Nobody likes to think about sewage in their swimming lakes, fishing coves and shellfish beds. Untreated sewage poses health and environmental risks, and it’s just gross. In 2016, Washington’s Clean Vessel Program, managed by Washington State Parks, kept 10 million gallons of waste out of our waterways, and the work continues.
The salmon are happy at Potlach, Dosewallips and Flaming Geyser state parks.
Just over a year after Washington State Parks removed 15 culverts in eight state parks to improve salmon migration, hundreds of fish have returned for the first time in decades.
Washington State Parks recently completed major restoration work on the Mount Constitution lookout tower. The upper deck and summit house were preserved using a blend of modern, historically similar and original materials. Parks’ 2015-17 capital budget funded the work
Washington’s second state park, the 1915 Jackson House State Park Heritage Site has seen tremendous improvements this past spring. State Parks restored the cabin, improved the parking lot and built an ADA-accessible pathway to the historic home.
A new bridge opened in May to allow fish passage at Sequim Bay State Park. The span improves the Olympic Discovery Trail, a 120-mile, mixed-use, non-motorized recreation trail that runs from Port Townsend to the Pacific Ocean and traverses the park.
New construction improves parks for visitors
State Parks’ $67.5 million capital budget for 2015-17 includes construction of new facilities and upgrades of existing ones. State Parks’ engineers, architect and project managers are overseeing everything from construction of new buildings and bridges, to rebuilt roads and trails, water and sewer systems and more.
Getting kids outdoors is the focus of Washington State Parks’ No Child Left Inside grant program, funded by the Legislature in 2015 to provide money for schools, community and environmental groups to use for outdoor education, recreation and leadership programs.
In 2016, the Washington State Parks Commission adopted a special resolution reconfirming its commitment to the cross-state recreation trail system. State Parks currently operates five long-distance trails that pass through varied terrain, statewide.
In January, 2016, Washington State Parks and the Nisqually Tribe gathered between raindrops to celebrate the completion of a brand new trailhead, parking lot, signs and restroom facility at Nisqually State Park, in Southwest Pierce County near Eatonville.
Park staff all over the state pulled together in 2016 to focus on an effort called, “Clean, green and be seen.” The initiative included some dollars to help staff give their parks a “mini-makeover” and customer service boost.