Catch up on the latest news and happenings around the state.



In This Issue...


Photo of the Month

A Holiday Tradition

Our Photo of the Month comes to us from the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Celebrating their 30th consecutive year of annual Zoolights in 2018, this is the longest-running holiday light display in Puget Sound and usually brings more than 100,000 visitors each year

Do you have a must-see photo? Submit your photos to [email protected]

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How Do You Recreate?

Outdoor Adventures

This month's spotlight professional (see below) shows us how much fun we can have outside. City of Tumwater's Chad Harvell and his wife Mandy recently hung out with a furry friend and went Ziplining on the Oregon Coast. 

Do you have a "how do you recreate photo"? Submit your it to [email protected].

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Chad Harvell
Recreation Coordinator City of Tumwater

Spotlight Professional: Chad Harvell
Encouraging Words for the New Year! 

Every one of us has a gift to share. For Chad, it is connecting people. Growing up in a small community he had the opportunity to explore the world around him, engage in organized sports, and find that connection with people.

Chad Harvell began his career as a park aide for the Washington State Parks system. He now works for the City of Tumwater as a recreation coordinator and he has also taken on many roles within WRPA, where he actively works to embrace a stronger and more active membership. Thank you, Chad, for supporting WRPA.

Chad's Advice to Fellow Professionals

"Be proactive! Find ways to get involved, ask questions, and do not be afraid to take chances. Taking a chance could be the opportunity you have always been waiting for
Care for people! The work you do is about serving others both internal, external, and the colleagues you meet. Building these relationships is key as you watch your journey unfold."

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Show Your Team Your Appreciation!
Submit an Award Nomination Today


Recognize your work and your team's accomplishments by submitting a project, program, or staff member for a WRPA Award? WRPA is proud to celebrate professionals, parks, and programs with our Annual Awards Program. In 2018, at the Conference awards banquet, we handed out more than 25 awards to deserving employees, citizens, government officials, and organizations. Learn more about last year's award recipients on our awards page.

There are three major categories that we recognize, Professional AwardsCitation of Merit AwardsSpotlight Awards.

Submit a Nomination Button

The nominations window will close February 8, 2019.

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Early Registration Rates Go Through February 8, 2019
Join Us to Collaborate on the Columbia | April 9–12, 2019

2019 gives us the chance to celebrate another great year for the recreation and parks industry at the Annual Conference & Tradeshow. See what we have in store for attendees with this list of event highlights.

          1. Refreshing New Perspectives – Including our New Keynote Speaker
          2. New Location: Vancouver, WA, USA – Explore this beautiful walkable city
          3. New Fitness Opportunities – morning MOSSA Group Fitness® & Group Centergy®
          4. The Most Unique Socials WRPA Has Ever Seen – prepare for some exciting events
          5. Great New Sessions & More Time to Meet Peers – We have changed up the schedule

Learn more about what is new at the conference by reading WRPA's latest blog post titled, "5 Reasons to Attend the 2019 Conference & Tradeshow," and be sure you register soon. Early Bird rates end on February 8, 2019.

Remember you can register now and pay later with the form's "invoice me" option.

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Washington Maintenance Conference & Rodeo
January 30–31, 2019 | Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center

Join Kitsap County for the Washington Maintenance Conference and Rodeo. Each day will consist of three training sessions in the morning—your choice from four offerings.

Registration Rates:

  • $75 for individuals
  • $200 for a team of four

There will be a variety of topics covered, including, turf management, pruning and trimming, irrigation, extending synthetic turf life, principles of concrete work, and creating an annual maintenance plan.

Lunch will be provided along with sponsor exhibits. The afternoon will consist of a fun competitive rodeo, testing skills such as backing a truck and trailer, nailing, plant identification, mower obstacle course, backpack blower obstacle course.

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WRPA Legislative Priorities & 2019 Legislative Day
February 7, 2019 | 7:00 AM–5:00 PM | Woman's Club of Olympia

Support local trails, parks, forests, and farms by attending Legislative Day 2019!

Your voice goes a long way with our elected officials. Tell them how much these lands matter to you, and why they should support Washington's number one outdoor recreation and conservation program, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP). 

WRPA has been hard at work compiling our legislative priorities for 2019. Read the full list of legislative priorities and remember to join us for Legislative Day!

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No Child Left Inside Grant Program
Learn more about how your community can benefit.

Washington State Parks and the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) are excited to announce that the No Child Left Inside Grant Program (NCLI) officially opened for new applications on January 2, 2019.

The Washington State Legislature created the No Child Left Inside program to provide underserved youth with quality opportunities to experience the outdoors. Grant funds are available for outdoor environmental, ecological, agricultural, or other natural resource-based education and recreation programs serving youth.

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Registration Is Open for WRPA's Spring CPSI Course & Exam
May 8–10, 2019 | Auburn Community & Events Center

The Certified Playground Safety Inspector course is the most comprehensive, nationally recognized training program for playground safety and risk management.

Course & Test: $585 Member | $649 Non-members
Course Only:    $479 Member | $519 Non-members
Test Only:         $199 Member | $249 Non-Members

Taking the course teaches you about playground design and installation, running playground audits and inspections, understanding playground maintenance, risk management, documentation, and reporting.

Adding this certification to your resume can boost your career and help keep the kids in your community safe. Register today!

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WRPA Has Updated Our Membership Structure
Membership Is Now Easier Than Ever

WRPA has implemented changes to our membership structure. We are proud to say that these new options will provide even more recreation and park professionals with access to WRPA's education, networking, and training opportunities.

  • We have combined the Gold and Platinum Agency Memberships. This new Agency Membership structure has eight membership levels and is still based on operating budget.
  • We have made adjustments to our individual Professional Memberships. There are now three levels for professional memberships, including two salary-based levels and an emerging professional membership for students and new WRPA members.

If you have questions, we encourage you to review our FAQ page that addresses the transition. Further questions can be directed to board member, Kevin Witte at [email protected]. 

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NRPA Highlight: Challenge Yourself This Year!
Become a Certified Professional


Have you ever thought about becoming a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP), Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI), Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE), Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO), or having your department go through the Agency Accreditation process? Challenge yourself, your peers, and your agency into becoming the best that it can be this year!

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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


See what new opportunities await you in the field of recreation and parks by checking out WRPA's Job Board!

Visit the WRPA Job Board Today!

 WRPA Event Calendar
 Date:  Event:  Location:
January 30
WA Maintainance Conference & Rodeo Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center Pavilion
January 30 Athletic Fitness Network Meeting Tukwila Community Center
February 7 WRPA/WWRC Legislative Day Woman's Club of Olympia
 April 9–12
WRPA Conference & Tradeshow Vancouver, WA
May 8–10
Certified Playground Safety Inspector Course Auburn Community & Events Center

WRPA Volunteer Opportunities


Thank You, 2019 Sponsors!

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 more about opportunities that have recently become available!

Volunteers are needed for the:

Join a WRPA Network Circle

  • Administrative
  • Aquatics
  • Athletics
  • Climate Change
  • Park Resources
  • Park Rangers
  • Facilities/Rentals/Marketing
  • Programmers
  • EMS
  • Student Connection Committee

Learn More




Washington Recreation and Park Association 

[email protected]  |  Tel: (206) 361-8869  |


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