Group seeks state funds for park, including Bellevue's Inspiration Playground
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, a group of 280 businesses and nonprofits, has urged the Legislature to allocate $97 million for the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP) that includes money for Bellevue's Inspiration Playground at the Downtown Park. Gov. Jay Inslee on Dec. 28 announced funding for WWRP at $70 million.
WWRP is the state’s premier grant program for outdoor recreation and conservation projects. Since its creation in 1990, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program has secured over $1.1 billion in public and private support for projects in every corner of the state.
"The WWRP is a valuable tool for communities across the state that rely on the outdoors for their quality of life and economic vitality,” said Joanna Grist, executive director of the coalition. “It's absolutely imperative that legislators in both houses and from both parties work together to maximize funding to safeguard our natural heritage and the 227,000 Washington jobs that depend on outdoor recreation. There is never a more cost effective time than now to protect our outdoors.”
At $70 million, 80 projects would be funded across the state. The WWRP, funded by the capital construction budget, is separate from the operating budget, which funds things like law enforcement and teachers’ salaries.
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition led an effort supported by over 500 individuals and organizations across the state calling for $97 million. The 122 projects will not be funded at the reduced level.