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Public asked to help explore state parks’ future

Should the Washington State Parks system operate more like an enterprise-based hospitality industry, a public conservation asset based mostly on grant and tax funding – or perhaps a system of parks freely standing as community non-profit entities? What do people love about their park system, and what improvements need to be made?

These and other questions will be considered and discussed as part of a broad public outreach effort by Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission staff. Ideas are being sought through meetings with legislators, stakeholders and in public meetings scheduled around the state in June.

Information gathered will be used to create a transformation strategy that will guide the park system through the next five years and beyond.

At the public meetings, parks staff will present the “state of state parks” and ask for ideas and comments about three “thematic alternative” visions for the future.

As the process moves forward, public comments, questions and suggestions received about the future of Washington State Parks will be made available online at www.parks.wa.gov/Beyond2013/.

The public meeting closest to Whidbey Island will be held Tuesday, June 12, in Burlington Library in the Rotary Community Meeting Room, 820 E. Washington Ave., Burlington.

The commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

Support state parks by purchasing your Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.

 

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