Governor Proclaims February 26 to March 3 Invasive Species Awareness Week

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee, in partnership with the Washington Invasive Species Council, has proclaimed February 26 through March 3 as Washington Invasive Species Awareness Week in solidarity with National Invasive Species Awareness Week. “Invasive species and noxious weeds are already a big problem in Washington and species that have yet to reach our state could pose […]

February 6, 2024
State to Accept Grant Applications for Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Projects

Free Webinars Feb. 14 OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) will begin accepting applications in mid-February for grants to build parks, trails, ball fields and boat moorage as well as to conserve wildlife habitat and working farms and forests. These grants are the largest source of state funding for many of Washington’s outdoor […]

January 31, 2024
State Alters Scoring to Make Competitive Recreation Grants More Accessible to All Communities

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board has changed the way it evaluates grant proposals with the goal of improving opportunities for outdoor recreation in communities with fewer parks and less open space. The board, which is the largest state funder of outdoor recreation facilities, changed the way it looks at need, scope, design […]

January 17, 2024
Governor Appoints Two Lifelong Outdoor Enthusiasts to State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Seattle resident Michael Shiosaki as chair and Leavenworth resident Robert “Bob” Bugert to a seat on the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. The board awards about $200 million in grants every other year to tribes, nonprofits and government agencies to create parks, trails and other outdoor recreation opportunities. […]

January 16, 2024
State Accepting Grant Applications for Outdoor Athletic Facilities in Underserved Communities

Free Webinar Jan. 17 OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) will begin accepting applications next week for grants to build or improve outdoor athletic facilities, with a focus on communities that lack recreational opportunities or funding. “Spending time outside provides so many benefits,” said Megan Duffy, RCO’s director. “People who spend time outside […]

January 10, 2024
State Awards Grants for Backlogged Park Projects

OLYMPIA–Parks in 25 counties will get much-needed repairs–picnic shelters reroofed, tennis courts restriped, pools relined and lawn mowers replaced–thanks to one-time funding for backlogged parks maintenance projects and needed equipment. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) today announced the award of $4.7 million for 53 projects through its Local Parks Maintenance grant program. […]

November 27, 2023
Students Invited to Enter Invasive Species Art Contest

SPOKANE–The Washington Invasive Species Council (WISC) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) invite school-age students to participate in an art contest to help spread the word about not spreading invasive species. Invasive species are plants, animals, and other organisms that don’t naturally live in Washington and, when brought here, can cause economic […]

November 15, 2023
Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program Accepting Project Proposals to Restore and Protect Puget Sound Shorelines, Estuaries

Interested applicants invited to Nov. 28 webinar   OLYMPIA – The Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP) now is accepting proposals for small grant projects that advance Puget Sound shoreline restoration and protection.  The solicitation is the first in a series of ESRP grant opportunities this fall and winter, representing an anticipated $25 million investment […]

November 6, 2023
State Awards Grants for Outdoor Education

OLYMPIA–Today, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced the award of $3.7 million in grants to provide thousands of Washington’s students with outdoor learning experiences. The Outdoor Learning Grants program was created by the Legislature in 2022 to develop and support outdoor educational experiences for […]

October 24, 2023
Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board Accepting Grant Proposals to Remove Barriers to Migrating Fish

OLYMPIA – Starting Oct. 2, the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board will accept proposals for projects to remove barriers that prevent salmon and steelhead from swimming upstream. The board will host an online workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 5, to provide an overview of the grant program and review the application process. Interested parties […]

September 21, 2023
State Invests More than $81 Million in Salmon Recovery

OLYMPIA–Barriers will be removed for migrating salmon, trees will be planted to shade rivers and stream habitat will be improved thanks to a new round of salmon recovery grants announced today. The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership announced the award of 150 grants in 29 counties, culminating in a […]

September 18, 2023
Grant Evaluators Needed to Prioritize Investments in Washington’s Outdoors

OLYMPIA– The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is looking for people to help decide where millions of dollars should be invested in Washington’s parks, trails and other outdoor recreation amenities. RCO is recruiting nearly 50 volunteers to fill positions on 19 advisory committees that evaluate grant applications and score proposals for parks, trails, […]

September 12, 2023
Public Comment Sought on Criteria for Outdoor Grants

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is asking for public comments on proposed changes to the way grant applications for parks, trails and other outdoor spaces are evaluated. The changes would affect grants in the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Youth Athletic Facilities and the state’s largest grant program for […]

August 23, 2023
Comments Needed on New Grant Program for Youth Outdoor Athletic Facilities

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is looking for comments on a new program that will provide grants to increase youth access to community athletic facilities. The new Community Outdoor Athletic Facilities program will provide grants to buy land and develop or renovate youth outdoor athletic facilities in communities that lack recreational opportunities and […]

August 14, 2023
State Accepting Applications for Park Maintenance Grants

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office will begin accepting applications Aug. 15 for a new grant program to help maintain local parks. The Local Parks Maintenance grant program provides funding to address maintenance backlogs in local parks. These grants may be used for a variety of costs such as labor, materials, and equipment. Informational […]

July 24, 2023
No Child Left Inside Demand and Funding Grows, $6.7 Million Awarded to Projects

Grants awarded to 92 programs across the state OLYMPIA–The outdoors is one our most powerful teachers and now more children will have access to its lessons. The No Child Left Inside (NCLI) grant program, awarded by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks), will provide more than $6.7 million for 92 projects dedicated to […]

July 20, 2023
State Awards Nearly $190 Million for Outdoor Recreation and Wildlife Habitat Conservation

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office today announced the award of nearly $190 million in grants to communities statewide to improve outdoor recreation and conserve important wildlife habitat for Washingtonians and the plants and animals that live here. The grants were awarded to a variety of organizations to renovate parks, build trails and create […]

July 18, 2023
State Asks People to Clean Gear and Pets to Minimize Invasive Spring Plants

OLYMPIA–Washington state agencies are asking people to clean their gear, pets and clothing this spring to prevent invasive plants from establishing here. “Washington offers exciting opportunities to experience nature, attracting visitors from around the world to our parks, forests, trails, wild and scenic rivers, wildlife refuges and more,” said Blain Reeves, chair of the Washington […]

June 5, 2023
State Awards Grants to Help Communities Plan for Recreation

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) today announced the award of more than $4.7 million in grants to help communities plan for outdoor recreation facilities. The grants were awarded to organizations in 19 counties and ranged from $12,927 to $250,000. “These grants support community efforts to invest in recreation by helping them take […]

May 23, 2023
State Accepting Applications for Outdoor Learning Grants

OLYMPIA–Organizations offering outdoor education experiences for students now can apply for state grants. The Outdoor Learning Grants program, created by the Legislature in 2022, provides funding to develop and support educational experiences for Washington public school students. Grant recipients must provide education programs with activities learning in, for or about the outdoors. Grant recipients are […]

May 16, 2023
Local Parks Receive Federal Grants

OLYMPIA–Three cities received good news this week when the National Park Service awarded more than $4 million for park improvements. Lynnwood, Seattle and Spokane were notified they will receive funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is administered in Washington state by the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. “We’re very excited about […]

May 15, 2023
Seattle Conservation Leader Appointed to State Recreation and Conservation Board

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Kathleen “Kitty” Craig, a national program director for The Wilderness Society, to the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. The board awards about $200 million in grants every other year to tribes, nonprofits and government agencies to create parks, trails and other outdoor recreation opportunities. The board also awards […]

May 2, 2023
New Report Says Salmon Still Struggling

OLYMPIA–A new report released by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office shows that salmon in Washington still are struggling and face increasing difficulty brought on by climate change and other challenges. Of the 14 population groups of salmon and steelhead in Washington listed as at-risk of extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, 10 are in […]

February 21, 2023
Registration Open for 2023 Salmon Recovery Conference

OLYMPIA–Registration is open for the ninth biennial Salmon Recovery Conference, which brings together more than 650 salmon recovery professionals to share their work and the latest science for recovering salmon. “The slower we act, the faster our salmon will be pushed to the brink of survival,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “This conference brings together our […]

February 15, 2023
Governor Proclaims the Week of February 20 as
Invasive Species Awareness Week

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee, in partnership with the Washington Invasive Species Council, has proclaimed the week of February 20 as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington in solidarity with National Invasive Species Awareness Week. “Invasive species threaten wildlife as we know it in Washington state,” said Inslee. “We can all help to kick out unwelcome invaders. […]

February 13, 2023
State Awards Grants for Recreation Planning in Urban and Small Communities

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office today announced the award of more than $2 million in grants to help diverse, urban neighborhoods and rural communities plan for outdoor recreation facilities. The grants were awarded to 21 different organizations in 15 counties and ranged from $35,000 to $250,000. Many of the grants will help smaller […]

February 1, 2023
Governor Appoints Local Parks Director to Statewide Recreation Board

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Trang Lam, the director of the Camas Parks and Recreation Department, to the state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board awards about $200 million in grants every 2 years to local governments, tribes, nonprofits and state and federal agencies to create outdoor recreation opportunities, such […]

January 17, 2023
Salmon and Orca Recovery Grants Awarded

OLYMPIA–Salmon and hungry orcas are about to get a helping hand from state and federal grants announced today. The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board yesterday approved nearly $18 million in grants for four large restoration projects around the state. The grants will restore land along rivers in Kittitas and Okanogan Counties, conserve habitat next […]

December 8, 2022
The State Wants Your Comments on Recreation Plan

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is seeking public comments on a draft statewide recreation and conservation plan. The plan is meant to guide decision-makers when they prioritize recreation and conservation investments during the next 6 years. The plan includes four priorities, with more than 30 actions to implement them. “This plan provides the […]

November 29, 2022
Governor Appoints Spokane Fish Biologist to Salmon Board

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the appointment of Joe Maroney, a life-long salmon advocate, to serve on the Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board, which awards grants for restoration projects statewide. “Joe Maroney will be a great addition to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Having worked for the Kalispel Tribe of Indians […]

October 24, 2022
Washingtonians Encouraged to Participate in
Orca Recovery Day Saturday

OLYMPIA–The state’s orca recovery coordinator encourages people to spend Saturday making the environment better for endangered Southern Resident orcas. “Saturday is Orca Recovery Day,” said Tara Galuska, the Governor’s orca recovery coordinator. “It’s a chance for all of us to take a minute or a few hours doing something that will help orcas. It can […]

October 12, 2022
State Board Awards Nearly $76 Million in Grants to Recover Salmon

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board today announced the award of nearly $76 million in grants across the state to help ensure the survival of salmon in Washington. The board also approved an additional $58 million in grant requests for 55 projects through the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration program once funding is approved […]

September 26, 2022
State Accepting Grant Applications for Trails,
Boating Facilities, Kids Outdoor Education and Recreation and More

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) will begin accepting applications Aug. 10 for grants to provide outdoor education and recreation programs for kids and to build and maintain trails, boating facilities, and firearm and archery ranges. RCO is offering free, online workshops to showcase these grant opportunities and explain application requirements. RCO grants […]

July 19, 2022
This July Fourth, Boaters Asked to Clean, Drain and Dry Equipment to Protect Washington’s Waters

OLYMPIA–The Fourth of July is one of the busiest times for boating—and for spreading invasive species in rivers, lakes and other water bodies. The Washington Invasive Species Council, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington Department of Ecology are asking the public to take simple steps to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive […]

June 29, 2022
State Launches Orca Website

OLYMPIA–The Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office launched a new website today to track recovery efforts for the endangered Southern Resident orcas. “The website is beautiful and chock full of information,” said Tara Galuska, the Governor’s orca recovery coordinator. “The website is an easy way for people to see what’s being done to save the orcas and […]

May 17, 2022
State Wants to Hear How You Like to Recreate

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) wants to know how and where you like to recreate as it begins to draft a plan that will direct millions of dollars in state and federal funding to parks, trails and ball fields. RCO is asking residents to take an online survey that asks questions about […]

March 8, 2022
Governor Jay Inslee Proclaims Invasive Species Awareness Week

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee, in partnership with the Washington Invasive Species Council, has proclaimed February 28 through March 4 as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington. “We all need to be aware of invasive species and take simple actions to prevent and stop them,” Inslee said. “We have to work together to protect our state from […]

February 22, 2022
State Task Force Recommends Increased Sharing of School and Community Athletic Facilities

OLYMPIA–A statewide task force commissioned by the Washington State Legislature is recommending increased sharing of school and community athletic facilities as a way to increase physical activity for youth, especially those underserved. Kids in Washington are not moving nearly enough, the task force noted in its new report. Before the pandemic, only about 24 percent […]

February 8, 2022
State to Accept Grant Applications for Parks, Trails and Other Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Projects

Free Webinars Feb. 17 and 22 OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) will begin accepting applications in mid-February for grants to build parks, trails, ball fields and boat moorage as well as to conserve wildlife habitat and working farms and forests. These grants are the largest source of state funding for many of […]

February 2, 2022
State Seeks Grant Proposals to Remove Barriers to Fish Migration

Informational Webinar Oct. 27 OLYMPIA–The Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board will accept grant proposals beginning in November for projects to remove barriers that prevent salmon and steelhead from swimming upstream. The board will host an online workshop from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27 to highlight changes to the grant program and […]

October 19, 2021
State Asking for Public Comments on Recreation

Washington State’s Recreation and Conservation Office is asking people to help determine how funding should be spent by taking a survey about what kind of outdoor recreation they do. The State is updating its statewide recreation and conservation plan, which includes a state trails plan, to unlock grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. […]

October 13, 2021
State Officials Ask for Public’s Help in Tracking the Invasive Tree-of-Heaven

State agencies are asking the public to report an invasive tree called tree-of-heaven throughout October to help prevent the introduction of a harmful insect, the spotted lanternfly. The Washington Invasive Species Council, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board and other agencies are asking the public to look in their […]

September 29, 2021
State Board Awards $21 Million in Grants to Aid Salmon Recovery

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board today announced the award of $21 million in grants across the state to aid in salmon recovery. The grants, given annually, went to 105 projects in 29 of the state’s 39 counties. The grants will pay for work to restore salmon habitat, including repairing degraded habitat in rivers, […]

September 22, 2021
Governor Appoints Former State Agency Director to Salmon Recovery Funding Board

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the appointment of Kaleen Cottingham, a life-long Washington resident, to serve on the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. Cottingham, of Olympia, recently retired as the director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, which provides support to the Governor-appointed Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office. She […]

September 14, 2021
State Awards Grants for Projects Targeting Economically Disadvantaged Communities

OLYMPIA–The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) announced today the award of $3 million for park projects in economically disadvantaged areas of Lakewood and Seattle. The grants are from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund’s Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program, which targets economically disadvantaged urban communities that do not have enough park and […]

August 11, 2021
State Officials Ask You to Check Your Trees for Invasive Insects

OLYMPIA-Are invasive species hiding in your trees? State officials ask you to check trees, lights, outdoor equipment and standing water in your yard for harmful bugs as part of National Tree Check Month in August. “August is the ideal time to look for invasive insects and report any species that seem out of place,” said […]

July 29, 2021
Volunteers Needed to Prioritize Investments in Washington’s Outdoors

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is recruiting 45 volunteers to fill positions on advisory committees that help determine how the state invests in the outdoors. The 18 committees evaluate grant proposals for parks, trails, boating amenities, firearm and archery ranges and other outdoor recreation facilities. They also evaluate proposals to conserve wildlife habitat […]

July 13, 2021
State Awards Grants for Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife Habitat and Working Lands

The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today announced the award of 342 grants across the state to provide recreational amenities, conserve wildlife habitat and protect working forests and farms. “These grants are fundamental to keeping Washington the beautiful state it is,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “The funding comes from state and federal sources and is […]

June 28, 2021
Governor Announces $4.5 Million in Grants to Get Kids Outside

OLYMPIA–Getting kids outside to explore parks and other wild places will be a bit easier this year thanks to $4.5 million in grants, Gov. Jay Inslee announced today. Awarded by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the No Child Left Inside grants focus on programs that expand outdoor education and recreation opportunities to under-resourced […]

May 25, 2021
New State Orca Recovery Coordinator Named

OLYMPIA-The Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office has named Olympia resident and long-time environmental advocate Tara Galuska to coordinate the state’s orca recovery efforts. As orca recovery coordinator, Galuska will be working with partners to help implement recommendations of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force and tracking accomplishments. “I am very passionate about this […]

May 5, 2021
Public Invited to Submit Art Highlighting the Dangers of Releasing Pets and Plants into the Wild

OLYMPIA–The Washington Invasive Species Council and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) invite artists of all ages to participate in an art contest through May 14 as part of the “Don’t Let it Loose” campaign. The campaign explains the dangers of releasing unwanted pets and plants into the wild and highlights other ways to […]

April 19, 2021
Grants Offered for Boating Facilities

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is taking applications for grants to build or renovate facilities that serve large boats. The federal Boating Infrastructure Grant program provides funding to develop and renovate public boating facilities. Grants also may be used to provide information and enhance boater education. “Washington has nearly 230,000 registered boats, which […]

April 12, 2021
Registration Open for Salmon Recovery Virtual Conference

OLYMPIA–Registration is open for a virtual conference that will bring together more than 1,000 salmon recovery practitioners to share their work and the latest science with the goal of improving salmon recovery efforts in Washington. The conference themed “Building a Movement” is offered every other year by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the […]

April 6, 2021
Governor Appoints Director of Recreation and Conservation Office

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the appointment of Megan Duffy as the new director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), the largest state agency grantor of funding for outdoor recreation and habitat conservation efforts in Washington. She replaces Kaleen Cottingham, who is retiring and has served the agency since 2007. Duffy, of […]

March 31, 2021
State, Partners Invite the Public to Take the Pledge to Help Save Salmon

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is inviting all Washingtonians to commit to actions to help recover endangered salmon populations with a new Web app: Washington Salmon Stewardship. The app allows people to take a pledge to do one thing for salmon and mark their location on a map. The pledges will be […]

March 23, 2021
Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington Goes Virtual

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee, in partnership with the Washington Invasive Species Council, has proclaimed Feb. 22-28 as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington. Invasive species threaten our economy, environment, recreation opportunities and can even harm our health,” Inslee said. “I’m calling on everyone who loves this state we call home to become aware of invasive species […]

February 16, 2021
Washington State Council Updates Statewide Strategy to Prevent Invasive Species

OLYMPIA–The Washington Invasive Species Council approved an updated statewide strategy to prevent invading plants and animals from taking hold in the state’s forests, waters and farms. The strategy calls for a broad range of actions focusing on preventing new species from establishing here, educating the public and rapidly deploying when species are found to prevent […]

January 27, 2021
New State Report Shows Salmon Still Near Brink of Extinction

OLYMPIA–A new report from the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office shows that many salmon populations still are teetering on the brink of extinction and without drastic changes to how Washington addresses climate change and population growth, may not survive. The report, titled State of Salmon in Watersheds, shows that 10 of the 14 species of salmon […]

January 14, 2021
State Unveils App for Viewing Public Lands

OLYMPIA–Recreation and conservation lands managed by local, state and federal governments now can be viewed easily online in a new mapping application, the Recreation and Conservation Office announced today. The Public Lands Inventory Web app displays more than 18.8 million acres of public lands used for recreation or wildlife habitat in Washington. Information also is […]

November 23, 2020
70th Annual Statewide Weed and Invasive Species Conference Set for Nov. 3-6

The 70th Annual Washington State Weed Conference will be offered online and free to the public, announced the Washington Vegetation Management Association and the Washington Invasive Species Council. With this historic partnership between the association and council, the conference has been increased, with two of the four days focused on invasive species and successful approaches […]

October 6, 2020
Stevenson Man to Lead State Salmon Recovery Funding Board

Long-time Salmon Recovery Advocate Phil Rockefeller Retires OLYMPIA–The Salmon Recovery Funding Board, which awards about $80 million biennially to projects to improve salmon habitat, will see a change in leadership. Jeff Breckel, 70, from Stevenson, is the new chair of the funding board. Breckel has more than 20 years of experience in salmon recovery, much […]

September 21, 2020
State Awards $18 Million in Grants to Recover Salmon

OLYMPIA–The Salmon Recovery Funding Board today awarded $18 million in grants to organizations around the state to repair rivers, remove barriers blocking fish passage and replant riverbanks in an effort to recover salmon from the brink of extinction. The grants, given annually, went to 91 projects in 29 of the state’s 39 counties. In addition, […]

September 17, 2020
Applications Being Accepted for Grants to Conserve Forests

OLYMPIA–On Sept.1, eligible organizations may begin applying for grants to conserve community forests, the Recreation and Conservation Office announced today. The new state Community Forests Program will offer grants of up to $3 million. But organizations need to hurry. Applications are due Oct. 1. The grants must be used to buy at least 5 acres […]

August 31, 2020
Outdoor Recreation Generates Big Money in Washington

OLYMPIA–People spend $26.5 billion annually in Washington to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity, according to a report released today. The report, Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State, found that residents and tourists spend $18.8 billion annually on outdoor recreation trips, including trips to local, state and national parks. In addition, they spend $7.7 […]

July 30, 2020
State Launches New Grant Program to Conserve Community Forests

OLYMPIA–Communities wanting to conserve forestlands now have a state grant program to help, the Recreation and Conservation Office announced today. Beginning September 1, communities can apply for grants of up to $3 million in the newly created Community Forests Program. The grants must be used to buy at least 5 acres of forestland and the […]

July 29, 2020
Public Asked to Check Trees for Invasive Species in August

Olympia—Throughout August, the Washington Invasive Species Council and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are asking the public to take 10 minutes to check trees in their communities for invasive insects. August is the peak time of year that wood-boring insects are most often spotted outside of trees. “State and federal agencies do a […]

July 27, 2020
Public Asked to Protect Honey Bees by Reporting Sightings of the Invasive Asian Giant Hornet

OLYMPIA—As summer gets into full swing and people spend more time outside, state and federal officials and local beekeepers hope the public will keep their eyes open and report any sightings of Asian giant hornet. “When it comes to preventing and stopping a new invasive species, we all have a role to play and this […]

July 1, 2020
Scotch Broom Census Set for May

The Washington Invasive Species Council, state agencies and researchers are calling for a census in May to help determine the location of Scotch broom throughout the state. “We need everyone’s help to size up the problem,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “Without baseline information about the location and population […]

April 28, 2020
Governor Inslee Highlights Need to Prevent and Stop Invasive Species

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed Feb. 24-28 as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington to highlight the importance of managing and preventing invasive species, which pose a $137 billion annual cost in damages to crops, forests, fish and other wildlife nationally. “Our state’s natural habitat and outdoor recreation destinations are part of what make living […]

February 19, 2020
State to Accept Grant Applications for Parks, Trails and Other Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Projects

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) will begin accepting applications in mid-February for grants to build parks, trails, ball fields and boat moorage as well as to conserve wildlife habitat and working farms and forests. These grants are the largest source of state funding for many of Washington’s outdoor recreation experiences, and the […]

January 29, 2020
Governor Appoints Two Eastern Washington Residents to State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board

OLYMPIA—Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed a Wenatchee resident and an Okanogan resident and member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation to serve on the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. The board awards about $250 million in grants every biennium for the development of parks, trails, boating facilities and other outdoor recreation […]

January 23, 2020
Economy, Environment and Health Benefit from Trails, Two New Studies Show

OLYMPIA–Trails contribute more than $8.2 billion to the state’s economy, according to companion studies released today by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Done in collaboration with Washington Trails Association, Washington Bikes, and the University of Washington, the studies look at the economic, environmental, social and health benefits of trails and recommend that state […]

January 9, 2020
State Awards more than $26 Million for Salmon Recovery Projects Statewide

The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board today announced the award of $26.1 million in grants for projects across the state aimed at bringing salmon back from the brink of extinction. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the board’s creation and the suite of projects announced today brings the total amount of salmon recovery since […]

December 16, 2019
State Bolsters its Defense Against Urban Forest Pests with New Guidelines

OLYMPIA–Pests looking to make their homes in Washington’s urban forests may now face a stronger defense, thanks to a new resource released this this month by the state’s Invasive Species Council. The Washington State Urban Forest Pest Readiness Playbook, published in partnership with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), contains guidelines that towns, […]

November 19, 2019
Celebration to Mark First Barrier Removed to Help Salmon Migrate Upstream

OLYMPIA – Coho salmon will have an easier time swimming up the Middle Fork of the Newaukum River near Chehalis this fall, thanks to a project funded by the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board. This is the first two miles of more than 201 miles of streams slated to open across the state after […]

November 18, 2019
State Seeks Volunteers to Rank Investments in Washington’s Outdoors

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is recruiting 50 volunteers to fill positions on its 17 advisory committees, which evaluate grant proposals for parks, boating infrastructure, working farms and forests, and habitat conservation statewide. “As one of the state’s biggest investors in Washington’s outdoors, we want our state’s network of parks, trails, boating facilities […]

November 5, 2019
Federal, State, and Tribal Governments Join Forces to Practice Emergency Response Should Invasive Mussels Infest Washington Waters

­­­OLYMPIA–State, federal, and tribal governments will come together Oct. 23 at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area for the first on-the-ground exercise in the Columbia River basin to prepare for an infestation of quagga and zebra mussels. Invasive quagga and zebra mussels are small, nonnative, freshwater mollusks that have caused significant environmental and economic harm in […]

October 10, 2019
State Awards More Than $5.2 Million to Conserve Working Farms and Forests

OLYMPIA–The Washington State and Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today announced the award of more than $5.2 million in grants to 12 projects that conserve working farms and forests around the state. “These grants help ensure our farms and forests, often at risk of being developed, are still available for growing timber and still available […]

October 7, 2019
State Recruiting Members to Serve on the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board

OLYMPIA-The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is recruiting for two new members for its Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, which awards grants to improve parks, trails, boating amenities and access to shorelines. It also awards grants to conserve working lands, such as farms and forests, and to protect pristine wildlife and natural areas. During […]

August 20, 2019
State Asks Residents to Check Trees for Invasive Pests in August

OLYMPIA-The Washington Invasive Species Council is asking residents to check trees and swimming pools in their yards for harmful bugs as part of the national Tree Check Month in August. August is the peak time of year to look for invasive bugs and report any species that seem out of place. Trees near home and […]

August 20, 2019
State Invests $25 Million in Removing Barriers to Migrating Fish

OLYMPIA–Migrating fish soon will have access to more than 82 miles of streams in Washington, thanks to $25 million in grants from the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board. The board will fund more than 50 projects in 20 counties to remove fish passage barriers that block salmon and steelhead from swimming upstream to their spawning […]

July 24, 2019
Inslee Announces $1.3 Million in Grants to Get Kids Outside

OLYMPIA–More than 14,000 kids who might not otherwise have opportunities to explore parks, forests and other outdoor places in Washington soon will be able to thanks to about $1.3 million in funding, which Gov. Jay Inslee announced today. Awarded by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the No Child Left Inside grants focus on […]

July 15, 2019
State Invests $45 million in Puget Sound Salmon, Habitat

OLYMPIA–Efforts to restore Chinook salmon, a critical food source for endangered southern resident orcas, and other Puget Sound salmon populations just got a boost thanks to more than $45 million in grants announced today. The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, in partnership with the Puget Sound Partnership, awarded 64 grants in counties surrounding Puget […]

July 8, 2019
State Invests $126 Million in Grants to Expand Outdoor Recreation Opportunities and Preserve Habitat and Working Farms and Forests

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today announced the award of more than $126 million in grants to a suite of 333 projects that build and maintain outdoor recreation facilities and conserve wildlife habitat and working farms and forests around the state. “Not only do these grants support our state’s parks, forests and […]

July 2, 2019
Mussel-sniffing Dog “Puddles” Joins Fight Against Invasive Species

OLYMPIA–The newest member of the team that protects Washington’s waterways from invasive species has quite the ruff routine: Sniff, sit, play! Starting this spring, Puddles, a 2-year-old Jack Russel terrier mix, will use her keen sense of smell to help detect quagga and zebra mussel larvae on boats traveling through mandatory watercraft-inspection stations run by […]

May 16, 2019
Tribal, State and Local Governments Join Forces at Lake Roosevelt to Combat Northern Pike, Save Salmon

OLYMPIA–Tribal, state and local governments will join forces at Lake Roosevelt this week to combat the spread of northern pike, recently recorded just two dams away from critical Columbia River salmon habitat. The lake’s co-managers at the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Spokane Tribe of Indians and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will […]

May 6, 2019
More than 750 to Gather for Salmon Recovery Conference in Tacoma

OLYMPIA–More than 750 scientists, salmon recovery experts and interested citizens from Washington and Oregon will meet in Tacoma next week for the seventh biennial Salmon Recovery Conference, marking the 20th anniversary of the Salmon Recovery Act. “By bringing together our state’s field biologists, engineers and policymakers, we’re providing a forum for information sharing and networking […]

April 3, 2019
Longtime Fishery Science and Policy Manager Hired to Lead Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office

OLYMPIA–Erik Neatherlin, a scientist and longtime manager in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been selected to lead the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, which coordinates statewide and regional efforts to return salmon from the brink of extinction. The Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office coordinates the efforts of 25 community-based watershed groups and 7 regional […]

March 15, 2019
Grants Available to Conserve Working Farms and Forests and to Build Boating Amenities

OLYMPIA–The state Recreation and Conservation Office is accepting grant applications now in three different programs: 1) to conserve working farms; 2) to conserve working forests; and 3) to build facilities for large boats. “As Washington’s population continues to grow, the pressure increases to turn working forests and working farms into subdivisions and strip malls,” said […]

February 28, 2019
Gov. Inslee Highlights Need to Stop Invasive Species with Awareness Week

OLYMPIA–In partnership with the Washington Invasive Species Council, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a proclamation recognizing the week of February 24 as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington State. “We are fortunate to live in a state filled with natural beauty and abundant natural resources,” Inslee said. “To keep it that way, we all must do […]

February 21, 2019
State’s New Report Shows Salmon Still Declining: Recovery Projects Funded at Only 16 Percent of Estimated Need

OLYMPIA–Despite two decades of efforts to recover them, wild salmon are still declining—and a report released today by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office stresses that adequate funding is needed to turn the tide on the iconic species’ future. In the past 10 years, regional recovery organizations received only a fraction—16 percent—of the $4.7 billion documented […]

January 16, 2019
Grants Available to Help Get Kids Outside State Investing in Youth Outdoor Education, Recreation

OLYMPIA–Washington State is accepting applications for the No Child Left Inside grant program, which aims to give at-risk children opportunities to experience the outdoors. No Child Left Inside grants fund programs that provide youth in Washington with outdoor recreation and education programs, including summer camps, natural resource-based education programs and science, technology, engineering or math […]

January 2, 2019