Tag Archives: Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

New state parks guide, picnic suggestions, and ‘beach-friendly’ Fourth

Photos and descriptions of more than 120 Washington state parks are part of the first-ever “Washington State Parks Guide” now on sale now at many state parks as well as online.

The 364-page guide, which costs $6 (online $13.80), describes which parks offer popular activities, such as hiking, biking and boating, and also activities that fewer people relish, such as paragliding, geocaching and metal detecting, according to a news release about the guide.

The guide is published by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

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Parks may be costly, but they’re not a frivolous expense

Most of us don’t live on the waterfront, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to walk on the beach, fish from a dock or launch our boats into the great wet beyond of Puget Sound.

Public parks are some of our best access points to the water — saltwater bays, freshwater lakes as well as some of the most beautiful rivers in the world.

Now we hear that the Legislature has asked the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission to consider how to cut 23 percent out of the budget for state parks. I addressed the issue in a story in Thursday’s Kitsap Sun.

I’m not prepared to say how much the state parks budget should be cut in light of the state’s financial crisis. But I’d like to point out that closing or “mothballing” state parks will cut off some of Washington residents’ most important accesses to the water. This comes at a time when outdoor recreation remains one of the more affordable activities — unless you just stay home and watch TV or play video games.

I know there are some serious programs that the Legislature is trying to preserve and probably some frivolous programs that can be cut. I just hope nobody believes that any of our parks won’t be sorely missed.

Download a list of parks considered for transfer to other agencies (PDF 40 kb). Download a list of parks considered for mothballing (PDF 56 kb), along with information about expenses and visitation. For details, including possible selection criteria, download the report from parks planners (Item E-5 in this Word document).