Press Release
Commissioners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Recreation Opportunities Public Meetings Announced

Kittitas County, WA - 07/14/2017 - The Kittitas County Board of Commissioners and The Nature Conservancy are hosting public meetings with the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition and the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) on Thursday July 27th at 3:00 PM in Ellensburg and 6:00 PM in Cle Elum. The intent of the public meetings are to inform decision makers and interested community stakeholders about the work currently underway in the County to improve recreation opportunities. The meetings will also inform attendees about existing statewide funding opportunities that may assist and increase those efforts. The meeting in Ellensburg will be at the Commissioner’s Auditorium at the Kittitas County Courthouse. In Cle Elum, the meeting will take place at the Putnam Centennial Center.

Kittitas County Commissioners recently adopted a Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan to provide guidance and direction in improving recreation opportunities across the County.  A PROS plan is a prerequisite to filing an application for several grant programs administered by RCO.  The County has plans to fund and complete additional planning efforts later this year as well, including a river access plan for the Yakima River corridor.

The Nature Conservancy manages some 46,000 acres of forest land in Kittitas County and is deeply involved in conservation and recreation work in the region. Their goal is an expansive forest landscape for the future that is healthy and resilient to environmental changes, such as increased wildfire, supports strong wildlife and fish populations, produces a sustainable supply of wood and clean water, and is recognized for its contribution to community vitality.

At the meetings, attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from representatives of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition (WWRC).  The WWRC was formed by former Governors Dan Evans and Mike Lowry in a bipartisan effort to preserve Washington’s outdoor heritage.  In 1989 the WWRC worked successfully with the State Legislature to create the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, the state’s premiere conservation and recreation grant program.  The WWRC will discuss this program in detail at the meeting and attendees will learn how they may apply for grant funding for their projects.  The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program is administered by the State RCO and representatives of that agency will also be at the meetings to answer questions.

“We are very pleased to partner with The Nature Conservancy in hosting an informational meeting with the WWRC,” stated Kittitas County Commissioner Paul Jewell.  “We’ve been working very hard over the last couple of years to position Kittitas County as a strong competitor in many grant programs, including the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.  This is a great opportunity to learn how we can all be successful.”

“The best conservation and recreation work includes the vision of people deeply rooted in the community,” said Darcy Batura, The Nature Conservancy’s conservation coordinator for the Central Cascades. “We’re looking forward to this opportunity.”

City and County staff, members of the public, or other agency representatives interested in applying for grant funding and learning about ongoing efforts to improve recreation are encourage to attend.

The Kittitas County Courthouse is located at 205 West 5th Avenue in Ellensburg.  The address for the Putnam Centennial Center is 719 East 3rd Street in Cle Elum.  The Putnam Centennial Center is also the home of the Upper Kittitas County Senior Center.
 

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://co.kittitas.wa.us

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Contact: Paul Jewell 509-962-7508
Commissioner, District #1