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King County Parks celebrates 10 years of Community Partnerships
Dozens of past Community Partnerships and Grants recipients joined King County Parks this week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the innovative program aimed at creating new or enhanced public recreation facilities.
Community partners representing a variety of King County user groups, sports associations, recreation clubs and other non-profit organizations gathered together Thursday, June 20, for a special recognition dinner to reflect on the achievements of their partnerships with King County Parks that resulted in new or better facilities such as mountain bike trails, a birdloop trail, community meadows, a boathouse, and turf sports fields.
“Getting behind Community Partnership Grants and embracing the passion and energy of our community partners makes sense for the County,” said King County Councilmember Larry Phillips. “The results speak for themselves: In the past decade, more than 50 community based projects have been completed with a public investment of over 14 million dollars that was amazingly matched by over $40 million dollars in private funding.”
In 2003, the CPG Program was established as a public/private partnership initiative to empower community-based organizations to develop public recreation facilities and run programs on King County land, which would not be possible with Parks current funding.
King County contributes use of land and capital improvement grants for successful partnership proposals. Community partners contribute the necessary additional capital and in-kind resources to develop the new or enhanced facility, as well as operations, maintenance, and programming, which is typically accomplished through volunteers and/or revenue-based programs or other resources.
Popular outcomes of the CPG Program include the active Duthie Hill Park, a partnership with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance that brought more than 20,000 hours of volunteer labor to build the impressive network of mountain biking trails; the recently completed lacrosse turf field at Big Finn Hill Park in partnership with Kirkland Lacrosse; and the Technology Access Foundation’s Bethady Community Learning Space at Lakewood Park, a beneficial resource to thousands of students with learning labs and an accessible community room that was the fitting venue to host the CPG Program recognition dinner.
“I am honored to be here with you tonight to celebrating the 10th anniversary of the CPG program and to recognize and celebrate you and your organizations, as representatives of the thousands of park users and volunteers,” said King County Councilmember Joe McDermott. “The CPG program is unique and innovative and being here tonight at TAF’s Bethaday Community Learning Space – a building that embodies the CPG program. It is a testament to the hard work, energy and passion that each of you bring to the Community Partnerships and Grants Program.”
As each group stepped forward to accept their partnership recognition awards presented by Kevin Brown, director of King County Parks, a series of photos in the background displayed images of shovels breaking ground, hard hats in construction zones, ribbon cuttings and many smiles across the faces of people of all ages; all in part to their vision, passion and commitment to the greater community.
Learn more about the Community Partnerships and Grants Program: http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/partners/cpg.aspx