On Tuesday, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board awarded more than $126 million in grants to fund over 300 projects across the state with the goal of building and maintaining outdoor recreation facilities, conserving wildlife habitat and working farms and forests around the state.
Kitsap County was awarded a total of $7.2 million for projects, with Poulsbo receiving a total of $1,012,960.
Of the awarded funds, $1 million will going to the Port of Poulsbo to replace the breakwater in Liberty Bay with a floating breakwater. Another $12,960 will be going towards development of Rotary Morrow Community Park, which will be located on the east side of Poulsbo along the Noll Road corridor.
The park will maintain its natural aesthetic but will also see the installation of nature-inspired play activities including logs, playground equipment, game tables, trails, benches, landscaping, and parking.
The Poulsbo North Kitsap Rotary Foundation is donating the land to the city for the park and Rotary Club leadership has committed to building a tree fort and arbor in the park as well.
City of Poulsbo will contribute $333,570 in cash and donations of labor, land, and materials to the proj ect as well.
“Not only do these grants support our state’s parks, forests and farms, but they also fuel a powerful outdoor recreation economy that puts about 200,000 people to work and generates more than $26 billion in spending every year,” Governor Jay Inslee said of the grant awards.
“At a time when public lands are more and more at risk of being developed or lost altogether, these grants prioritize our outdoor spaces so that current and future generations can continue to enjoy and protect them,” he added.
Kaleen Cottingham, director at the Recreation and Conservation Office noted that the funding will create more places to play, expand habitat for fish and wildlife, support clean air and water, and uphold healthy communities across Washington state improving quality of life over all.
“As one of the state’s biggest investors in the outdoors, the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board has had a part in thousands of projects across Washington state, from the park down the street to backcountry campsites and other destinations,” said Ted Willhite, chair of the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board.
“It’s part of what makes Washington such a great place to live and play,” he said.
Due to the Legislature’s recent approval of the capital budget, grants are being distributed to cities, counties, state and federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations for projects in 37 of the state’s 39 counties.
“Because we have funding for only about half of the applications that come in, we have to be strategic with our investments, selecting only the best projects,” Cottingham said.
The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board was established by citizen Initiative in 1964, and helps to finance recreation and conservation projects throughout the state. The eight-member board consists of five citizens and three state agency directors.