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. The Legislature created the grant program this past year to address maintenance backlogs in local parks.
“We are seeing an overwhelming demand for this type of funding,” said Megan Duffy, RCO director. “During the pandemic and continuing today, more people are visiting parks, which can strain staff and facilities, especially in smaller communities. These grants will begin to make a difference in those places.”
Grants were awarded for a range of projects. For example, the City of Forks will replace the 38-year-old cedar shake roof and siding on the Tillicum ball field restrooms while the Port of Mattawa will replace a park maintenance truck that has a failed transmission and is beyond repair. The City of Othello will buy a larger and faster lawn mower to groom 50 acres of parkland, which currently requires three staff with three smaller mowers to complete weekly mowing. The City of Sunnyside will paint the 48-year-old Central Park pool house and the City of Friday Harbor will replace rotted boardwalk planks and beams in Sunken Park.
Grants were awarded in the following counties (click below to see descriptions of the grants):
“Many of the grants went to communities that struggle to find the resources to maintain parks,” Duffy said. “We received 214 applications requesting nearly $19 million and we were able to fund just under a quarter of the projects. That will make a big difference in those communities.”
More information about the grant program is available on RCO’s website.