OLYMPIA – The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board approved grants for projects in seven counties to build parks as well as to renovate firearm and archery shooting ranges, the board announced today.
On Thursday, the state funding board approved grants for 10 projects, totaling more than $761,000. Grants were awarded in the following counties.
Benton County............................. $23,986
Skagit County............................... $49,727
Eight of the 10 grants were from the Firearms and Archery Range Recreation grant program, which is paid for by a portion of concealed weapons permit fees. In order to be eligible to receive these grants, the groups must have the shooting ranges open for the public, law enforcement or hunter education and firearm safety classes for at least 8 hours month.
Two grants were from the Land and Water Conservation Fund program, which was created by the federal government to help local communities provide public outdoor recreation areas.
“Many of these grants were given to non-profit shooting organizations so that they can improve the safety of their facilities,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants. “The grants can really help these groups revamp and improve their facilities.”
The grant recipients don’t come empty handed. Grants applicants are contributing more than $809,000 in matching resources, stretching limited state dollars even further, Cottingham said.
Below is a description of the grants awarded.
Benton County $23,986
Tri-Cities Shooting Association Inc.
Developing a Hunter Education Range
The Tri-Cities Shooting Association will use this grant to develop a hunter education range and a practical field course inside the 1,100-acre Rattlesnake Mountain Shooting Facility. The ranges will be built on land owned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and leased to Benton County, which manages the shooting facility. The new facilities will enable the shooting association to offer hunter education and safety training classes. The association will contribute $32,438 in cash and donations of equipment, labor and materials. This grant is from the Firearms and Archery Recreation Range Program. (09-1204)
King County $50,000
Seattle Skeet and Trap Club
Improving Sporting Clays Course
The Seattle Skeet and Trap Club will use this grant to build a 17-station sporting clays course and provide access to the existing five-stand field. Crews will create easier access to the sporting clays course, install fences and signs, improve the road so it is accessible to wheelchairs, buy 11 trap machines and a lift and build four target shelters. The sporting clays course will be the first in Washington to be set up permanently. It will be open to the public when the club is open. Seattle Skeet and Trap Club will contribute $53,835 in cash and donations of labor and materials. This grant is from the Firearms and Archery Recreation Range Program. (09-1555)
Kitsap County $510,000
Diversifying Kiwanis Field
The Bremerton Parks & Recreation Department will use this grant to diversify the 4-acre Kiwanis Field from a park with a focus on team sports to a place for individual, active recreation. The city will develop walking trails, a meadow for informal games, a playground, and a picnic shelter to serve the community year-round. Located in a low-income, ethnically diverse neighborhood, Kiwanis Field is surrounded by chainlink fence, up to 15 feet high. The park has two levels separated by a 20-foot slope. Only the upper level, which has a soccer field, is used; the lower level contains caged tennis courts and an undersized softball field that is regularly flooded. The renovations will enable the park to serve as an open area in a neighborhood that is lacking safe, close-to-home places to play. The improvements will pay homage to the site’s historic past as the site of Bremerton’s first high school. The City will contribute $400,000 in cash, labor, a federal grant and donations of cash and labor. This grant is from the Land and Water Conservation Fund Program. (09-1351)
Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club $50,000
Providing Utilities and Restrooms
The Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club will use this grant to improve the range by adding utilities and lighting. Crews will drill a well to provide water for an accessible restroom, complete with a septic system and drain field. Crews also will install lights for the parking area and target line, and pave the access area to better connect the entrance into the range. Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club will contribute $59,000 in cash, equipment and donations of cash, equipment, labor and materials. This grant is from the Firearms and Archery Recreation Range Program. (09-1430)
Port Orchard $60,000
Connecting Blackjack Creek and Mosquito Fleet Trails
Port Orchard will use this grant to acquire rights to about 4 acres and begin developing the Blackjack Creek Wilderness Trail, which will connect the existing Kendall Street cross-connection trail to the Mosquito Fleet Trail. Crews will install a wheelchair-accessible path to viewing areas and a trail along the creek. The City will contribute $84,622 equipment, labor and donations of labor and materials. This grant is from the Land and Water Conservation Fund Program. (09-1167)
Okanogan County $42,550
North Cascades Sportsmen Club
Improving Roads so Usable Year-round
The North Cascades Sportsmen Club will use this grant to improve its roads so they are usable year-round, and to provide adequate, usable parking for all range areas. In this second of two phases of road work, crews will pave the remaining area from the already paved surfaces to the club’s front gate. The rifle range and trap and skeet range parking area will be graveled. North Cascades Sportsmen Club will contribute $51,040 in equipment, labor, materials and donations of cash, equipment, labor and materials. This grant is from the Firearms and Archery Recreation Range Program. (09-1434)
Skagit County $49,727
Silver Arrow Bowmen $49,727
Improving the Silver Arrow Bowmen Range
The Silver Arrow Bowmen will use this grant to upgrade the archery range to improve safety and durability of the meeting house. The City of Mount Vernon wants to use the west 100 feet of the range for a hiking and biking trail. To keep trail users safe, much of the trails and targets need to be moved. Crews will install a fence along the west and north portions of the range to allow for the city trail, realign range trails, repair small foot bridges, remove or rebuild targets, add backstops to many targets and build backstop fencing on portions of the flat range for safety. Warning signs will be installed along the edges of the archery range. Additionally, crews will re-roof the clubhouse, install a vault toilet, add lighting to the flat range and buy three dimensional targets. Silver Arrow Bowmen will contribute $41,943 in donations of equipment, labor and materials. This grant is from the Firearms and Archery Recreation Range Program. (09-1412)
Thurston County $61,718
Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club
Renovating the Sporting Clays Shooting Area and Restrooms
The Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club will use two grants to renovate its sporting clays course, skeet range and clubhouse restrooms. With 36 trap fields, the club has the largest trap range west of the Mississippi River and hosts the annual Washington State Championships and the Grand Pacific Trap Shooting events. Sporting clays shooting has become very popular throughout the state and the number of users each year at the club has grown. To accommodate the growth, the club will extend electrical power to the sporting clays check-in station, build a short segment of road and lay gravel on an existing road and walking path that access the course. The club also will buy new trap throwing machines, build an open shelter, install shooting station benches and gun racks, buy two portable restrooms and construct shooting stands and thrower houses. The grant also will allow the club to re-roof the skeet towers, buy or build signs, remove Scotch broom and plant trees to reduce noise and provide shade. In addition to this work, the Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club will renovate the restrooms inside the main clubhouse. Crews will tear out the old restrooms, which date back to 1971, and replace it with a new facility. The new restrooms will have toilets and counters that are accessible to people with disabilities, as well as new plumbing, mirrors, floors and sinks. Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club will contribute $63,137 in donations of cash, labor and materials. These grants are from the Firearms and Archery Recreation Range Program.
Walla Walla $23,782
Walla Walla Gun Club
Renovating the Gun Club
The Walla Walla Gun Club will use this grant to install four new trap machines with voice pulls to accommodate increased use of the range. The club has been an active recreation center for more than 117 years. This project will allow the club to upgrade its facilities to meet the demands of users locally as well as those who participate in annual shooting competitions. The Walla Walla Gun Club will contribute $23,782 from a private grant. This grant is from the Firearms and Archery Recreation Range Program. (09-1376)