Levey

Good afternoon and Happy New Year, all:

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Inslee Announces Changes to the Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery

Washington State COVID-19 Updates In the News

This week Governor Inslee announced updates to the Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery. Learn more by reviewing the highlights below and the articles from Medium.com and the Seattle Times.

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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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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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Conversations with NRPA! Register Today!

Conversations with NRPA!

A Message from Ross Hoover, ORPA

Greetings,

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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)

WRPA's Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee

Q&A with Chair Shanyanika McElroy

What is the Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee?

The WRPA Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EIB) Committee was formed to support WRPA’s capacity to uphold equity as a core value and support the work change agents throughout the professional community. It builds on the legacy of WRPA’s Cultural Competency Committee formed 20 years ago.

Why is it the time right for this committee?

It has always been the right time for this work.

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WA State Wide Survey

We Need Your Support in Collecting Data for All of Washington State!

The focus of the survey is to gather data on service demand and operational challenges, both preceding and as a result of COVID-19. Since all agencies are different, the goal is not to compare or benchmark between agencies. The intent is to see the degree of change between increasing demand and declining resources that all park and recreation agencies have experienced. Please carefully review the instructions below before you begin the survey.  

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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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New Outdoor Recreation Sector Economic Analysis and Capital Funding Requests

drawing of capital building dome over the words legislative update and the WRPA logoWRPA Writes Letter in Support of Recreation Funding; Shares Updated Economic Analysis Report

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist

At its August 12 meeting, the Recreation & Conservation Funding Board (RCFB) will be reviewing and listening to Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) staff reports, correspondence from stakeholders, and “in-person” (virtual) testimony as it decides what funding level to recommend to the Governor’s Office for the 2021-23 Capital Budget funding levels for:
  • the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP)
  • the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) account
  • the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA)

WRPA submitted a letter to the RCFB, co-signed by President Paul Simmons, Executive Director Tiffany Hanzo, and Legislative Steering Committee Chair Roxanne Miles, where we second the WWRC’s request for $140M for WWRP and ask for full funding of the YAF ($11.3M) and ALEA ($9.1M) application lists. Both WRPA President Paul Simmons and WRPA Lobbyist Doug Levy will be virtual attendees at the August 12 RCFB Board Meeting and will speak to this further.

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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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