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Welcome to your WRPA Weekly!
Welcome to the 2nd edition of the WRPA Weekly! Keep sending your feedback on content preferences to our Public Relations Chair, Casey Stanley.
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WRPA Strategic Plan Update
"As a professional working in a small agency I rely heavily on the services and resources provided by the WRPA. While the changes being proposed seem a bit overwhelming, I believe the long term benefits to our association will be well worth it. It has been very exciting and refreshing to see so much support from the members on the proposed changes, it reaffirms the fact that we work in a profession that welcomes and embraces change."
Brad Case, Vice President, WRPA, Parks & Recreation Director, City of Ellensburg.
View more endorsements
As part of the ongoing strategic planning process, the board approved the revised bylaws at the June 14 board meeting. Members will be asked to ratify the new bylaws by vote at the end of August. Visit the WRPA strategic plan web page for updated maps, charts, bylaws and more. Please contact Jessi Bon, WRPA President, with your questions.
Health Care Law Delay: What does it mean for Parks and Recreation?
The Obama Administration announced on July 2 that it will delay the deadline by which employers must provide insurance to full-time employees and dependents from January 2014 to 2015. These regulations have been a concern for park and recreation professionals who employ seasonal employees as they feared they would be required to offer them health insurance. Regulations released late last year, however, allow employers to create a defined measurement period spanning three to 12 months to determine full-time status.
Marijuana and parks
Washington State Liquor Control Board
The Liquor Control Board has issued draft rules to implement the voter-approved Initiative 502 regarding medical marijuana use. Included in the rules are a series of definitions, as well as guidance on ensuring that any marijuana retail or processing outlet is at least 1,000 feet from areas utilized by children and vulnerable adults — as called for in I-502. Within the Draft Rule, there is a definition of "Public park" that includes city- and county-owned and managed facilities, but not those of Metropolitan Park Districts operating under RCW 35.61 or Parks Districts operating under RCW 36.69. We thank the Association of Washington Cities for alerting us to this omission. We believe the definition will be adjusted as part of a technical fix to the rules. Written comments deadline is July 31. Public hearings on the draft rule-making are scheduled for Aug. 6-8. Visit the Liquor Control Board website and click on "502 Implementation" for draft rules, FAQs, the top 10 adjustments made by the LCB, and a schedule of the public hearings.
Please send comments or concerns to WRPA lobbyist, Doug Levy.
Cities and counties awarded nearly $24 million in state grants
Cities, counties, and park districts came out big winners in a recent state grant competition, winning 65 grants totaling nearly $24 million. The grants were awarded by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office for a range of outdoor activities, including improving firearm and archery ranges, conserving farmland, and building boat launches, parks, and trails. RCO is one of the largest state funding sources for local governments' outdoor recreational facilities. See descriptions of the grants awarded in your county.
Cultural Competency Skill Building
Sept. 30, Bellevue: Increase your ability to effectively engage diverse communities. This interactive training provides a foundation for building individual and organizational cultural competence skills. Participate in exercises that help us get beyond cultural festivals and PC language to transforming our organizations to genuinely serve all members of our community. Walk away with resources and tools that can be used immediately. Deadline to register is Aug. 30.
Have you heard that CLASS may be 'going away' in a few years?
Whether or not you have heard that concern, please consider joining CLASS/Active Net at one of two information sessions (July 24 in Everett and July 25 in Tacoma) to discuss their software platforms, see a demo, clarify information and respond to questions that will help municipalities understand their future plans. Registration is required due to limited space.
Grants cover new West Richland river park, Clover Island restrooms
Newly awarded state grants could help develop a park in West Richland near the Yakima River, improve the Crow Butte Park marina on the Columbia River and add restrooms at the Clover Island dock in Kennewick. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board has awarded $86 million in state and federal grants, including $2.4 million for projects in Benton County.
City, state ask for Lake Sammamish State Park concept proposals
The Issaquah Press
As the recently passed state budget included funding for Lake Sammamish State Park improvements, Issaquah and Washington State Parks made a request for concept proposals on July 11. Specifically, the region seeks to explore opportunities to improve community exposure to the park, seek uses that would create more activity and use within the park, and seek revenue-generating activities.
Find the official request for concept proposals here.
Bellevue closes beaches to fight invasive species
The city of Bellevue closed two public beaches to swimming as it sprayed herbicide into Lake Washington's Meydenbauer Bay. Bellevue is fighting an invasive weed known as Eurasian watermilfoil. The Eurasian plant was first spotted in Lake Washington in the 1970s, and Bellevue has been fighting it for years. "You can pretty much find it just about everywhere in the lake," said Rick Bailey of the Bellevue parks department. "If it's left uncontrolled, it can actually, depending on the size of the lake, it can take over an entire lake within two years."
Forest Service plans controlled burns near Naches
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest fire specialists plan to begin controlled burns in a 6,800-acre Naches Ranger District project area. Initially, they plan to ignite 50-100 acres around an under burn unit within the Rattlesnake Creek drainage, located southwest of the Nile. Members of the public recreating on the national forest might see smoke from the controlled burns. Residents in nearby communities, such as Nile, Cliffdell and Naches might also see smoke.
Exploding targets banned on public lands
The Spokesman-Review via Billings Gazette
Careless shooters blamed for starting wildfires have prompted federal land managers and most state agencies to restrict or ban the use of exploding targets on public lands in Idaho, Washington and Oregon. "Exploding targets are a documented cause of wildfires, and have been associated with at least five wildfires on National Forest System lands since 2012, resulting in more than 15,600 acres burned and approximately $30 million in suppression costs," said Sarah Levy, Forest Service spokeswoman for the Pacific Northwest Region in Portland.
Continuing education is a primary service of WRPA in effort to keep our members informed about best practices, emerging trends and develop core competencies related to parks and recreation management and service delivery.
- Sept. 30 - Cultural Competency Skill Builder, Bellevue
- Oct. 21 - Aquatic Section Retreat, Grand Mound
- Oct. 23 - WRPA Park & Recreation Business Institute, Tukwila
- Oct. 24 - Software Symposium, Bellevue
- Nov. 13 - Certified Playground Safety Inspector, Bellevue
- Jan. 14 - Risk Management School, Bellevue
- April 8 - WASLA and WRPA Joint Conference & Trade Show, Seattle
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