State Parks Commission meeting March 31

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will have its regular meeting next week in Tumwater.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, March 31, at the Labor and Industries Auditorium, 7273 Linderson Way S., Tumwater.

Time for public comment is provided at all regular meetings. The Commission meets seven times a year at various locations around the state. A full agenda item, including information about public comment is available at http://parks.state.wa.us/154/Commission-Meetings-Agendas.

The Commission will consider adoption of a policy that allows limited commercial advertising in state parks. In-park advertising is the second phase of a strategic initiative to help generate financial support of the park system, while protecting the character and beauty of the park setting. The first phase provides commercial advertising opportunities on the agency web site http://parks.state.wa.us/.  Advertising on the agency web site began in 2015.

The agency gathered public comment and elicited Commission feedback to help guide development of the policy under consideration. Local businesses and organizations already provide information at state parks, and the new policy is intended to ensure consistency throughout the system. The Commission earlier expressed interest in knowing what advertising would look like in parks.

The policy under consideration does not provide a “one-size-fits-all” approach for in-park advertising but outlines examples, including local business directories in booklets provided to guests at contact and welcome stations; professionally produced advertising posters on information kiosks and bulletin boards;  brochure or rack card advertising displays; and local business directory binders in roofed accommodations such as cabins, yurts and vacation houses. The focus is to provide visitors with helpful information about local services available during their visit and to support tourism in areas around parks.

State law allowing advertising requires that any placement of advertising in state parks may occur only following consultation with the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. State Parks staff will work with DAHP to avoid any negative impacts on historical and cultural resources. The policy also states that State Parks will aim to limit advertising for food and drink products to those that are consistent with healthy nutrition guidelines developed by the Washington State Department of Health.

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