Rob’s Road Notes: Winthrop, Walla Walla, and Wauconda

January 6, 2017


External Affairs Manager Rob Sendak enjoying some quality time outdoors with his family in Central Washington.

I love the state of Washington. I have lived here nine years and I seem to have found a professional role that aligns with my personal values – how lucky am I? In the last 30 days, I have been lucky enough to travel to places in our state where I never thought I’d get to. One of those places is Wauconda, where I spent a few days with family and friends in the mountains over the New Year. I was able to get my family out into the back county on snowshoes and skis. It was truly a wonderful experience and one that I won’t soon forget.

When I travel to communities educating and advocating for the WWRP in my professional life, experiences like the one I had over the New Year help inspire me to tell the story of recreation and conservation in Washington State. And more specifically, to tell the story of how and why this program is so important for future generations.

This December, I traveled to Winthrop for the Coalition, where I listened to community members talk about how their new WWRP-funded ice rink has helped create jobs, drive tourism, and kept kids active and healthy during the cold weather season. These positive influences on the community indicate to me what a successful project looks like.

In Walla Walla, I spent time with local community and opinion leaders discussing how best they can leverage WWRP funds. School districts, ports, land trusts, and nonprofit organizations can now all apply to WWRP grants, and community leaders in Walla Walla County recognize the impact that their partnerships can have on these projects.

But this is only the beginning of my work. There are communities all over Washington that can benefit from this program, and I take it on my shoulders personally to make sure that every town, city, and village I visit knows about the WWRP and the potential is has to create and protect local parks and wildlife habitat.

With the start of the New Year and the upcoming legislative session, I am more energized than ever to advocate for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. And there are many opportunities for you to do so as well: join me at Legislative Day on February 13 to make your voice heard at our state Capitol; write your elected officials; and call their offices and tell them you support $120 million for WWRP.

Thank you for supporting the Coalition and our efforts to fully fund the WWRP. I’ll see you out on the trail!