This month, the Coalition formally announced its request that Governor Inslee and the legislature commit $97 million to our state’s premier recreation and conservation program, the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP), a nationally recognized, competitive funding process.
This year, there are about 220 proposed recreation and conservation projects seeking WWRP grants to fund parks, trails, habitat conservation, farmland preservation, water access and more in 34 of Washington’s 39 counties.
“When the Coalition was founded 25 years ago, the state was faced with rapidly disappearing habitat and access to the outdoors without any effective way to stop the losses,” said Peter Dykstra, president of the Coalition and partner at Plauché and Carr. “The WWRP has, without a doubt, given the citizen’s of Washington a fighting chance. This year’s project list proves that communities still need our help conserving their treasured places. The Coalition is requesting a WWRP funding level that will continue our legacy of protecting Washington’s great outdoors.”
To determine the request amount, the Coalition’s board of directors carefully considered economic factors like real estate prices, Washington State Department of Transportation’s construction budget, per capita spending on the outdoors and the number of WWRP requests over recent years. We learned a range of $97 – $106 million is necessary to meet the needs of all Washingtonians.
In light of a challenging budget year, the Coalition’s board felt that $97 million was a good balance of keeping up with the state’s recreation and conservation needs.
Over the next year, we’ll be hard at work to secure state funding for these projects which require appropriations from the Governor and state legislature.
Want to help secure funding for the program and many of the projects in your community? Help us by adding your name or your organization to our letter to Governor Inslee!