[8/18/17] State Recreation And Conservation Office Drafts Plan To Improve Recreation Opportunities

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The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office has drafted a plan that looks to improve, sustain, grow and expand opportunities to the parks in our state while positioning themselves as a vital public service. And they’re asking for your input. KOHO’s Marcus Bellissimo has the details…

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is seeking public comment on a statewide effort to meet the recreation needs of Washington residents.

An initial plan has been drafted that is meant to act as a guide for decision-makers when they prioritize recreation and conservation efforts for the next five years.

Leslie Connelly, Policy Specialist with the WA State Recreation and Conservation Office, says the plan is based upon a survey that asked Washingtonians how they recreate.

081717 LESLIE CONNELLY CUT #2 00:16

“…..and if they did them with their children.”

The purpose of the survey and follow-up comments is not only to find out how Washington residents recreate and choose to spend their time outdoors, but also to prioritize funding, ensuring the most strategic investments are being made.

081717 LESLIE CONNELLY CUT#1 00:15

“…..and our open space areas.”

The plan includes specific priorities and actions needed to meet outdoor recreation needs. This ranges from addressing the needs of traditionally underserved populations, providing recreation facilities and programming for youth and the need to shift resources based on changing demographics.

081717 LESLIE CONNELLY CUT#3 1:09

..”is really high on our priority list.”

Positioning outdoor recreation and conservation as a vital public service is another priority of the plan. To be able to compete for limited funding, outdoor recreation and conservation needs to be positioned as a service that is on par with other public services like roads, water, sewer and health. That’s why it’s vital to get public feedback on the Outdoor Recreation Plan.

081717 LESLIE CONNELLY CUT#4 00:13

“…..meets their expectations for the future.”

The public can view the draft plan online and comments can be submitted directly to the Recreation and Conservation Office website at rco.wa.gov. Comments are due September 10th. Comments will be analyzed and recommendations made for changes to the draft plan in October.