The Umbrella Organization for the voice of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State.

The power of the Big Tent  lies not with any individual or with any shiny advertising or marketing campaigns, but with the combined weight of dozens of organizations and agencies who believe in the collective value of outdoor recreation.

Washington State's Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates

View the 2020 Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State for details


#RecreateResponsibly to Protect Yourself, Others, and the Outdoors

During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become even more important for many Americans. Yet these unusual circumstances mean that all of us, from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local park for the first time, could use a little guidance about how to stay safe. The Recreate Responsibly guidelines offer a starting point for getting outside to keep yourself healthy and to maintain access to our parks, trails, and beaches.




We Represent Outdoor Recreation

State Parks Budget Update
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State Parks Budget Update

2015-2017 Spending Plan Details

We’re just finishing up the final details of our spending plan for 2015-17 and want to share this information with you.
The final budget allows us to make additional investments in agency operations. We’re going to put most of our investment in front-line, park-level staff so we can improve the visitor experience through increased custodial maintenance and customer service. We’ll also make investments that address basic agency business operation needs.
We’re grateful to be able to boost our capacity by extending the hours and appointment times on many current positions and by adding staff in some areas. Division managers have started the ball rolling on these efforts. Here’s what we’re doing:  

  • Converting about 14 seasonal Park Ranger 2 positions to year round. This will be done by investing some of the new resources and by eliminating vacant positions caused by the difficulty of recruiting and filling seasonal positions.
  • Converting six project construction and maintenance positions to permanent, year round; adding a new construction and maintenance position; and extending the duration of maintenance mechanic positions to address preventative and custodial maintenance in parks.
  • Adding and/or extending of administrative support positions in the field to streamline administrative processes and improve the ability of other staff to focus more on direct customer service.
  • Adding and/or extending hours of seasonal park aide and other non-permanent positions in the field to improve park custodial maintenance and provide customer service.
  • Investing in three new positions to address tree risk, forest health and other statewide stewardship needs.
  • Committing more staff hours for capital project scoping and support of operations project planning and permitting; and hiring a new facilities manager to coordinate the assessment and overall care of park facilities.
  • Hiring an internal auditor to improve internal controls and ensure compliance requirements due to increased revenue and program changes.
  • Adding three technology staff to support agency business and improve data collection and management.
  • Investing some additional staff hours in communications and human resources to support agency business.
Because the budget passed by the Legislature is based on ambitious revenue projections and use of cash reserves, we are making many of the staffing investments in seasonal or project positions rather than in permanent staff.  This allows us to take advantage of revenues we are earning now in order to spend where it will help most now.  This strategy also protects the agency and staff in case of a revenue downturn later in the biennium.
As we work on the budget request for the 2017-19 biennium, we’ll keep our focus on moving toward a healthy and sustainable park system.  While the final budget passed by the Legislature for 2015-17 does not meet the level requested by the Commission, we are grateful that it does allow us to make these investments. It is a step in the right direction.
We appreciate all that you do.

Thank you,
Don Hoch, Director
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
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