Coalition Board Member Marc Berejka, REI with Gov. Inslee at the signing
We were excited to gather at Tolmie State Park with business
and political leaders and outdoor recreation advocates – including Coalition
members – from across our state on May 13 to celebrate Governor Jay Inslee’s signing
of No Child Left Inside.
No Child Left Inside was co-sponsored by Senators Kevin Ranker
(D-Orcas Island) and Linda Evans Parlette (R-Wenatchee), embodying the strong
bipartisan support behind outdoor recreation in our state.
One part of No Child Left Inside
revitalizes a grant program for outdoor education for kids. Spending time in
the outdoors provides hands-on science education, boosts kids’ test scores,
contributes to a healthy lifestyle, and inspires a lifelong appreciation for
our great outdoors.
The Coalition worked to pass the second part of the bill,
which creates Washington’s first outdoor recreation policy advisor position.
Working out of the Governor’s office, this advisor will work to promote, boost
participation in, and increase opportunities for outdoor recreation. The
adviser will also elevate the profile of critical issues connected to
protecting and securing lands necessary for outdoor recreation, including
supporting the agencies that make it possible.
This is a significant step forward in our state, and signals
a strong recognition of what you all have been working to underscore all these
years – that outdoor recreation is an important part of our local economy and
way of life. Outdoor recreation is coming into its own as a cornerstone of our
state, just like education, health care, and other major areas of policy focus.
We envision a state where every citizen has access to the
great outdoors, where we are deeply invested in a healthy, sustainable outdoors
economy, and where we protect our natural treasures for future generations to
enjoy. Thank you for helping Washington lead the way and be a model for the
nation of what responsible investment in our great outdoors and a flourishing
recreation economy can look like.
Photo: Jay Inslee via Flickr