Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
Commission will consider initial steps toward determining next new park
and a major park re-development
OLYMPIA – Nov. 10, 2016 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission next week will be asked to approve three top candidate parkland holdings for future new development and three existing parks for major redevelopment. Approval will enable State Parks staff to begin predesign studies in the 2017-19 biennium.
The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at Harman Center, 101 N. 65th Ave., Yakima. (Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/7rZP5LXgxjT2) The Commission has seven regular meetings a year at various locations around the state, and time for public comment is provided at all regular meetings. A full agenda, including information about public comment, is available at http://parks.state.wa.us/154/Commission-Meetings-Agendas.
The decision to determine the top three candidates for new park development and park redevelopment is the first step set out in a Statewide Acquisition and Development Strategy adopted by the Commission in July. The Strategy, crafted to guide agency decision-making on land acquisition and park development, calls for the Commission to identify a property for new park development from among the 10 properties currently held for future development and to choose an existing park to target for major redevelopment.
Staff subject-matter experts in various programs of the agency recently participated in a thorough process to narrow the field of candidates to three top contenders in each area. Fisk State Park Property, the Miller Peninsula State Park Property and the Nisqually State Park Property are the top three candidates selected for new development. Dash Point State Park, Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park and Twin Harbors State Park are the top three selected for major park renovation.
The candidates for new park development were selected based on scoring for how well they address the five goals of the Strategy, which are focused on connecting people to landscapes; engaging people in the cultural/historical stories of the state; providing recreation opportunities including people who are new to outdoor recreation modes; and improving quality of life for Washingtonians. For more information about the Strategy, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/1025/Statewide-Acquisition-Development-Strate
State Parks has included requests for pre-design studies in its 2017-19 Capital budget request. State law requires a predesign study for capital projects that are expected to cost more than $5 million. A predesign is a document that explores alternatives, conveys programming information and provides a cost estimate for a proposed capital project. If the agency’s 2017-19 request for predesign is funded, the projects would include a process to engage communities, the public and park staff to select the final property for development and the final park for redevelopment and to explore alternatives and cost estimates to move forward. State Parks could then request capital funding to act on the studies in future budget cycles.
Other action items on the regular meeting agenda next week include a Commission consideration to revise Washington Administrative Codes regarding the application process for Winter Recreation Program funding; and policy regarding delegation of commission authority on decisions about underwater parks and marine parks.
The Commission also will hear several reports, including a Winter Recreation Program update and financial and legislative updates.
Commission work session
A work session is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Oxford Suites, 1701 E. Yakima Ave., Yakima. The public is invited; however, there is no opportunity for public comment and no formal action taken at work sessions.
Items on the work session agenda include updates on Business Development, Communications and Human Resources programs; an update on a ballfields proposal at Saint Edward State Park; a report on agency processes regarding park acquisition and redevelopment; and a local outdoor leaders roundtable hosted by the Commission.
Commission members and staff will gather from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Fort Simcoe Historical State Park, 5150 Fort Simcoe Road, White Swan.
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
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