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The Impact – WA State Parks: Summer Getaways & New Programs

Mike McClanahan profile by Mike McClanahan

Summer is here and Washington has more than ten dozen state parks to pick from. Where do you begin? 

This week representatives of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission join us to talk about what’s new for 2024, tips for planning a state park visit, and programs to make nature accessible for everyone.

“No matter where you are in the state, there is likely something very near to you for you to go and explore,” said Sarah Fronk, Communications Manager for Washington State Parks.  

We cover a variety of destinations  in different parts of Washington including some of the most popular state parks and some low profile sites with spectacular views.  

 “Near concrete Washington is Rockport State Park, and it is right on the Skagit River and it is like stepping into Lord of the rings, talking just massive old growth trees. the hanging masses everywhere. It’s just unbelievable amounts of green and every possible variety you could imagine. It is really incredible,” said Fronk. 

There’s one new program aimed at making state parks more accessible for adults and another dedicated to creating opportunities for underserved children to experience the outdoors.

“Over the past couple of generations, childhood has become more indoors, especially during the pandemic. There’s a lot more screen time. There’s a lot of video games. Research has shown that spending time outdoors has incredible benefits for young people,”Janette Chien, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director for Washington State Parks.”

We’ve also got an update on the North Cove “Washaway Beach” situation that offers hope for the future of crumbling shorelines everywhere and shows the power of a determined community.