[Seattle, WA] The Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP) has received $80 million with the State Legislature’s recent passage of the $4.3 billion Capital Construction Budget.
After being delayed by several months due to a stand-off over an unrelated policy issue involving rural water wells, the legislature’s funding for the WWRP will allow over 100 new high-priority land conservation and public recreation projects to move forward. The grants will assist communities in all parts of the state, by funding projects such as:
- Preserving threatened Penn Cove farmland in Island County;
- Redeveloping the Arboretum Waterfront Trail in Seattle;
- Acquiring new public access to the Spokane River and assisting the City of Edmonds with its waterfront redevelopment;
- Purchasing forestland within the City of Olympia to expand a major urban park;
- Improving floodplain protection along the Wenatchee River in Chelan County; and
- Renovating a skate park operated by the Selah Parks & Recreation Department.
“The WWRP is widely recognized as one of the best outdoor recreation and conservation programs in the nation. The Coalition is pleased that the spirit of bipartisanship eventually won out and that these 103 highly-ranked land acquisition, development, and renovation projects will finally receive their funding,” said Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition (WWRC) Board Chair Adrian Miller.
The legislature’s budget also maintains the integrity of the program by adhering to the WWRP’s fair evaluation process to ensure that projects receive funding in order of quality and importance.
The WWRP is the state’s premier outdoors grant funding program, and has funded over 1,200 projects and contributed $1.3 billion for recreation, wildlife, and working lands since 1990. The WWRP has restored 3,111 miles of stream bank, conserved 260,000 acres of wildlife habitat, and developed over 400 local parks to benefit Washington communities.
Protecting and creating access to public lands is crucial in 2018, as Washington’s population grows and development threatens key habitat and recreation areas. These public lands directly affect the health and wellness of Washington residents and wildlife, support over 227,000 jobs, and help generate $22.5 billion for the state’s economy.
The Coalition urges the legislature to robustly fund the WWRP and protect the integrity of the program in the future.
About the WWRC
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition is a nonprofit organization that leverages the voices of over 280 diverse groups working together to ensure robust public funding for Washington’s great outdoors.
About the WWRP
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is our state’s premier conservation and recreation grant program which provides matching funds to create new local and state parks, protect wildlife habitat, and preserve working lands.