Sam Benn Park Among 124 Washington Projects Independently Ranked “Top Notch” For Funding
Over the last 20 years the WWRP grant program has taken root as one of the state’s most popular and successful programs—enjoying broad bipartisan support in the legislature as well as support from over 250 organizations representing conservation, business, recreation, hunting, fishing, farming, and community interests–for its mandate to protect and improve state and local parks, preserve habitat for fish and wildlife and save working farms.
In recent years the bipartisan support for the WWRP has meant that the program, which is funded through the capital budget has been able to give grants for top ranked projects in communities across the state–improving trails, establishing local parks, repairing shoreline, preserving farmland and protecting forests throughout Washington. However in 2010, the WWRP was threatened with elimination in Governor’s Gregoire’s budget. Through a strong bipartisan effort in both the House and Senate, the program was restored $42 million–only half its 2008 funding. The fifty percent cut meant devastating losses for communities around the state as many approved projects went unfunded. In order to meet the goals of this year’s approved list, the Coalition will advocating for restored funding for the WWRP at $90 million.