“In these tough economic times, these grants do triple duty. They allow cash-strapped communities to get projects completed, they help put people to work and they create parks and outdoor places that families on tighter budgets generally can enjoy for free,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants. “These grants help make our communities great places to live, work and play.”
The Recreation and Conservation Office administers 13 grant programs for activities such as building parks and trails, protecting wildlife habitat, conserving working farms and recovering salmon from near extinction. Since 1964, the office has granted nearly $1.5 billion for more than 6,600 projects across the state.
This year, the office is offering grants in the following categories:
Boating – Funding to develop and renovate boating facilities or provide boater education programs aimed at larger, motor boats (26 feet and longer).
Parks – Funding to acquire land and develop parks, ball fields, sports courts, outdoor swimming pools and waterfront access areas for the public.
Trails – Funding to maintain and develop trails.
Farmland Preservation – Funding to preserve valuable farmland.
Wildlife Habitat Conservation – Funding to conserve significant natural areas or habitat for plants, animals and other wildlife. This includes grants to protect areas along streams and waterways.
For more information, visit grants available this year on the RCO Web site. Grant applications will be accepted March 1 through May 3, 2010.
“These grants come from a variety of sources – the federal government, state funding and user fees,” Cottingham said. “Competition for these grants is always high. The grant proposals are scored by citizen experts using criteria established by the funding boards. That helps ensure the state is only funding the best of the best projects.”
The Recreation and Conservation Office will hold workshops for those interested in applying for grants at the locations below. At the workshops, staff will explain what grants are being offered and how to quality for them, and describe the application process. Register for a workshop.
|February 23||February 26|
|9 a.m.-3 p.m.||9 a.m.-3 p.m.|
|Big Bend Community
|La Quinta Inn|
Volunteers Needed to Evaluate Grant Proposals
The Recreation and Conservation Office also is looking for volunteers to review and evaluate grant applications for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. Volunteers are needed with the following expertise:
- Local government representatives (cities, counties, park or port districts, Native American tribes) with expertise in outdoor recreation.
- State government representatives (Department of Natural Resources, State Parks and Recreation Commission, Department of Fish and Wildlife) with expertise in outdoor recreation or habitat conservation.
- Citizens with knowledge of general recreation issues or experience in recreation and trail groups; conservation clubs; federal agencies; or recreational bicycle, equestrian, pedestrian trail or recreational water trail groups.
- Citizens with knowledge of biology, botany, ecology, fish and wildlife management, geology, natural resource management, watershed management and planning, or zoology, or experience in academia, acquisitions, agriculture, engineering, forestry, geomorphology, hydrology, lakes management, land use management, urban planning, or management of marine, freshwater, wetland, stream or river systems.