The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) announced the award of more than $4.7 million in grants to help communities plan for outdoor recreation facilities.
The grants were awarded to organizations in 19 counties and ranged from $12,927 to $250,000.
“These grants support community efforts to invest in recreation by helping them take the first step and begin planning,” said Megan Duffy, RCO director. “We know that spending time outside provides so many benefits, such as improved health, less stress and better social skills. We think that everyone should be able to spend time in a park or on a trail and get those benefits. These grants will assist communities in getting started to provide those valuable outdoor amenities.”
Many of the grants will help smaller communities write parks and recreation plans, which then can be used to apply for construction grants, and some will help larger communities plan specific projects in areas that lack public parks.
Locally, the City of Elma was awarded $70,000 to hire a consultant to develop a long-range, comprehensive plan for parks, recreation facilities, and other open spaces. In addition, the City will hire a civil engineer and landscape architect to plan for a public pickleball/basketball court at the Summit Pacific Medical Center.
Projects were funded in the counties below:
|Adams County||$195,000||Klickitat County||$85,000|
|Benton County||$162,708||Lincoln County||$98,500|
|Chelan County||$292,007||Multiple Counties||$60,000|
|Cowlitz County||$250,000||Okanogan County||$250,000|
|Douglas County||$165,460||Pierce County||$213,000|
|Grant County||$102,577||Skamania County||$100,000|
|Grays Harbor County||$70,000||Thurston County||$188,480|
|Jefferson County||$60,700||Whatcom County||$103,450|
|King County||$2,062,969||Whitman County||$122,500|
|Kittitas County||$88,150||Yakima County||$109,700|
The Legislature first funded the Planning for Recreation Access grant program in 2021 as a way to fund planning projects in communities that lack adequate access to outdoor recreation opportunities. The first round of grants were announced in February and the second round was funded by the Legislature in its session that ended in April.