A Welcome Message from the President

WRPA Members,

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season!  On behalf of the WRPA Board and membership I wanted to take this opportunity to extend a big thank you to the team of Arvilla Ohlde, Larry Otos, Pete Mayer, Brittany Jarnot and Doug Levy for all their hard work representing the needs of our membership in the review of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. Countless hours were spent gathering input from WRPA members from all across Washington, in discussions with Recreation and Conservation Office staff and recreation stakeholders, and advocating for our needs.   As an Association we are extremely lucky to have such outstanding professionals working on our behalf.  Thank you!

In other news we are excited about the planning efforts taking place for the 2016 Annual Conference in Everett.  The Conference Committee has been hard at work assembling a first rate conference. Hope to see all of you there! 

Respectfully Yours,

Brad Case, WRPA Board President



Are You Looking for a New Year's Resolution?
Then Try One of These Resolutions for Your Professional Career:



Resolution 1) Become a Park and Recreation Advocate!

The 2016 Parks and Great Outdoors Day is here! 

Join us today in Olympia! As a joint legislative day for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition (WWRC) and the Washington Recreation and Park Association, this event represents integral, key parks and outdoor recreation priorities.

2016 Parks and Great Outdoors Day will include morning training on how to talk with legislators, meetings with elected officials, and an evening reception at the Governor's Mansion.

This year is an exciting time for our outdoors! We are looking forward to advocating for improvements to our state's premier outdoors fund, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), so that we can continue to protect the parks and outdoor spaces which support a world-class quality of life in our state. Your legislators need to hear from you about why this program needs to remain strong, and why our outdoors matter.

To learn more about important parks and outdoor recreation priorities, visit our Advocacy Page.


Resolution 2) Volunteer More! 

The Washington Recreation and Park Association Nominating and Election Task Force is putting out a call for nominations for the 2016 WRPA Board of Directors.  The following three Board positions are up for election. 

  • Office of Vice President
  • Region 1: King County Regional Director
  • Region 2: Northwest Regional Director

These positions are three-year terms. The Vice President position moves into President Elect, then President for a total of three years. After confirmation by the Board, a slate of candidates will be voted on by the WRPA membership in March 2016.

Review the WRPA Bylaws to read the description for each position. Consider nominating a peer or submit yourself!  The deadline to complete the nomination form is January 29.

Should you have any questions regarding the nomination or election process, please feel free to contact Cheryl Fraser, City of Seattle or Brad Case, City of Ellensburg.


Resolution 3) Grow Professionally.  

Need help deciding whether or not to attend the 2016 WRPA Annual Conference & Trade Show?  Let us help you! 

Get your 2016 Preliminary Conference Program now!

The Program provides a wealth of information for staff and employers, with educational sessions, information and more.

Find well-matched sessions for you and your staff! Learn about our exciting pre-conference activities and social, and plan for an uplifting, exciting experience at the 2016 WRPA Annual Conference & Trade Show. May 4 - 5 at Xfinity Arena.

Register Now!


Resolution 4) Find a Mentor or Become a Mentor.

The WRPA Student Connections Committee (SCC) has selected three students to serve on the SCC as liaisons to their universities. These students will help the SCC plan activities for students as well as forward information about SCC activities to their peers. The SCC is excited to have these students on board: 

Washington State University: Sophomore Emily Vernik, from Poulsbo, Washington, played soccer and golf growing up and enjoys hiking. Emily's favorite Parks and Recreation memory is coaching K-1 youth soccer this past fall and plans on coaching again this spring. Emily loves the outdoors and physical activity, of which Parks and Recreation amply provides.

Central Washington University: Senior Corrine Pruett, from Vashon Island, grew up participating and volunteering in local youth sports programs. In high school her involvement with youth baseball and softball came full circle when she became a volunteer coach of a t-ball team. Corrine enjoys traveling, has taught English, and has designed/built sustainable infrastructures in Africa and Nicaragua.

Eastern Washington University: Junior Hannah Craig, from Wenatchee, Washington, earned her Associates in Arts and Sciences at Wenatchee Valley College. She enjoys skiing, hiking, river rafting, and rock climbing, and her interest in Parks and Recreation grew from her love of being involved with the community and outdoors.


For more information on the SCC, please contact Kevin Witte.


Resolution 5) Be Active Daily.

See our Members on the Move for inspiration! 

Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Retires: The City of Burien thanks, Director Michael Lafreniere for his service over the past decade. He leaves a wide-ranging legacy of growth, including the Seahurst Restoration Project, numerous park, and playground upgrades, repurposing the former Burien library as a new home for the Burien Community Center, expanded event participation and increased program revenue. He also substantially increased his department's community outreach through social media and innovations such as the BurienParks.net mobile app, the state's first for a municipal parks and recreation agency. "I am very pleased with what has been and is being accomplished every day by the Parks Department and its staff of incredibly talented professionals," Lafreniere said. "I will miss working with these folks a great deal."

New Recreation Manager, City of Longview: Natalie Richie is a returning employee to Longview Recreation.  She was with the department from 2006 until 2012 as a Recreation Coordinator in which she was responsible for youth programs, out of school, family programs, and special events. Natalie left Longview Recreation in 2012 to join Lower Columbia College as their Manager of Instructional Operations where she gained additional experience and skills that prepared her for this degree in Organizational Leadership from Warner Pacific. She is a mom of two lively little girls and has been married to her best friend for 10 years. Natalie's recreational pursuits include: hiking, camping, exploring, CrossFit, road trips, anything competitive, volleyball, music, and our department's monthly recess hours!

City of Longview Promotes Director: The City of Longview promoted Jennifer Wills from Interim Director/Recreation Manager to Director of Parks and Recreation. Jennifer has been with the department since 2007 serving in multiple capacities. She stands behind her motto to work hard, play harder, make a difference, repeat.

Members on the Move Spotlight: 

Carrie Hoiness: is the Recreation Coordinator for the Ephrata Parks and Recreation Department. She has been with the City of Ephrata for three years and oversees more than 12,000 hours of recreation programming each year including a seasonal aquatic center. She started her career in parks and recreation working for Cheney Parks and Recreation before transferring to Ephrata Parks and Recreation. Carrie primarily worked to produce before school, after school and day camp programs before adding aquatics to her resume.

Carrie is a native of Moses Lake, Washington. She grew up in an entrepreneurial family where she developed her love for service and recreation. She graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2012 and recently married her college sweetheart. She enjoys traveling, visiting with family and friends and trying new restaurants.

Carrie is the new Electronic News Chair for WRPA, and will be working with other WRPA professionals and organizations to gather content for your viewing!


WRPA Needs You to Select Your Network!

Why select a network? By selecting one or more of the options listed below, you will ensure that pertinent information and trainings that apply to your job and your interests will be sent to you. So help us help you by logging in to your WRPA member profile, and selecting a network today!

Select 1 or more networks based on your job responsibilities:

  • Administrative
  • Aquatics
  • Athletics
  • Board & Commissions
  • Commercial
  • Facility
  • Park Resources
  • Programming
  • Technology

We're here to help!  Please contact the WRPA Office with any questions you may have about logging in to your profile or choosing a network.


In the News:


We Want Your News!

Do you have news to share with your WRPA colleagues? Send any updates, photos, happenings and socials to WRPA, so that we can feature your article in the next WRPAToday e-newsletter!

Send us your news now!


Recent Job Postings

  • Groundsperson, City of Kirkland
  • Aquatics Program, City of Kirkland
  • Rec Leader I - Day Camp Leaders, City of Maple Valley
  • Rec Leader II - Senior Day Camp Leader, City of Maple Valley
  • Rec Leader III - Day Camp Manager, City of Maple Valley
  • Rec Leader I - Recreation Attendants, City of Maple Valley
  • Rec Leader I - Lifeguards, City of Maple Valley

Visit the WRPA Career Center

Calendar of Events
Date: Event:
 January 28, 2016 WRPA Legislative Day  Olympia 
 March 29 - 31, 2016 March CPSI  STAR Center
 May 4 - 5, 2016 Annual Conference  Everett Xfinity Convention  Center
  WRPA Volunteer Opportunities
  Thank You Sponsors!  

Why We Need You!

WRPA is membership-driven. We achieve only what we ourselves commit to doing. By sharing your energy and expertise you will make WRPA an even more effective professional resource.

In fact, without you, we would not be able to offer any programs! Consider volunteering and helping our organization grow. Learn about opportunities that have recently become available!




Washington Recreation and Park Association
[email protected] | 206-361-8869 | www.wrpatoday.org