With this 2015 Annual Report we are celebrating what you have done for Washington State Parks – and to show why your support is so critical. We invite you to join us in celebration for all you helped us accomplish. We are honored by the privilege to serve parks and extend our profound thanks for your continuing trust and interest in making our state parks better places for all.
We believe that the public-private partnerships between state parks and nonprofit organizations like us, as well as park friends groups, volunteer groups and outdoor related organizations are crucial to the health of the state parks system. We support several initiatives to improve parks and build capacity.
We funded eleven park improvement projects across Washington, more than doubling our support from previous years.
We co-led and sponsored more than 30 events in the state park system, including Shellfest, Arts in the Parks and the Outdoor Expo.
We co-sponsored a three-day workshop for parks friends groups, offering classes in fundraising, outreach and volunteer management.
Our motto is simple – your parks. your voice. We work hard to build a stronger parks community to speak out for parks, and to help share your voice for what happens in the parks you care about.
We rally with stakeholders to build support for parks with government officials. We organized meetings to coordinate messages among advocates, issued an Op Ed in the Seattle Times to call attention to a funding crisis and wrote a letter on behalf of park friends groups to the Governor. Together, we increased the parks operating budget by 50%!
Members and Friends
Critical to our mission is building a parks community and connecting people to shared experiences in nature. We reached over 140,000 park users monthly and surpassed our 1,000-member goal. We also love our 3,000+ on Facebook, 1,000+ on Instagram and the over 300 photographers who share the beauty of state parks in our monthly photo contest.
Your Vote. Your Voice.
Our work reflects your choices. In 2015, for the first time, we put our grant decisions directly in the hands of our donors. We sent online surveys to everyone who donated to our park improvement program to ask what projects and what parks our donors wanted to fund. It’s now the way we do business. Our success relies on hearing from you.
Bringing people closer to parks is a way of bringing us all closer together. The special shared experiences at parks are times we’ll never forget. To make it easier to have these experiences, we have boosted our communications with a completely new website and pioneered new visual tools to make parks more accessible.
We were fortunate to be selected for GiveCamp, which gave us support from technical experts from Microsoft, the University of Washington and independent programmers to add extended recreation activity searches, activity filters and expanded park information to our interactive map for detailed park trip planning.
Explore state parks from the comfort of your sofa with a new feature of more than 50 of our state parks captured in awesome virtual reality. Tours have amazing detail including aerial photos, trails, 360º viewpoints, building/rental interiors and historical features, and even historical maps that feature click-through photos. Bring the parks to wherever you have an internet connection.
Monthly NewsBlog and Event Calendar
There’s so much going on at Washington State Parks that we’ve increased the frequency of our newsletter and blog from quarterly to once per month and added a special calendar of events to show you what’s going on in general, as well as specific events that we are sponsoring or engaged in.