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State Awards Outdoor Recreation Grants

Contact: Susan Zemek
susan.zemek@rco.wa.gov
360-902-3081
TTY 360-902-1996

For release: Oct. 28, 2013

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today announced the award of three grants to improve or protect special places for outdoor recreation.

The grants, which total nearly $800,000, will be used to renovate a pool in Chehalis, build the last half-mile of a waterfront trail in Tacoma and begin to conserve 22 acres of an urban forest in Bothell.

“These grants help communities provide more places for people to exercise, relax and enjoy the great outdoors,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants. “These are important investments in keeping Washington a great place for people to live and work.

Funding for the grants comes from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which helps build parks, trails and other outdoor recreation facilities. The money comes through the National Park Service from royalties on off-shore oil and gas resources.

The Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma was awarded $500,000 to develop the missing link, a half-mile of the 7-mile trail connecting downtown Tacoma to Point Defiance Park. The trail, which runs along Puget Sound, links the Ruston Way promenade, the Point Ruston development, Town of Ruston, City of Tacoma, Point Defiance Park and the future 11-acre Peninsula at Point Defiance waterfront park. The trail is 20 feet wide and includes a bridge over Pearl Street. In addition to this grant, the Recreation and Conservation Office also provided a grant of $2.5 million from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. The Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma also will contribute $2 million. For more details and photographs of this project, click: 12-1553.

The City of Chehalis was awarded $250,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to renovate its community pool. The City will replace the pool liner, mechanical systems, guard stands and diving board; resurface its shared parking and add 42 more parking stalls; build a restroom; and upgrade locker rooms.

“Built in 1959, the pool is in a desperate state of disrepair. It’s unsafe, lacks energy efficiencies and is in danger of closing,” Cottingham said. “The City has maintained the aging pool with support from the Chehalis Foundation and the Chehalis community, but it doesn’t have the money for major upgrades.

This renovation also improves park amenities, including restrooms and parking, shared with other activities in the nearby park. In addition to this grant, the Recreation and Conservation Office provided a grant of $250,000 from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. The City of Chehalis will contribute $530,340 from an appropriation from the Legislature, staff labor, and cash donations. For more details and photographs of this project, click: 12-1308.

The City of Bothell was awarded $43,030 to begin the purchase of nearly 22 acres to expand a 64-acre urban forest known as the North Creek Forest. Located along Interstate 405, the forest is home to at least two important bird species, pileated woodpecker and band-tailed pigeon. The forest also helps clean water entering North Creek, which is used by Chinook salmon, which are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. The City of Bothell will contribute $57,203 in cash and conservation futures. For more details and photographs of this project, click: 12-1230.

“These grants are very competitive,” Cottingham said. “We require grant applicants to show us why the projects are needed, that they are cost-effective and that the community supports them. The competition means that only the best projects are funded.

Conservation futures are a portion of property taxes used by local governments to buy land or development rights to protect natural areas, forests, wetlands, and farms.

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