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. The Big Tent engages Washington leaders to view outdoor recreation as a sector, one which has catalyzed the economy in every nook and cranny of the state while contributing to active and healthy living choices for our citizens.

#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. [ LEARN MORE ]



We Represent Outdoor Recreation

Important information on Grant program changes with the Recreation and Conservation Office
BigTent Admin
/ Categories: Legislative Updates, Press

Important information on Grant program changes with the Recreation and Conservation Office


Dear Recreation, Conservation and Salmon Recovery Partners: First and foremost, we hope you and your family and friends are safe and doing well in these uncertain times.  At RCO, staff made the transition to working from home and are fully operational and ready to continue our role as an exemplary partner, helping to recover salmon and protect habitats and develop special places to play.

Grant Project Applications: We are operating in difficult times and we realize that our potential grant applicants may need more time and understanding in completing our grant application process. I would like to take a moment to update you on how we are preparing for, and changing, our grants cycle in light of COVID-19.

Changes for Recreation and Conservation Funding Board Grants – Round One

Includes the Washington and Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP),  Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA), Boating Infrastructure Program (BIG), Youth Athletic Facilities Program (YAF), and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

  • We have extended the application deadline from May 1 to June 1.
  • In the next few weeks we will be adjusting other deadlines as well.
  • We are considering changes to the technical review process for some grant programs and categories.
  • We made the decision to conduct only Web-based project evaluations.  We will have no in-person meetings this grant cycle.  The evaluation committees will be remote as well.
  • We will work with sponsors who have previously secured a planning eligibility extension to ensure they have plenty of time to complete their planning processes.
  • We will be taking some policy change recommendations (centered around project match) to the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board on April 22 for consideration.  These potential changes are meant to assist applicants in project development and funding.

 This information will be shared by email with potential applicants in the next few days.  RCO staff are ready to assist applicants in any way we can.

Salmon Recovery Grants

For our salmon recovery grants, we have not made any changes at this time.  Applications are still due on June 29 and Lead Entity ranked lists are due on August 14th.  If changes become necessary as a result of the unfolding COVID-19 situation we will work with partners and the Salmon Recovery Funding Board to come up with workable solutions.

Active RCO Projects

RCO has nearly 1100 active projects and contracts agency wide.  Staff will be reaching out and working with sponsors of active projects.  While we must adhere to adopted policies, we will strive to be as flexible as possible in these challenging times so projects that are underway can be completed successfully.

I will strive to keep you all in the loop as we continue to work with our sponsors and applicants.  If you have questions feel free to contact me at kaleen.cottingham@rco.wa.gov or on my cell phone at (360) 280-0822.

Kaleen Cottingham
Recreation and Conservation Office

Previous Article Washington state parks and wildlife areas to close following governor’s order

Washington State's Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates

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