Inslee announces nearly $1 million in grants to get Washington state kids outside

April 25, 2016

Summary 

Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that more than $940,000 in grants will be awarded for programs in 15 counties statewide to help get kids outdoors and connect with nature and their communities.

Quotes 

“These grants create opportunities for kids who don’t get to visit parks and other natural places. When children connect with nature, it improves their health and their grades. It also can help them appreciate their communities and instills in them the importance of our state’s natural resources. Investing in these programs helps all Washingtonians.”
Governor Inslee

“State Parks is excited about this grant program that gets young people outdoors for healthy recreation and environmental education. We are grateful to the Recreation and Conservation Office for working with us and administering the program.”
Don Hoch, State Parks director

“Thousands more children will get outside because of No Child Left Inside, educating them about the splendors of our incredible natural resources and beginning a lifelong love of the outdoors and outdoor recreation."
Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island)

“It is so great to see these grants being awarded. Getting kids outside is very important, not only to their health and well-being, but so they can understand more about where they live and where they fit into a larger, connected world.”
Sen. Linda Parlette (R-Wenatchee)

Story 

BELLINGHAM – Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that more than $940,000 in grants will be awarded for programs in 15 counties statewide to help get kids outdoors and connect with nature and their communities.

The No Child Left Inside grants will be awarded by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. The grants target at-risk youth by focusing on programs that provide outdoor environmental, agricultural or other natural resource-based education and recreation programs. This year’s grant recipients are offering a variety of educational activities, from sailing a 60-foot ship, to snow camping, to building trails.

“These grants create opportunities for kids who don’t get to visit parks and other natural places,” Inslee said. “When children connect with nature, it improves their health and their grades. It also can help them appreciate their communities and instills in them the importance of our state’s natural resources. Investing in these programs helps all Washingtonians.”

The grants will provide programs for nearly 8,000 kids. Of the 19 projects awarded funding, eight involve veterans on some aspect of the project. Click on the links below to get details on each grant.

Location

Grant Recipient

Grant Award

Chelan County

Wenatchee River Institute

$45,358

Douglas County

The Service Board

$50,000

Island County

Young Women Empowered

$50,000

King County

Puget Sound Educational Service District

$59,636

 

Seattle

$31,985

 

The Service Board

$50,000

 

YMCA of Greater Seattle

$50,000

Kitsap County

Salish Sea Expeditions

$75,050

Kittitas County

Kittitas Environmental Education Network

$72,948

Lewis County

Capitol Region Educational Service District 113

$40,424

Mason County

Hood Canal School District

$57,937

Okanogan County

Northwest Outward Bound School

$20,000

Pierce County

Puget Sound Educational Service District

$59,636

Snohomish County

Washington State University

$35,792

Spokane County

Eastern Washington University

$49,545

 

East Central Community Center

$12,950

 

West Central Community Center

$55,496

Thurston County

Garden-Raised Bounty

$50,000

Whatcom County

North Cascades Institute

$40,000

 

Wild Whatcom

$19,982

Yakima County

Yakima Valley Farm Workers

$125,000

“State Parks is excited about this grant program that gets young people outdoors for healthy recreation and environmental education,” said Don Hoch, State Parks director. “We are grateful to the Recreation and Conservation Office for working with us and administering the program.”

Funding for the No Child Left Inside grant program was one of a dozen recommendations of the 2014 Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Parks and Outdoor Recreation. The task force was charged with finding ways to increase participation in outdoor recreation, which has significant social and economic benefits. The Governor’s Council for the Healthiest Next Generation is focused on getting kids outdoors and has been supportive of funding to support the priority.

The legislature provided funding for the grant program first in 2008, but the program ended during the recession when funding was no longer available. In 2015, Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island), and Sen. Linda Parlette (R-Wenatchee), spearheaded an effort to reinvigorate the program. Funding comes from the state General Fund.

“Thousands more children will get outside because of No Child Left Inside, educating them about the splendors of our incredible natural resources and beginning a lifelong love of the outdoors and outdoor recreation,” said Ranker, who was the author and prime sponsor of the legislation that funded this program. “And we will be utilizing dozens of veterans to help get these kids outside because we prioritized organizations that will engage veterans for the grants. It is a great opportunity for our children, our veterans and Washington state.”

“It is so great to see these grants being awarded,” Parlette said. “Getting kids outside is very important, not only to their health and well-being, but so they can understand more about where they live and where they fit into a larger, connected world.”

“The grant program was highly competitive,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grant program. “We had 122 applications requesting more than $5.4 million, but we had only $940,000 available for grants. That means we are only funding the best of the best.”

Grant recipients will be matching the state funding and are contributing more than $1.9 million in donations, equipment, labor, additional grants, and other resources.

Media Contact 

Virginia Painter
State Parks and Recreation Commission
360-902-8562

Susan Zemek
Recreation and Conservation Office
360-902-3081

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136