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.
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.
Study after study shows that parks contribute to social, physical and psychological health and quality of life. In 2015, the State Parks Commission took steps to find out specifics about the economic benefits of state parks and hired Earth Economics to analyze the data.
State Parks, along with friends and local community, have a vision and plans in place for Lake Sammamish State Park to be a signature site for celebrating and protecting urban natural areas. The latest development is a brand-new, 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art playground area at the park in Issaquah.